2022 Philippine People’s Scorecard on the Global Goals

The covid-19 pandemic has increased poverty and inequality in the country and has laid bare the weaknesses of the public health and social protection systems, educational systems as well as provision of livelihoods and employment to Filipinos. This has led to catastrophic consequences for workers and their families, the majority of whom are in the informal sector and many of whom are women.

Yet, two years since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been no fundamental change in the government’s developmental strategy to address these systemic weaknesses and prioritize the care programs and services that our people need. Emerging from what seems to be the worst period of the Covid-19 pandemic, the country is slowly returning to some semblance of ‘normalcy’ (or what is also referred to as ‘the new normal’). It would seem that the dominant mindset of policymakers, especially those managing the economic levers, is that it is back to business as usual, where the private sector is seen as the main driver of development and with the government basically providing the ‘enabling policy environment.’ Here, the premise flows from the conventional notion that that the gains of GDP growth will ‘trickle down’ to benefit the poor and socially excluded groups. This premise, which has underpinned development policy across decades should have been long discredited, as the country, even during periods of relatively high growth, continued to be saddled with significant levels of poverty, thereby fueling inequality across various quality of life dimensions.

The urgent challenge therefore to the new administration is to promote the realization of our people’s economic, social and political rights—elusive goals thus far, with a view to ensuring their dignity and well-being as well as care for and protect our environment. Furthermore, citizens’ have a right to influence and shape public policies and programs, especially as these affect them, their families and communities and thereby actively engage in actions to claim their rights. It is within this perspective that this People’s Scorecard is undertaken.

In general, the availability of policy or legal framework had the highest mean score among the indicators, at 2.50. Understandably, support from national agencies and the issuance of national action plans, including SDG strategies which are also considered policies and frameworks, followed the ranking with mean scores of 1.88 and 1.74, respectively. We believe, however, that budget should be a distinct indicator and de-linked from frameworks, policies and programs. This is because there have been too many times where good and even progressive frameworks, plans, projects and activities (PPAs) are inadequately funded by the national budget and in some cases, not at all. The widespread phenomenon of ‘unfunded mandates’ which refers to laws that are not budgeted through public investments also speak to this reality. As such, it can be argued that many of the progressive laws and PPAs are generally good on paper, but are not substantially realized due to inadequate financing, among other things.

In the middle ground are the indicators on government actions, particularly on implementation at the national and local levels, with mean scores of 1.58 and 1.22, respectively.

Social Watch Philippines (SWP) with participation from representatives of: Global Call to Action Against Poverty – Philippines; Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement; Civil Society Network on Education Reforms (E-Net) Philippines; POST; Teachers Inc.; Caseca; Unang Hakbang Foundation; Center for Migrant Advocacy Philippines; Life Haven Center for Independent Living; Association of Education Researchers and Trainers, Inc. (ASSERT); Pagtinabangay Foundation; Health Justice Philippines; SWP-ABI Health Cluster;; Civil Society on the Convention on the Rights of a Child; Save the Children Philippines; Women’s Legal Bureau; Philippines; Aktibong Kilusan Tungo sa Iisang Bayan (AKTIB), and with the support from Action for Sustainable Development (A4SD), as grantee of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), and as represented by GCAP Global Foundation.

Read the Summary of the 2022 Philippine People’s Scorecard on the Global Goals here, and the Report of all the Goals here.