MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines has been showing “good signs” that it can sustain its programs to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is ready to scale up efforts to reach more communities and achieve inclusive growth, according to UN resident coordinator Luiza Carvalho.
The country has sustained its social programs and will need to be very clear about how it will speed up results in the “last mile” to 2015, Carvalho told reporters at the MDG-F (MDG Achievement Fund) forum and market place in Pasay City.
With 85 Philippine municipalities tested using more than 40 tools and methods, Carvalho said it was now time to scale up the implementation of the programs. These programs were implemented from 2009 and will be ending this year.
The event was held to discuss the results of the implementation of the joint programs that the government has undertaken with the help of its development partners to help it meet the MDGs in the fastest possible time in the different communities.
The MDG is a blueprint agreed to by all UN member countries and leading development institutions to meet eight international development goals that were officially established following the Millennium Summit in 2000.
The eight MDGs range from halving extreme poverty rates to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all to be achieved by the target date of 2015.
The MDG-F was made possible through a grant from the government of Spain to the United Nations System. There are a total of 130 joint programs in 50 countries focused on the eight areas.
There were to be three program areas to be approved per country but the Philippines was an exception since it obtained approval for four areas (climate change, nutrition, youth employment and migration and inclusive economic governance) and got almost $24 million funding from the MDG-F.
Rolando Tungpalan, deputy director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) said that the government’s social programs—from conditional cash transfers to food security and health insurance—are all part of the efforts to achieve MDG targets and promote inclusive growth.
Spanish Ambassador Jorge Manuel Domecq said that even amid “trying times” of financial challenges in Spain and the rest of Europe, his country remains supportive of programs to help the Philippines and other countries achieve their MDG targets.
The programs undertaken by the government through the MDG-F are: strengthening the country’s institutional capacity to adapt to climate change; enhancing access to and provision of water services with the active participation of the poor; decent jobs for the Filipino youth as alternatives to migration; and ensuring food security and nutrition for children aged 0 to 24 months.