Voluntary National Review 2019

Filipinos aspire for work-life balance, a comfortable, secure and peaceful life. This long-term aspiration—the AmBisyon Natin 2040—we learned from a nationwide survey conducted in late 2015. This was on about the time we adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and subsequently crafted the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022. We soon recognized that we need to transform our world by ensuring sustainable development and leaving no one behind in order to live the life we want.

Sustainability and inclusivity are both goals and principles that guide our development strategies. Engaging stakeholders is necessary for an initiative to gain traction and be owned by a broad section of society who are driven to make it work and succeed.

The Philippines’ second Voluntary National Review emphasizes the synergies between government and non-government actions required to ensure inclusiveness and equality.

The Philippines has employed a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to SDG implementation. National actions are grounded in laws to ensure robustness. Cross-sectoral coordination and orchestration of actions are done through existing institutional mechanisms. Stakeholders are informed and engaged in discussions. Our recently launched SDG website provides a platform for broader engagement, including with the youth and the Filipino diaspora.

The primary catalyst for action is the PDP 2017-2022 and we made sure that the SDGs were integrated into the Plan. The PDP has subsequently been cascaded to the whole of government, including at the local level, following Executive Order No. 27 (2017). Nationally determined 2030 numerical targets were identified, which set the required pace of progress of the SDGs. These targets are reflected in the Results Matrices, a companion document of the PDP. The Philippine Statistics Authority monitors the Tier 1 indicators through their SDG Watch.

While government is both catalyst and mobilizer of the policy framework for the SDGs, even non-government stakeholders have taken on the responsibility for the agenda and delivering the services to the rights-holders.

For quality education - the legal framework for institutionalizing the Alternative Learning System has been set. The Department of Education, working with the private sector, has been reaching out to what we call the last mile, which includes out-of-school youth and other vulnerable groups, to deliver education services. ‘

For decent work – to allow for a just transition to a greener economy, the Philippines’ Green Jobs Act incentivizes enterprises to offer jobs using green production practices. Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Commission will require Sustainability Reports for Publicly Listed Companies, beginning 2020. Private businesses, like Human Nature, are adopting inclusive business models, wherein the value chain deliberately involves disadvantaged communities. The Mentor Me program of the Department of Trade and Industry further promotes mentoring and partnership between small and large enterprises.

To reduce inequality - the Conditional Cash Transfer provides targeted interventions to disadvantaged families. Responding to Republic Act 10524 which reserves employment for persons with disability, companies such as Lamoiyan Corporation employ handicapped people who comprise a significant proportion of their personnel. To offset regional disparities, the Assistance to Disadvantaged Municipalities provides a support fund for poorer local governments to build access roads and water system projects, among others.

For climate action - the Climate Risk Management Framework provides risk information to enhance adaptive capacity. Project NOAH exemplifies the partnership between the academe and government in providing timely weather information for disaster preparedness. A ban on single-use plastics is already implemented in a number of cities and municipalities. A Sustainable Consumption and Production Action Plan is now being formulated to provide a coherent framework for climate action.

For peace, justice, and strong institutions – A major milestone is the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which was a result of cumulative initiatives, including those by the international community, to address a long-standing conflict in southern Philippines.

To ensure effectiveness of partnerships - the Philippines has been conducting the Official Development Assistance Portfolio Review. Still, we make sure that the SDG implementation is mostly financed from domestic resources.

Pursuing the SDGs requires an ambitious approach that gets everyone behind the goal of leaving no one behind. Involving the different stakeholders today in a very concrete way will determine the attainment of the SDGs in the remaining 11 years, and on to 2040.

Voluntary National Review 2016
Building on the lessons learned from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) experience, the Philippine Government is committed to the bigger challenges of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which integrate the social, economic and environmental agenda. The review report highlights the initiatives of the government and other stakeholders to provide the policy and enabling environment for the implementation of the SDGs, particularly on securing the buy-in from policymakers and stakeholders, incorporating the SDGs into the national framework, improving indicators and data, and developing institutional mechanisms.

