THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the chances of achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have improved because of the laws passed this year.

“I think we have a better chance this time because as you know we’ve had number of laws passed that are really going to respond to the challenges not only with the PDP (Philippine Development Plan) and the AmBisyon Natin (the long-term development plan running to 2040) but also the challenges of the SDG 2030,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia told reporters at a briefing in Ortigas district Wednesday.

Mr. Pernia noted the passage of laws on the National ID, Ease of Doing Business, and Universal Health Care provide the government with new “tools” to achieve the SDG.

“Many of the laws attempted decades back… are finally coming to operation now. So I think… we have better tools and avenues to do better vis-a-vis the SDGs,” he said.

“We will do a little better, I think we will improve… because of the PDP, AmBisyon Natin and the SDG,” he added.

He said that the integration of the SDGs with the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 and the AmBisyon Natin 2040 which was both crafted in 2016 will further improve the possibility of achieving the SDG and that “they also seem to fit together quite well.”

At the briefing, Mr. Pernia reiterated that he remains positive that the Philippines will achieve upper middle-income economy status this year or next year.

“It’s still possible that we can achieve the upper middle-income status this year but I think it’s going to be surer next year,” he said. — Beatrice M. Laforga