PH reaffirms commitment to achieving SDGs despite uncertainties—NEDA

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) reaffirmed the Philippines’ commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and shared the steps that the country has taken to accomplish them despite the challenges posed by a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world.

In the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration 2023 conference held on July 31, 2023, NEDA Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan stated that the VUCA world, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, exposed numerous inequalities in the Philippine economy and society, as well as weaknesses in the country’s systems, leading to challenges in attaining the SDGs.

Thus, through a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach, the NEDA led the formulation of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028  with careful consideration of the lessons learned from the pandemic, the lessons learned from the implementation of the PDP 2017-2022, emerging global and regional trends, the Marcos Administration’s 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda, and the AmBisyon Natin 2040, the country’s long-term vision.

“The SDGs find themselves firmly integrated into both our immediate goals and medium-term strategies towards achieving the country’s long-term vision,” Balisacan said in his keynote speech during the conference.

Moreover, he highlighted the various initiatives of the Philippines toward achieving the SDGs in a VUCA world. Notably, he discussed how the country actively engages with international associations and practitioners and created the Stakeholders’ Chamber on the SDGs as part of the country’s efforts to collaborate with various sectors of society. Additionally, the government has included programs focused on the SDGs in its expenditure program and has explored different modes of financing interventions.

Furthermore, Balisacan highlighted the PDP’s focus on social and economic transformation to empower Filipinos, enhance the resilience of the poor and near poor, and reduce inequalities. The country will achieve this transformation by developing and protecting Filipino capabilities and creating high-quality jobs.

The NEDA Chief also highlighted the creation of a Subcommittee on the SDGs under the Development Budget Coordination Committee, which has a clear responsibility for planning, policy, monitoring, and reporting of the different dimensions of sustainable development through the various technical working groups. Balisacan also mentioned the development of the Nationally Determined 2030 Targets for the SDGs to create a supporting accountability mechanism and monitor the country’s progress towards achieving the SDGs.

“While we have undertaken several initiatives to accelerate progress, the country still has some ways to achieve the SDGs. Now that we only have seven years left, we urgently need to accelerate our actions and mobilize resources in a multi-sectoral approach, ensuring that we include all local governments and stakeholders,” he said.