MANILA, Philippines – More than two months after the United Nations launched the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the House Special Committee on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has identified legislative priorities for the next Congress to ensure these goals would be achieved by 2030.
On Monday, November 23, committee member Masbate 2nd District Representative Elisa Kho presented to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr their proposed legislative agenda, urging the 17th Congress to prioritize measures that will seek to address the concerns laid out by the SDGs. (READ: Sustainable goals: From the MDGs to the SDGs)
Among the bills in the list are:
The committee noted that the bills included in the agenda have been pending in the committee level but failed to be enacted into law due to "time constraints."
Mismatch between Congress and Malacañang
Committee chairperson Representative Teodorico Haresco also noted that MDG-related measures such as the Reproductive Health Law "took a very long time to pass."
"It was a case of the executive department perhaps not getting enough support from Congress or some policy proposals in Congress did not converge with the strategies of the executive branch."
Haresco added, "Legislators who were invited to pertinent international conferences attended as mere 'observers,' and not as part of the official Philippine delegation."
Speaker won't lose hope
Also speaking during the presentation, Belmonte acknowledged the importance of the SDG-related priority list.
"What we need is a responsive, appropriate and sensible legislative agenda that will represent a program of action allowing us to achieve not merely sustainable or inclusive growth but sustainable and inclusive growth." (READ: Evaluation: Key to achieving Sustainable Development Goals)
Belmonte also said he is not losing hope that the bills would be passed during the current administration.
"Many of the proposed measures identified in the Proposed Sustainable Development Goals Legislative Agenda are the same priority measures that we are working on in this 16th Congress," Belmonte said.
"I am not about to give up on the passage of these measures." – Rappler.com