Opening remarks of Secretary Arsenio Balisacan:
During the Second National Consultation on the Post-2015 Development Agenda
[Delivered at Crowne Plaza Galleria on March 5, 2013]
As the 2015 MDG deadline fast approaches, the Post-2015 activities become all the more crucial as we move forward to collectively craft the future we want. This is an opportune time for all of us to reassess the MDGs’ successes as well as limitations for us to more ably respond to the new challenges that lie ahead of our country.
Despite favorable economic conditions of our country in recent quarters, we are mindful of the critical issues we face as a nation. We know that progress has remained relatively uneven across regions of the country, and we still face continuing gaps on poverty, hunger, health, gender equality, water, sanitation, among others. We understand the urgency to deal with these issues with actions and mechanisms consistent with our country’s commitment under the Rio+20.
In defining our post-2015 development agenda, we must continually engage the different development stakeholders in an inclusive discussion and healthy debate in order to collectively craft our path forward.
Extensive consultations will enable all sectors across the country, especially the poor and most vulnerable sectors of society, to share their views and substantially take part in the post-2015 agenda from the earliest stages of the process.
During the First National Consultation held last December 3, among the key presentations were the results of a study on lessons learned from achieving the MDGs in the country, focus group discussions with poverty groups, broad-based survey, key informant interviews, civil society perspective and PHL position in the recently concluded Rio + 20 Conference. It is noteworthy that during the Focus Group Discussions conducted with the 4Ps beneficiaries and basic sectors, the constant priority of the beneficiaries had been on decent employment, source of permanent income/livelihood, and education.
From the wealth of inputs you have generously provided during the breakout sessions of the First National Consultation, we were able to develop the Building Blocks of the post-2015 framework and identify five themes most relevant to the Philippines. The five (5) themes are: (1) Poverty Reduction and Social Inclusion; (2) Accountable, Responsive and Participatory Governance; (3) Environmental Sustainability, Climate Change and Disaster Preparedness; (4) Peace and Security, and (5) Fair and Stable Order based on International Rule of Law.
The Second National Consultation aims to validate these Building Blocks and substantiate the five thematic papers, in order to support the framework for a Post-2015 agenda from the Philippines’ perspective.
Let us not forget that human rights, sustainability, equity, and good governance must be at the core of each priority theme. The theme papers should also lay out a proposed timeline with goals, targets, indicators, monitoring mechanisms as well as enablers for the achievement of these goals. MDG targets which our country has yet to realize, specifically maternal mortality and education, should still be part of the Post-2015 framework.
Again, let me thank everyone who came here today to be part of this significant consultation. The promise of greater things ahead lies in store for us through your active commitment. I feel more optimistic that through your participation and engagement in this consultation, we will come up with a Post-2015 Development Framework, which reflects our shared vision of the future we all want for ourselves and for our children.
Maraming salamat po.
A pleasant day to all of us.