PSA: PHL behind in 52% of UN’s SDG indicators

THE country’s progress in half of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) indicators is behind schedule as of November 2020, according to the latest monitoring report of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The PSA data showed that 52 percent, covering 13 numerical indicators, were behind target. At least 48 percent or 12 indicators were ahead of the target.

The longest time lag is 15.3 years for indicator 8.1.1—on the annual growth rate of real GDP per capita—while the shortest is indicator 2.2.s.2, which aims to increase the prevalence of exclusively breastfed children 0 to 5 months old.

“On GDP per capita, we really need to significantly increase productivity. In agriculture for example, productivity of the sector should rise so much to support expansion of manufacturing and industry to induce shifts in labor to the high productivity sector,” National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Officer in Charge Mercedita A. Sombilla told BusinessMirror.

“(On breastfeeding), this may be due to the increase in the number of working moms. Most working moms pump breastmilk and freeze these in the office. They would bring home the milk for the baby’s consumption. Maybe we should advocate this practice,” she added.

To increase per capita GDP, the government should enable the commercialization of agriculture, Sombilla added. This would allow farmers to consolidate and take advantage of economies of scale while more Filipinos are employed.

“Agri should be commercialized–farmers consolidated to take advantage of economies of scale in both market of outputs and purchase of inputs, mechanized run by a manager, move to high value crops, etc.  Farm laborers will find jobs in the expanding manufacturing /industry sector,” she said.

The data showed the country’s per capita GDP at 4.5 percent as of 2019. This is a regression from the 5.4 percent in 2015 and farther away from the 6 percent target by 2030.

For breastfeeding, only 57.9 percent of children 0 to 5 months old have access to breastmilk. This is an improvement from the 48.8 percent baseline in 2015 but is still a long way from the 100 percent target by 2030.

Meanwhile, PSA data showed that another indicator behind target was 1.4.2.p1, with a time lag of 10.3 years.

This indicator focuses on increasing the proportion of families with access to secure tenure. The target by 2030 is 100 percent but the current rate, as of 2019, is 96.4 percent, which is lower than the 97 percent baseline in 2016.

Another indicator with a long time lag is 1.4.1p5, which seeks to increase the Net Enrollment Rate in elementary to 100 percent by 2030. It needs 9.6 years to achieve.

PSA data showed the Net Enrollment Rate was at 94 percent as of 2019, lower than the 96.2 percent baseline in 2016.

Most ahead of target: women managers

One bright spot: per the PSA, the indicator that posted the highest number of years ahead of target in terms of progress was 5.5.2, which aims to increase the proportion of women in managerial positions to 50 percent by 2030. It was 13.5 years ahead of its target; the Philippines has already overshot its target since 53 percent of managerial positions in the country are held by women as of 2020.

The country’s baseline in 2016 was at 46.6 percent, which means it took the country less than 5 years to not only hit, but exceed, the target.

Another indicator the country is ahead of achieving is 3.8.2—to increase the number of people covered by health insurance or a public health system per 1,000 population by 2030. The country is 9 years ahead of the target.

In 2018, some 980.2 per 1,000 population are already covered by health insurance or a public health system. This is higher than the 909 per 1,000 population baseline in 2016.

The country is also ahead of its target in indicator 3.8.s1, which focuses on increasing to 100 percent the percentage of the population covered by social health insurance. The country is 8.9 years ahead of target.

As of 2018, PSA data showed 98 percent of the population covered by social health insurance, higher than the 91 percent baseline in 2016.

July Forum

PSA said data comprising the first round of updating of the 2022 SDG Watch will be used as inputs in crafting the Philippines’ 2022 VNR to be reported in the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July 2022.

The VNR is a country-led initiative, which aims to share best practices, challenges and lessons learned in the implementation and monitoring of the achievement of the SDGs.

For 2022, PSA said, the highlights of the Philippine report will focus on these goals: Goal 4: Quality Education; Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 14: Life Below Water, Goal 15: Life on Land, and Goal 17: Partnership for the Goals.

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