United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Philippines

Statement delivered before the Inter-governmental
negotiations on the post2015 SDG, 23-27 March, UN
Headquarters, NYC
Thank you co-facilitator.
At the outset, let me say that the Philippines is aligned with the
statement made by the Distinguished Ambassador from South
Africa on behalf of the G77 and China. I am making these
comments on my national capacity.
We would like to commend the UN Statistical Commission and the
group of chief and national statisticians for accomplishing so much
in so little time. Relatedly, we support their request for additional
time to finalize the list of indicators. Perhaps, this extra time can be
devoted to more dialogues between statisticians and subject
experts like environmental scientists and economists, who may help
decide on the matters of suitability and relevance of the indicator.
We also support the statements made by the other representatives
specifying other characteristics that the indicators should meet.
But, in the interest of parsimony, perhaps it`s just a matter of clearly
defining what feasibility, suitability and relevance mean.
On relevance, the indicator should exhibit internal consistency in
that it has a monotonic relationship with the outcome it is supposed
to measure. For instance, target 17.13 talks about enhancing
global macroeconomic stability, and one of the indicators suggested
is the ratio of the CA surplus and deficit to the GDP. Note, of
course, that a sustained trend of either a CA deficit or CA surplus
ratio does not imply macroeconomic stability, let alone global
macroeconomic stability.
On suitability, system coherence must be maintained and for this,
we need to think of the implication of the indicator within the entire
post2015 SDG indicator system. Target 17.17 is about encouraging
public, public-private and civil society partnerships. On the other
hand, the indicators for target 17.1 on strengthening domestic
resource mobilization are the tax effort and the total tax per capita.
The implications of these two sets of indicators run counter to each
other.
Still on suitability, related to the previous is the subcriterion system
integrity. Care must be taken that the indicator does not project an
impression that runs contrary to the intent of the post 2015 SDG.
For instance, Indicator 9.1.1 which is the % share in total
employment of people in business infrastructure, identified to be
those in consultancy, accounting, IT and other business services
could be taken to mean that this group of individuals is better than
the rest since a higher % would mean `progress.`
On feasibility, a major subcriterion should be that the indicator is
well-defined. At the very least, it should be defined the same way
by two people separated across time. After all, the indicator is
supposed to measure progress. Indicator 2.1.1 talks about the
`evolution of potentially trade restrictive and distortive measures in
agriculture.` The terms `evolution` and `potentially` can be defined
in many different ways. In fact, it is not yet an outcome but a
potential outcome.
Similar to the interventions of the other member states, we
emphasize the need for capacity building to strengthen statistical
agencies. The assistance need not be limited to funds to conduct
more surveys, after all these funds compete with funds necessary
to implement the SDGs themselves. Indicator 1.3.1 talks about
statistics disaggregated by sex and pertaining to certain groups:
children, unemployed, old age, pregnant women, etc. Getting these
statistics would require surveys that have these grouping as
sampling domain, each and every one. Another option is to come
up with small area estimates, employing bootstrap and other
techniques.
And for my last two points; we support the inclusion of a
multidimensional poverty index (MPI) which focuses more on
outcomes rather than incomes. After all, poverty is a state of being,
a state of being deprived of several basic needs.
Finally, I would like to say that we realize that this is very much a
work in progress and we commit to actively participate in this
process of refining and finalizing the post2015 SDG indicator
system.
Thank you.
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