Senate approves creation of SDG panel
MANILA -- The Senate on Tuesday adopted a resolution creating a new standing committee that would oversee the countrys progress in achieving its commitments to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the year 2030.
The upper chamber unanimously adopted Philippine Senate Resolution (PSR) 122 creating the Com
mittee on SDGs, Innovations, and Futures Thinking, while merging two other panels in line with the objective of streamlining the number of standing committees of the Senate. The new committee would tackle all matters relating to the SDGs and the assessment of the country’s performance in attaining said goals through policies, strategies, and actions for the development of desirable futures by using a multi-disciplinary approach in illuminating possibilities, outlining policy choices and assessing alternatives. The SDGs seek to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. Senator Pia Cayetano said the formation of the new panel would help ensure that the Senate shall be “cognizant and conscious” of the 17 SDGs agreed upon by member-countries of the UN, including the Philippines. “It would be the responsibility of the committee to at least make sure that the body knows that there are such goals that need to be achieved by way of prioritizing,” the senator said. “I believe that the biggest contribution of the [SDGs] committee would be on [tackling] overlapping goals… Many times, a committee is left within the confines of a bill pending before it... That’s why the SDGs committee is secondarily referred to ensure that we take a bigger picture,” she added. Cayetano also noted that the new committee would oblige the Senate to allot the needed time and resources in addressing issues that can generally affect the next generation of Filipinos. “That is something that we tend to neglect precisely because, by human nature and survival, we tend to focus on the problems on hand. The objective here is to be planning for the future, to think out of the box,” she said. Aside from creating the new committee, PSR 122 merged standing committees of the Senate --the Committee on Agriculture and Food with the Committee on Agrarian Reform; the Committee on National Defense and Security with the Committee on Peace, Unification, and Reconciliation; and the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources with the Committee on Climate Change. The reorganization reduced the number of standing committees of the Senate from 41 to 39. (PNA)