Asia Pacific, Philippines unlikely to meet sustainability goals by 2030: UN

Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 22 2022 05:41 PM

MANILA - The entire Asia Pacific Region, including the Philippines, appears unlikely to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs with less than 8 years left before the 2030 deadline, a UN official said on Thursday.

"We are not doing well on their implementation. The most recent report on the Asia Pacific region says that the region is not on track to achieve any of the SDGs," Resident Coordinator for the United Nations in the Philippines Gustav Gonzalez said. 

The 17 SDGs were launched by the United Nations in 2015, and the Philippines is party to those goals. They include the following:

 1. No Poverty
 2. Zero Hunger
 3. Good Health and Well-being
 4. Quality Education
 5. Gender Equality
 6. Clean Water and Sanitation
 7. Affordable and Clean Energy
 8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
 10. Reduced Inequality
 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
 12. Responsible Consumption and Production
 13. Climate Action
 14. Life Below Water
 15. Life on Land
 16. Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
 17. Partnerships to achieve the Goal

Several sectors in the Philippines require immediate response, including inequalities in education, climate, and wealth, which have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, he said. 

“Very soon the UN country team will update its new cooperation framework with the Philippines to align with the priorities of the new Philippine Development Plan. And it will be another opportunity to pool all our capacities, knowledge, and resources to support the Philippines in the next 6 years in this challenging journey," he said.

The Philippine Statistics Authority has been hard at work gathering data to help track the Philippines' progress in the 17 SDGs, its Chief Statistical Specialist Bernadette Balamban said. 

Out of the 155 indicators covering the 17 goals, only 60 can be measured for pace of progress using available data already being collected by the PSA, other government agencies, the academe, and other statistics generating entities in the Philippines, she said. 

Based on that data up to April 2022, the Philippines has only achieved the expected progress for this year in only 2 indicators. Data also showed that the Philippines has actually regressed in efforts to hit 8 of the 17 goals, which are zero hunger, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, industry, innovation, and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, and climate action. 

But Balamban said the Philippines is on track to meet some indicators under poverty, malnutrition, infant mortality, health coverage, exposure to internet, women in managerial positions, and banked individuals.

“Many of them we are regressing, and many of them we really need to accelerate our efforts," she said.

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