> back to statements
Statements
Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

Philippine Statement
By
Mr. MEYNARDO LB. MONTEALEGRE
Minister
Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

“A CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION: A TIME FOR REFLECTION”

on

Agenda 45: Commemoration of the 10th Anniversary
of the International Conference on Population and Development

59th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
14 October 2004, New York

Mr. President,

It is an honor for the Philippines to participate in the commemoration of the 10th year anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The Philippines associates itself with the statement of the distinguished representative of Qatar on behalf of the G-77 and China. For my delegation, today marks a time for celebration and a moment for reflection.

It is a time to celebrate the achievement of the goals set out by the ICPD and an opportunity to contemplate on how to address the lack or slow progress realizing the commitments on population and development goals over the last ten years.

This is also an excellent opportunity to assess our ICPD accomplishments at the national level, share our experiences in achieving them, and identify effective methods in advancing population goals, reproductive health, gender equity and women’s empowerment - all geared to hasten the process of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Mr. President,

The population policy of the Philippines underwent a paradigm shift from the context of demographic targeting to a recognition that population is part of the human development agenda. Embodied in a client-centered, integrated reproductive health approach, the Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP) has been incorporated since 1993 in the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan, focusing on the improvement of the quality of life of the Filipinos.

Over the years, the Philippines registered milestones in the implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action in terms of policy reforms, legislative directions, participation of the civil society and other sectors, as well as the use of innovative strategies in the dissemination of information on the government’s population and reproductive health goals. This implementation was facilitated by the strong support of both the executive and legislative branches of the government leading to major policy and program changes that address the needs of individuals and families.

On policy reform, the government's population policy under the PPMP is anchored on responsible parenthood, or the ability of the couples to decide freely on the timing and size of their families; respect for life or the protection of the life of the unborn; the proper birth spacing; and informed choice, where couples and individuals are provided with all the information on natural and artificial methods of family planning.

Mr. President,

Significant gains were also achieved in the legislative direction. These include the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004, the Anti-Rape Law passed in 1997, the creation of the Family Courts which have original jurisdiction over cases of domestic violence and other forms of abuse, and the Paternity Act of 1996, which encourages men to take responsibility for their sexual and reproductive behavior and participate equally with women in all areas of family and household responsibilities.

Other legislative measures passed were aimed at achieving the coverage and delivery of health services like the National Health Insurance Act and the Philippine AIDS Prevention and Control Act, strengthening the role of women, the youth, indigenous peoples, and the elderly in development (such as the Women in Development and Nation-Building Act, the Youth in Nation-Building Act, the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, and the Senior Citizens Act), and protecting the welfare of women, children and migrant workers and their families, such as the Anti-Discrimination Against Women Act, and the Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipino Act, among others.

Mr. President,

The past decade also witnessed the active participation of NGOs, private sector, and other sectors of civil society such as women, men, labor, youth, academe, religious sector, media, etc., in mobilizing support for population and reproductive health. They formally organized themselves into alliances towards a sustained and synchronized advocacy for policy reforms on population and reproductive health.

We likewise made strides in the area of information, education and communication of policies and programs geared to educate the people about the issues surrounding population and their reproductive health. The government has adopted both non-traditional and creative approaches such as theater presentations, concerts and literary and creative arts to disseminate and popularize the government’s efforts nationwide.

Moreover, the Philippine government has undertaken steps to: 1) institutionalize the Philippine Population Expenditures Account which is envisioned to serve as a monitoring and advocacy tool in encouraging greater allocation of resources for population and reproductive health; 2) address the issues related to service delivery through capacity-building for service providers and partnerships with local governments, NGOs and the private sector; and 3) encourage greater acceptance and practice of family planning methods through Family Planning Social Acceptance campaign.

Likewise, in support of population data and information management, the Commission on Population (POPCOM) of the Philippines, in coordination with the UNFPA, has developed and installed the Demographic and Socio-Economic Indicator System (DSEIS) to address the inadequacy of data on population and reproductive health.

Mr. President,

These are some of the landmark achievements and innovative approaches of the Philippines over the last decade on the ICPD implementation. With a population that stands at 76.5 million since 2002, and a growth rate of 2.3 percent, however, the Philippines remains confronted by socio-economic challenges that demand a holistic and comprehensive approach. Cognizant of our commitments to the ICPD goals, the Philippines continues to pursue further efforts to achieve a favorable balance between population distribution and economic activities.

Mr. President,

On a final note, the Philippines believes that the success in the implementation of ICPD Program of Action depends on the efforts of all sectors in individual countries. However, international cooperation will make a long way especially in countries that lack adequate resources. In this respect, we call on our developed partners who have not done so, to do their share in fulfilling their commitments to allocate 0.7 percent of their GNP for official development assistance. We also urge them to renew their commitments in the ICPD and fulfill the agreed targets for financial assistance.

Lastly, it is imperative for the General Assembly to look at the phenomenon of migration in line with the ICPD goals. There is a need for closer international action among the various countries involved, to fully manage the migration phenomenon in an era of increasing globalization.

I thank you, Mr. President.










Philippine Center Building | 556 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10036 | (Between 45th and 46th)
Tel:(212)764-1300 | Fax:(212)840-8602 | E-mail: misunphil@aol.com