2nd country review on UN SDG ongoing-NEDA


By Rose de la Cruz


The Philippines is now conducting a second review of its compliance to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that includes the 17 sustainable development goals prior to its reporting in July.

The government’s second Voluntary National Review (VNR) will be presented at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development to be held in New York City in July 2019.


The VNR, led by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in partnership with the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), intends to share the country’s experiences, including successes, challenges, and lessons learned in line with its goal of accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. It also seeks to strengthen policies and institutions of governments and to mobilize multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the realization of the SDGs.


“In conducting this review, the government is taking a whole-of-society approach. We are enlisting the participation of civil society organizations (CSOs), academe, and the private sector, apart from the national and local government units in crafting the report to UN,” NEDA Officer in Charge Adoracion M. Navarro said.


The initial VNR showed that the Philippine government, through the Philippine Statistics Authority, is improving its monitoring of the SDGs. To better gauge the country’s progress, the government has identified 103 SDG global indicators, 28 proxy and 25 supplementary indicators—a total of 156 indicators that are readily available from the entire Philippine Statistical System.


The report said, however, that monitoring the SDGs presents huge challenges for the entire statistical system and their respective counterparts in UN member states. It added that the government must address data gaps for it to effectively monitor progress in reaching the SDGs.


“The process of achieving the SDGs should be carried forward by succeeding administrations as if in a relay. Every administration should build on the actions done by previous administrations in order to reach the goals in the end,” Navarro said.


In crafting the VNR, NEDA, with PIDS and UNICEF, conducted three regional consultation workshops in Pampanga, Davao, and Cebu on March 11, 13, and 15, respectively. These consultations also discussed the factors needed to meet the SDGs.

NEDA is likewise scheduled to spearhead a series of consultations with other major groups and stakeholders, such as children, youth, labor tripartite bodies, and CSOs.


Navarro said the government is also moving towards the localization of the SDGs with two local government units in Panabo City, Davao del Norte, and Carmona, Cavite, being piloted for the local VNR.

The VNR will be finalized by the second quarter of 2019, but its initial draft can be found online:  http://sdg.neda.gov.ph/voluntary-national-review-of-the-sdgs-2019/.

The Philippines is one of the 22 countries that submitted their first VNR report to the UN high-level forum in 2016.

The abovementioned website contains information on accomplishments relating to the promotion and attainment of each of the 17 goals as set out in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.


“We believe this website will strengthen the government’s existing efforts in monitoring the country-level progress on the SDGs and allow more participation from stakeholders,” said Navarro.


The Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022, the country's socioeconomic development blueprint under the Duterte Administration, serves as the implementation mechanism for the SDGs in the Philippines. The 17 goals are integrated into the different chapters of the PDP.


Navarro noted that the attainment of these goals, set for 2030, would pave the way for the achievement of AmBisyon Natin 2040, the country’s long-term vision.


Meanwhile, NEDA and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) continue to work towards the localization of the SDGs.  Both intend to include an assessment checklist containing SDGs-related criteria in discussing the Seal of Good Local Governance (SGLG) with local government units.


Currently, DILG is identifying provincial and municipal-level indicators that will operationalize and contribute to the attainment of the goals and outcome areas in the PDP and SDGs.


The NEDA-SDGs website will be launched officially end of April and can be accessed at http://sdg.neda.gov.ph/.



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