Since the adoption of the 2030 Development Agenda in September 2015, the Philippine Government and its partners have conducted communications and advocacy efforts to build awareness and engage stakeholders in the new agenda. The NEDA Technical Secretariat, for its part, has conducted briefings and orientations for its inter-agency committees, including Cabinet-level committees of the NEDA Board, and other multisectoral and multistakeholder fora. Since the initial year of the SDG implementation coincides with a new administration in the country, the more effective and persuasive tool for SDG advocacy is the ongoing process itself of integrating SDGs simultaneously into the long-term vision and goals (Ambisyon Natin 2040) and the national, sectoral and subnational plans and frameworks. This involves a broader network of players and more opportunities to engage in the SDG discourse vis-a-vis national priorities. Innovative strategies such as identifying new SDG champions among the new officials or from the business or private sectors may be considered in the process.

The CSOs have also provided significant support to the SDG campaign. One organization held a workshop on the child rights and SDGs, where a mix of CSO and government participants used the SDG framework to identify advocacy opportunities to influence decision-makers in addressing priority issues on child protection. Still another held a Voters' Education Forum on Food and Nutrition Security which identified food and nutrition security policy proposals for prioritization in the legislative agenda of the next Congress. The UNDP Philippines also initiated an activity which resulted in the CSOs developing their work plan vis-a-vis the SDGs.

The country shares its good practice in mapping out SDG indicators for national monitoring. The assessment and prioritization of the global SDG indicators based on national context have undergone a participatory and iterative process, jointly led by the national planning and statistics agencies. A policy statement was recently issued enjoining the government agencies to provide data support to monitor the country's performance with respect to the SDGs and specifying the responsibilities of statistics agencies. Through a series of technical workshops, the indicators have been assessed based on regularity of data generation and availability of disaggregated data, among others. The resulting list of indicators serves as timely inputs into the ongoing preparation of the successor Medium-Term Development Plan. A chapter on the SDGs has been added to the updated Philippine Statistical Development Program 2011-2017 to ensure government support in the generation of data. Moreover, the government plans to strengthen mechanisms for SDG monitoring and reporting through an SDG webpage, development of the SDG Watch that will monitor the relevant and available indicators, and identification of an SDG Focal Point from each data-source agency to facilitate coordination and data gathering of the indicators, among others.

Issues and concerns such as unavailability of data, lack of disaggregated data, lack of common definition of terms, overlaps of indicators across SDG goals, and lack of measurement methods for some indicators were raised. These apply to more than half of the total number of SDG indicators with most of these falling under Goals 12 (sustainable consumption and production patterns), 14 (conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development), 6 (water and sanitation) and I 0 (reduce inequality).

A number of goals in the SDGs do not require the government to deliver public services, but rather develop and enforce the necessary policy and regulatory framework. And given the interrelatedness of the goals and targets in the SDGs, government is considering creating a high-level inter-agency NEDA Committee to plan and oversee the coordinated implementation of SDG-rclated policies and programs. Horizontal and vertical linkages of the committee with concerned planning and budget coordinating bodies and subnational councils, among others, will be clarified for policy and program coherence. Notable is the proactive stance of the Mindanao group of NEDA subnational offices calling the attention of the NEDA Central Office to involve them in the mainstreaming of the SDGs in the subnational and local development planning and budgeting.

On the means of implementation (MOI), the government has yet to draw up an SDG Implementation Roadmap that will serve as an overall framework to guide government and other key stakeholders on the needed actions, resources, responsibilities and partnerships to ensure the success of SDG implementation.

The corresponding financing requirements of the SDG implementation and sources of funds will have to be consolidated into a financial plan that will be an accompanying document of the roadmap and will be linked to the yearly budget framework and public investment programming. The government is interested to know the experience of other countries in coming up with their financial requirement for the SDGs and how financial resources were mobilized especially innovative financing for the SDGs. The government would also like to hear other countries' experience in applying models like the Threshold 21 (T2 J) for simulation of long-term scenarios and Advance Data Planning Tool (ADAPT) for costing statistical activities.
Focal point
Ms. Margarita R. Songco
Deputy Director-General, National Economic & Development Authority (NEDA)

Ms. Sheila Marie M. Encabo
OIC Director., Agriculture Staff and Head
Philippine Council for Sustainable Development
Coordinating Secretariat
Documents & Reports

National Reports

Partnerships & Commitments
The below is a listing of all partnership initiatives and voluntary commitments where Philippines is listed as a partner in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform.
14 May 2019
18 Jul 2017
13 Jul 2017
12 Jul 2017
8 Jun 2017
22 Jun 2012
11 May 2011
12 Apr 2005
3 Sep 2002
United Nations