Pia welcomes new panel on Sustainable Dev’t Goals

Senator Pia S. Cayetano welcomed the formation of a new standing committee that would oversee the country’s progress in achieving its commitments to the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the year 2030. 

The Senate on Tuesday (September 3) adopted Philippine Senate Resolution (PSR) 122 creating the Committee on SDGs, Innovations, and Futures Thinking, while merging two other panels in line with the objective of streamlining the number of standing committees of the Senate.

The resolution was sponsored by Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and adopted unanimously by the senators.

Cayetano said the formation of the new panel would help ensure that the Institution shall be “cognizant and conscious” of the 17 SDGs agreed upon by member-countries of the UN, including the Philippines. The SDGs seek to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. 

“It would be the responsibility of the Committee to at least make sure that the body knows that there are such goals that need to be achieved by way of prioritizing,” the senator stressed.

“I believe that the biggest contribution of the [SDGs] Committee would be on [tackling] overlapping goals… Many times, a committee is left within the confines of a bill pending before it… That’s why the SDGs Committee is secondarily referred to ensure that we take a bigger picture,” she added. 

Furthermore, Cayetano pointed out that the new committee would oblige the Senate to allot the needed time and resources in addressing issues that can generally affect the next generation of Filipinos. Thus, the term “Futures Thinking.” 

“That is something that we tend to neglect precisely because by human nature and survival, we tend to focus on the problems on hand. The objective here is to be planning for the future, to think out of the box,” she noted. 

Aside from creating the new committee, PSR 122 merged several standing committees of the Senate, namely: the Committee on Agriculture and Food with the Committee on Agrarian Reform; the Committee on National Defense and Security with the Committee on Peace, Unification, and Reconciliation; and the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources with the Committee on Climate Change.

The reorganization reduced the number of standing committees of the Senate from 41 to 39, which Zubiri said had been the chamber’s average number of committees in the last four Congresses. #

Senator Pia Cayetano, Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, and Senate Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon (foreground) discuss the rationale for the creation of the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Innovations, and Futures Thinking during Tuesday’s session. (Sept.3)