SWP questions budget cuts in the 2020 health budget in light of impending UHC implementation | SWP Press Release 4 Oct 2019
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2019
In light of the current news that PhP10B or more will be cut from health in the 2020 national budget, Social Watch Philippines (SWP) and its member organizations are seeking an explanation from the Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Health. The Universal Health Care (UHC) Act, a hallmark law that promotes equitable and inclusive health for all Filipinos, was recently passed into law and is slated to be implemented in 2020. SWP Co-Convenor Dr. Maria Victoria Raquiza asks, “The implementation of the UHC law means increased health services which therefore implies the need to increase the health budget. As such, why are we cutting the budget of health? In fact, should we not increase it for 2020?”
SWP demands full disclosure of 2020 budget amendments, asks for supplemental budget for key social programs | SWP PR 27 Sep 2019
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2019
Social Watch Philippines (SWP), a budget advocacy group, supports Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson’s position on the budget and calls for increased transparency and accountability in the national budget-making process. Further, it asks for full disclosure of the details of the amendments and final allocation of the 2020 budget bill before it is sent to the Senate.
“Indeed, we cannot accept pork of any form and a simplistic EQUAL distribution of what's there for the taking as different areas have different needs,” Jessica Reyes-Cantos, Co-Convenor of SWP said.
SocialWatch PH offers a civil society review of PH Agenda 2030 in UN High Level Political Forum| SWP Press Release 14 July 2019
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·SUNDAY, JULY 14, 2019
The Philippines will deliver its Voluntary National Review (VNR) tomorrow, 15 July 2019, at the UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF). The HLPF is held in New York, USA from Tuesday, 9 July 2019, to Thursday, 18 July 2019; including the three-day ministerial meeting of the forum from Tuesday, 16 July, to Thursday, 18 July 2019. The UN HLPF, with the theme “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality”, includes in-depth discussions on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In an event in 10 July 2019, Social Watch Philippines (SWP) led a discussion called, “Conversation on Tobacco Control Initiatives, Impact of 17th Congress Tobacco Tax Increase, and Universal Health Care-Implementing Rules and Regulations” where the SWP Spotlight Report for 2019 on the SDGs entitled “The PH SDG Agenda: Closing Gaps, Overcoming Policy Incoherence” and the Philippine VNR were discussed by SWP Co-Convenor Dr. Maria Victoria Raquiza and the National Economic and Development Authority Usec. Rosemarie G. Edillon, PhD respectively. Three years ago, SWP has also made its statement on SDGs, through its Spotlight Report, on overcoming poverty and achieving sustainable development.
Discussions on the SDGs are crucial to development not only in the Philippines but internationally through setting the international standard among different developed and developing nations. It gives direction and focus on which to prioritize for development. Relevant to the present UN HLPF and the Philippine VNR, , discussions on the SDGs from the 2019 Spotlight Report, SWP Co-Convenor Dr. Raquiza, and Usec. Edillon included the following points in the Agenda:
Let poor & marginalized groups influence policymaking for pro-poor, pro-equality policies| SWP Press Release 28 June 2019
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·THURSDAY, JUNE 27, 2019
Citizen's watchdog Social Watch Philippines Co-Convenor Dr. Maria Victoria Raquiza, in a series of lectures under the Executive Course for the New Members of the 18th Congress of the Philippines, tells neophyte legislators that studies show that when poor and socially excluded groups are able to influence public policymaking, the chances of crafting pro-poor, pro-equality policies and having better development outcomes are higher. This is the reason, she says, that citizens’ meaningful participation matter for reducing poverty and inequality, statistics for which remain alarmingly high, despite the country’s high growth rates. She further highlights that citizens’ collective and direct political action such as through dialogue, petition-signing and mass actions are vital to generating shifts in power and ensuring that politicians respond to social needs. Citing the 1987 Philippine Constitution, Dr. Raquiza emphasized the role of the State in “freeing the people from poverty” –which means not just poverty alleviation but poverty eradication, and that the Constitution recognizes the role of NGOs, community-based, or sectoral organizations in promoting the welfare of the nation.
Social Watch has made its statement on how the Philippines could end poverty and achieve sustainable development through its Spotlight Report three years ago. The report wanted to change everything—from a proposed vision of prosperity without growth, to changing the strategy and indicators.
Many good things are happening within society as a whole. But there is really need to engage government more not only to make a “whole government approach” but a “whole of society approach” to work towards bringing us closer to our dream of fairness in a fragile world.
The 2019 Philippine Spotlight Report on how we are faring on our commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is, as it has always been, a product of several consultations that were actively participated in by traditional and new participants in the civil society groups’ discourse on the then MDGs (Millennium Development Goals), now SDGs.
Towards Coherent Policies for Sustainable Development
Social Watch Philippines (SWP) turn over 200,000 signatures to Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito in support of the passage of the Universal Health Care bill and Tobacco Tax Increase bill on Thursday, September 20 during a Manila Youth Leader’s Assembly held at Polytechnic University of the Philippines Sta Mesa.