President's Message
Atty. Benedicta Du-Baladad Message from the President:

Benedicta Du-Baladad


To FINEX members and friends,

PRESIDENT’S REPORT
November 2017 Issue

We are now on the final stretch of 2017. This year has been one of the busiest and exciting for both FINEX and the country.

Earlier this month, our country was once again placed in the limelight as we hosted this year’s ASEAN Summit. The summit provided us to showcase what our country can share to the world and the creativity of the Filipino people. Indeed, the recent hosting of the ASEAN summit placed our country

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The SDG and poverty
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Bob OrtizBy Bob Ortiz

BUSINESS MIRROR (FINEX Free Enterprise)
March 29, 2017

Social inclusion

Finex Free Enterprise is a rotating column of members of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines appearing every Wednesday & Friday in BusinessMirror, banking & finance Section.

I would like to begin this article with a quote from Irene Kahn, director general of the International Development Law Organization, and she says, “You cannot fight poverty and cannot promote sustainable development without the rule of law.”

In 2015 the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that established a set of global priorities how the world will eradicate poverty by 2030. In the Preamble of the UN document, entitled “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, it recognizes that “eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development”.

The SDGs are the logical next step to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that started a 15-year journey in 1990. The MDGs set eight goals. Unfortunately, after 15 years, only four of the targets have been fully achieved, the rest in various stages of being realized. Good governance and anticorruption were not included in the list. Fortunately, the SDG included this, a realization that the eradication of poverty cannot be attained without fighting a relentless battle against all forms of corruption in the public sector and in all its echelons.

I take exception to SDG 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. In particular, 16.5: Substantially reduce corruption and bribery in all its forms. For the first time, the leaders in the UN have finally recognized the importance of fighting corruption in eradicating poverty.

In the many years of research and active participation of Transparency International in fighting corruption in many countries, they have established the direct link between corruption and poverty. They have seen that in countries where bribery is a common practice, progress in achieving the MDGs has been slower. Studies also show that in countries where more than 60 percent of the population paid a bribe in the past year, 38 percent of the population continue to live in poverty in contrast to only 8 percent in those where less than 30 percent paid a bribe. The same correlation can be seen in children not living past the age of 5. For every thousand children, 87 live past five years in countries where less than 30 percent paid a bribe in contrast to only 14 in countries where more than 60 percent paid. The same is seen in children not completing school beyond the elementary level. Only 9 percent complete their schooling in countries where corruption is prevalent, versus 50 percent in countries where less than 30 percent paid a bribe. The statistics go on and on. Also whenever corruption is high, poverty and conflict go hand in hand. We see it in Mindanao, Samar, Basilan and many provinces where poverty and conflict are widespread.

In 2016 the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index ranked the Philippines 101st from 95th in 2015 (first as least corrupt) among the 176 countries and territories surveyed with a score of 35. Of the 10 Asean members, we placed sixth tied with Thailand (35), Vietnam (33), Lao PDR (25), Myanmar (28) and Cambodia (21) worse than us. The least perceived to be corrupt was Denmark with a score of 90.

President Duterte once said “Erosion of faith and trust in government—that is the real problem that confronts us”. My take is corruption has caused this erosion of faith in our government. Many presidents before him have manifested the same goals, yet, none that I can remember has ever been successful. The goal to eradicate corruption continues to be elusive despite well-meaning initiatives as can be seen in the constant news in various agencies of the government.

I am not sure whether of some of his programs are within the SDG framework but I would like to think that our political leaders are aligned with it. I see the SDGs, if successfully attained, will make the country a better place for our children.

The SDGs laid down the foundations to eradicate poverty and, clearly, the fight against corruption continues to be among the priorities of the administration. I look forward with enthusiasm to seeing corruption in the government totally eradicated by putting structures and processes in place that will sustain the programs.

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https://businessmirror.com.ph/the-sdg-and-poverty-2/

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