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PIA Press Release

RP gains headway in environmental sustainability bid

Baguio City (6 October) -- The Philippines is gaining headway in its bid to meet by 2015 the United Nations Millenium Development Goal (MDG) of ensuring environmental sustainability nationwide.

National Economic Development Authority Director Erlinda Capones reported this matter at the two-day 10th National Convention on Statistics at EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City where she said the country will likely meet such goal.

MDGs are time-bound and measurable targets which UN member-countries committed to meet so poverty, hunger, diseases, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women can be addressed.

Capones presented data available as of September 2007 on the country's progress in making sustainable development principles as part of its policies and programs on reversing loss of environmental resources.

The data showed proportion of the country's urban population with access to improved sanitation already exceeded the MDG goal of 83.8 percent as this soared from 67.6 percent (1990) to 86.2 percent (2004).

Proportion of Philippine population with sustainable access also improved water source jumped from 73 percent (1990) to 80.2 percent (2004) which is about 6.3 percent below the 86.5 percent MDG target by 2015.

While that of forest-covered land nationwide rose to 23.9 percent (2003) from 20.5 percent (1990) while area protected to maintain bio-diversity increased to 12.7 percent (2006) from 8.5 percent (1990) of the Philippines' total surface area.

Data also indicated that consumption of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons dipped to 681 tons (2006) from 2,981 tons (1990) and proportion of households using solid fuels for cooking decreased to 42.1 percent (203) from 66.2 percent (1990).

Capones also identified ways to accelerate implementation of MDG-related programs and projects.

These include curbing high population growth rate, improving agricultural performance, boosting efforts to push reforms on basic education and health and ensuring transparency and accountability in government transactions.

She also said strengthening local government units' capacity to deliver basic services and bolstering government's links with other nations and the private sector are needed to accelerate the Philippines' bid to meet MDG goals.

The Philippine Statistical System (PSS), through government's National Statistical Coordination Board, will hold until October 2 the two-day convention which carries the theme 'Statistics and Action: A Road to a Better Life through the MDGs.'

The event aims to provide a forum for stakeholders concerned to discuss prevailing issues and emerging developments affecting PSS.

The convention is being held simultaneously with observance of the 18th National Statistics Month.

Meanwhile, stressing the importance and value of statistics in the development efforts of the national and local governments, Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo V. Puno urged all local chief executives to conduct activities appropriate to the national observance of Statistics Month.

October has been declared National Statistics Month under Presidential Proclamation 647 dated of September 20, 1990.

The DILG Chief explained that in order to assess our progress and the effectiveness of our programs on poverty eradication in achieving this goal, we need hard data and statistics.

Puno said decisions based on sound statistics will produce the best choices for program implementers of government. "It is for this reason that we must also put more investments in statistics to be able to generate qualitative information."

In the celebration of the month-long activity, Puno enjoined all provincial governors, city and municipal mayors to undertake simple activities like the conduct of symposia, workshops, orientation seminars, exhibits, slide shows and publication of statistical reports, indicators and other relevant information, with emphasis on the theme.

The observance of National Statistics Month each year is aimed to promote, enhance and instill awareness and appreciation on the importance of statistics in the formulation of policies for growth and development as well as elicit the cooperation and support of the general public in upgrading the quality of standards of statistics in the country. (PIA) [top]

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