By Charmaine A. Tadalan, February 21 2019; Business World

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THE Commission on Audit (CoA) has reminded the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to fulfill its commitment to develop an overall framework and financing plan to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

In its 2018 performance audit on the government’s preparedness to implement SDG, the Commission said NEDA has not developed an SDG Implementation Roadmap, after it commited to do so in a 2016 Voluntary National Review (VNR).

“No SDG Implementation Roadmap was developed as an overall framework for the government and other stakeholders,” CoA said in the report, issued on Feb. 19.

It said an SDG Roadmap will help integrate priorities with national policies and in accelerating implementation.

In response, NEDA said that a separate roadmap for SDG might duplicate its efforts in the implementation of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022.

“NEDA emphasized that the PDP and the sectoral plans are considered the de facto implementation roadmap of the SDGs,” the report said.

CoA, however, maintained the need for an overall framework to cover other activities and and milestones for SDGs not covered by the PDP.

This include the development of communication strategies and campaigns to raise awareness of SDGs, financing plan for SDGs, a localization plan for SDGs, and capacity-building programs and projects, among others.

CoA recommended that NEDA and other agencies develop a financing plan to determine priorities and roles for mobilizing resources.

“Moving forward in 2019 and in coordination with DBM (Department of Budget and Management), NEDA aims to tag the budgetary items and identify which of the 17 goals they contribute to,” the report read.

The SDG, which was adopted by United Nations member states in 2015, identified 17 goals intended to ultimately end poverty and other deprivation. Among its goals are to end poverty and hunger, improve health and well-being, and provide quality education.

NEDA also disclosed plans to create a Subcommittee on SDGs under the Development Budget Coordination Committee, which the CoA supported.

The Commission also proposed that NEDA, the Department of Finance and other stakeholders pursue a long-term financing scheme for disaster risk reduction and recovery and climate change adaptation measures. — Charmaine A. Tadalan