RP STATEMENT DURING THE U.N.HIGH-LEVEL MEETING OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY
(Delivered by Secretary Cayetano W. Paderanga Jr.)
The Philippines is one with the world in keeping the promise of achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
Ten years after the UN Summit that crafted the MDGs, our country has made considerable strides in meeting most of its targets. The Philippines is on track in meeting the targets on child mortality; malaria and tuberculosis incidence; increasing access to sanitation and safe and potable water; and providing equal education for girls.
But despite the gains attained in the last decade, we need to push ourselves more to meet the MDGs, particularly where we lag behind. Moreover, the Philippine scenario is characterized by wide disparities. Our latest progress report also shows that climate change poses a threat to the achievement of our targets. The population above the poverty threshold is declining as a result of low capacities to cope with the effects of shocks leading to more “transient poor.”
It has been over two months since our country had a peaceful transition of power. The fresh mandate from the people has given the government the needed political will for reforms. The new administration’s cornerstone of good and effective governance will be a potent force in addressing challenges impeding attainment of the MDGs by 2015. Thus, it is very crucial for the Philippines to eradicate graft and corruption, so that public resources will be efficiently channeled to attaining the MDGs.
The Philippine Government will unveil its Medium-Term Development Plan for the period 2010 to 2016. The policies and strategies outlined will reflect our commitment to prioritize the MDGs. The Plan will make sure that this growth will be shared with the poor and the vulnerable by paving the concrete access of every Filipino to quality health, education and employment opportunities through appropriate mix of physical and social infrastructures, and by strengthening social safety nets, like conditional cash transfers and universal healthcare.
Regional dimensions and dynamics are considered in the Medium-Term Development Plan to address development disparities. The next Regional Development Plans shall contain localized targets and strategies in the regions.
We will focus measures to adapt to the global effects of climate change. An archipelago with a diverse ecology, the Philippines is highly vulnerable to disasters. Periodic (natural) disasters increase the vulnerability of poor Filipinos, thus derailing our efforts to reduce poverty and achieve the MDGs. We will integrate climate change adaptation strategies and measures to protect what we have already achieved and continue our work toward meeting MDG targets. We urge all UN member-states to likewise take the necessary action of adapting to climate change and help fellow citizens of this Earth cope with its effects.
The Philippines has always recognized the role of various stakeholders in the MDGs. Our Medium-Term Development Plan aims to harness the partnerships between the public and private sectors, including those in civil society, business, the academe, media, religious groups, and our international development partners. We will put in place an enabling environment for these stakeholders so that the MDG outcomes will be felt even in remote areas.
We will also ensure that environmental sustainability shall not be compromised in the process of economic growth.
The legislative branch is likewise proactive in building the legal foundations for the MDGs. The Philippine House of Representatives retained the Special Committee on the MDGs which prioritizes measures responsive to the MDGs.
In line with our MDG strategies, we also ask the UN System to share their knowledge on successful development approaches in other countries, particularly in areas where we lag, such as reducing poverty and hunger, dropout rates in the schools, maternal deaths, and HIV/AIDS cases.
Finally, as developing countries struggle to achieve the MDGs, it is essential that international development partners keep their promise. Four decades ago, privileged nations pledged to share a small portion of their Gross National Income to developing countries. As 2015 draws near, we urge these economically advanced countries to fulfill their commitments.
Excellencies, as we enter the last stretch, the Philippine Government is exerting all means to deliver on its promise to realize its MDGs, not just as an international commitment but because our people demand it. Let us remember that each and every one of our citizens deserves a life of quality, meaning and dignity.
Thank you and Mabuhay!