Solons: Much remains to be done in attaining MDGs of the country

Solons : Much remains to be done in attaining MDGs of the country

HOUSE members acknowledged that much remains to be done to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of the country by 2015, and that cooperation between the executive and legislative departments is crucial for the progress of the nation and the people.

The lawmakers emphasized this after Social Watch Philippines submitted to them a 60-page report titled “Breaking Through Sustainability Philippines” which contains the people’s assessment of the Aquino administration’s performance and how far it has gone to achieve the MDGs, with recommendations on the post 2015 agenda.

The report, a partnership project of SWP and the United Nations Millennium Campaign, is a product of research and consultations with different stakeholders, including non- government organizations, government representatives from the executive and legislative, members of the United Nations and individuals according to SWP lead convenor and former national treasurer Prof. Leonor Briones.

The report said the country is in the same lagging MDG indicators of 2010. It cited for instance that maternal mortality rate (MMR) per 100,000 live births increased to 221 in July 2012 from 97 in 2011 and 95 in 2010. This is somewhat ironic considering the reported improvements in health infrastructure and MMR data gathering according to SWP co-convenor and president of the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM) Isagani Serrano.

It also cited the following: Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel remains far short of target 100 per cent and progresses slowly from 58.8 in 1990 to 74.3 in 2009; Spike in HIV-AIDS cases is worrisome, and so is the resurgence of TB cases; and Despite the increasing inputs in education—annual budgets, programs – performance in most of the education, which is the indicator for MDG 2, continue to lag behind.

Deputy Speaker and Quezon Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III said there is still much to be done but certainly the MDG framework will remain relevant after 2015.

“While we do not expect all MDGs would eventually be achieved by 2015, nevertheless we must continue to move forward in this path of development we have embarked upon,” he said.

In the context of global development, and in view of the challenges the country faces today, Tanada said there is a need to review the present agenda and determine what solutions have worked for the country in the past and what have not.

In the environmental arena, he said the 15th Congress has worked vigorously to pass bills and resolutions that are truly relevant for example, the establishment of the People’s Survival Fund which amends the Climate Change Act of 2009.

He said the post 2015 framework should emerge from an inclusive to an open process with multi-state participation and hopefully with the freedom of information.
“Discussions in different UN forums should enable member states and other relevant stakeholders to make their own assessments on how MDGs should be reviewed and re-taught,” he said.

He lauded SWP for its deep concern and efforts in working for the progress of the nation and the people, as he assured it can count on the 16th Congress for continued cooperation in pushing for the MDGs.

Deputy Speaker and Zamboanga City Rep. Maria Isabelle Climaco said the SWP report is a good guidepost for lawmakers to recalibrate their efforts.

As far as legislation is concerned, Climaco said Congress has supported the requirements to comply with the MDGs. She said Republic Act 9710 which is the Magna Carta of Women and the K-12 Program are legislative enactments in Congress.

“If we put up the Kindergarten system and additional school year, the budget for personnel and materials are needed. So there is cause-linking to another goal that needs to be met,” she said.

She said sustainable implementation is needed from all government agencies down to the local government units.

“I take serious attention that Zamboanga City has tried to implement and responded to the MDG particularly on maternal, health education, and HIV-AIDS prevention. Much needs to be done. These are but goals, hence we cannot say we have successfully met them 100 percent. We still have areas needing more work,” Climaco said.

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