Legarda: Align recovery plans and policies to SDGs to Build Back Better

December 23, 2020

MANILA, 23 December 2020 —Deputy Speaker and Antique Representative Loren Legarda called on fellow leaders and policymakers to align the country’s post-COVID-19 recovery plans to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), citing a report on “Building Back Better: A Sustainable, Resilient Recovery After COVID-19” released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“While the country is focused on looking efficient ways to put a stop on the still rising COVID-19 cases and providing aid to our fellow Filipinos who were severely affected by the disease, building back better should be the country’s way forward to veer away its people from other equally threatening challenge that is climate change,” Legarda said.

Legarda underscored the recommendation that “for the economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis to be durable and resilient, a return to business as usual and environmentally destructive investment patterns and activities must be avoided.”

The OECD report identified key dimensions to assess whether recovery packages can “build back better,” including their alignment with long-term emission reduction goals, factoring in resilience to climate impacts, slowing biodiversity loss, and increasing circularity of supply chains. The report also stressed that decision-makers should focus on well-being and inclusiveness.

“In practice, well-designed recovery policies can cover several of these dimensions at once, such as catalyzing the shift towards accessibility-based mobility systems and investing in low-carbon and decentralized electricity systems,” Legarda said.

Legarda highlighted that the SDGs, as a framework adopted by all UN member states, should aid policymakers and local leaders in balancing social goals, such as public health protection and inequality reduction, and economic goals, such as the promotion of decent work for all and poverty alleviation.

“In these challenging times that the government is compelled to do more, all leaders must undertake a more people-centered approach to decision making with policies that highlight the SDGs, and are implemented through an inclusive budget benefitting more vulnerable sectors, to ensure that no one is left behind,” Legarda concluded. ###