Senator Pia S. Cayetano is urging the country’s top economic planning agency to come up with specific budgetary targets anchored on helping the government achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Chair of the Senate Committee on SDGs, Innovation, and Futures Thinking, Cayetano led the panel’s hearing on Thursday (July 16) to discuss the future of transportation for the new normal and beyond.
The senator has been actively pushing for sustainable transportation, including the integration of mass transport systems with infrastructure that support active modes of mobility, including more walkways and bike lanes.
During the hearing, Cayetano urged the National Economic and Development Academy (NEDA) to propose a budget strategy aimed at fulfilling the country’s growth targets under the United Nations’ SDGs and the country’s own AmBisyon Natin 2040.
“Given that NEDA is the agency tasked to oversee these goals, it would be very relevant for this committee if you can really put targets in terms of budgeting to promote sustainability,” she said.
The senator said realigning our budget to incentivize sustainable activities would allow the government to maximize its resources in a way that the country would “always move in the direction of sustainability.”
“If there will be fewer counterproductive activities, then we might be able to spend more for sustainable ones. For instance, if we can reduce expenses in addressing the detrimental effects of pollution on our people’s health, then more resources could be used to build (green) infrastructure.”
Cayetano also expressed her willingness to hold dialogues and work with different agencies and stakeholders to convince more decision-makers to support funding for the SDGs.
“These are discussions we need to have about budgeting for the SDGs [and] creating the right environment to promote investments that are sustainable in nature,” the senator concluded. #