The Special Regional Committee on the Sustainable Development Goals (SRC-SDGs) in the Bicol Region conducted a refresher session on the SDGs and the Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) for 54 provincial and city planning and development officers, statisticians, SDG focal persons, and the NEDA Region 5 staff. Held on February 22, 2022 via Zoom platform, the activity aimed to (a) promote a common understanding of the SDGs, targets and indicators, and their interrelationships, and (b) emphasize the usefulness of the CBMS in culling out local level indicators to track the SDGs.

In her opening message, NEDA Regional Director and SRC-SDGs Chairperson Agnes Tolentino cited the importance of aligning local development plans to higher level plans and goals by capacitating local government units (LGUs) who are at the frontline of development efforts. Ms. Aleine Leilanie Oro of the Sub-Committee on the SDGs Secretariat from NEDA Central Office underscored that the SDGs are essentially the mandates of the LGUs. Ms. Bernadette Balamban of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Central Office showed how the SDGs are being monitored and tracked. Mr. Danilo Lucena of PSA Region 5 presented the salient features of Republic Act 11315 or the CBMS Act, focusing on the target rollout during the year.

Two LGUs shared best practices in implementing the CBMS. The Municipality of Irosin in Sorsogon and the Municipality of Goa in Camarines Sur showed how the CBMS generated statistics for SDG indicators helped in prioritizing areas for intervention. They shared how they encouraged their constituents to participate in the household survey, and how they plan to institutionalize the CBMS undertaking.

In her closing message, NEDA OIC-Assistant Regional Director Jasmin Zantua emphasized that the refresher session is the first of a series of orientations and training programs for LGUs to strengthen the localization of the SDGs. Reminding the participants that 2030 is only eight years away, she emphasized the important role of the LGUs in tracking the progress of the SDGs at the local level and ensuring that not one of their constituents is left behind.

Ms. Aleine Leilanie Oro of the SC- SDG secretariat of NEDA Central Office is the resource person on National SDG Targets and Initiatives.
Mayor Marcel Pan of the LGU of Goa sharing the best practices on CBMS in his municipality.
Mr. Danilo Lucena of PSA Region 5 presents the topic on Community-Based Monitoring System.

Engr. Joel R. Lustina/NEDA5