NEDA vows to address data gaps on UN SDG goals

The National Economic and Development Authority on Wednesday vowed to address data gaps in monitoring the Philippines' progress in achieving targets under the Sustainable Development Agenda of the United Nations. 

In his keynote address on Wednesday at the International Conference on Sustainable Development Goals Statistics in Makati, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia pointed out that while the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), a NEDA-attached agency, had released an initial list of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) indicators to be monitored, many have yet to be defined and collected. 

“In terms of monitoring and reporting, the Philippine government is still in need of sufficient and good data to be able to comprehensively gauge the country’s progress,” Pernia said.

Pernia said out of 232 SDG indicators, only 94 are readily available, 11 are not applicable in the Philippine context, 59 are not regularly collected, and 68 are still to be developed. 

“The challenge, in fact, extends beyond these numbers as many of the indicators require further data disaggregation,” Secretary Pernia said. 

Firmly built into the Philippine Development Plan 2017–2022, the country's blueprint for development, the United Nations 2030 Agenda, or the Sustainable Development Agenda, is a set of 17 Global Goals adopted by world leaders in September 2015. These direct countries to mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities, and tackle climate change while ensuring that no one is left behind. 

Pernia said the NEDA's planning committees are finalizing the Philippine Development Plan's Results Matrices, a document specifying the country's medium-term targets to help measure and monitor the progress of the country. 

The NEDA will also release comprehensive reports on the SDGs and discuss the progress made so far, he said.

Pernia said the government has begun doing some measures to address the data challenges, such capacity-building activities to help government agencies in conducting methodological research and the creation of oversight agencies to ensure necessary data are generated.​ 

Through Resolution No. 4 Series of 2016, the PSA has also pledged to develop mechanisms to regularly provide timely and accurate statistics. #

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