28th March 2022, the Philippines’ Voluntary Subnational Review (VSR)team, headed by LCP Executive Director Veronica Hitosis, participated in the 9th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development side event. The APFSD is an annual and inclusive intergovernmental forum and a regional platform that supports the 2030 Agenda. The side event was organized by the United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC), together with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) with the theme “Bridging the Gap: Experience of Subnational Government in Reporting and Monitoring SDGs Achievement.” The program had separate panel discussions on Voluntary Subnational Review (VSR) and Voluntary Local Review (VLR).
Executive Director Hitosis discussed the development of the first VSR report of the Philippines, which is also the first joint effort of the three local government associations (LGAs) for provinces, cities, and municipalities. The report will feature two SDG goals common to the three associations – SDG 4 on Quality Education and SDG 17 on Partnerships for the Goals. While there are common goals to feature in the report, LCP, LMP, and LPP will also tackle distinct goals for each association. For instance, apart from SDG 4 and 17, LCP will also feature city experiences on SDG 11, while LPP will feature good practices on SDG 3, and LMP will tackle SDG 9. Executive Director Hitosis also shared the challenges and opportunities in developing the VSR given the limitations brought about by the pandemic.
The event was moderated by Mr. Edgardo Bilsky, Research Director of UCLG, who briefly introduced the global VLR and VSR report development process. Also joining the panel with ED Hitosis is Mr. Anwar Hussain, CEO of the Associations for Development of Local Governments in Pakistan. Dr. Bernadia Irawati Tjaandradewi, Secretary-General of the UCLG ASPAC, and Mr. Hiranya Mukhopadhyay, Chief of Governance Thematic Group, Sustainable Development and Climate Change Department of ADB, welcomed the participants from different local government associations in the Asia Pacific. In his message, Mr. Mukhopadhyay highlighted that “effective subnational governments and localization of SDGs are crucial prerequisites for the successful recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and for returning to the path of achieving the SDGs. He also shared the initiative of ADB on SDG localization and the tools they are developing for monitoring its progress.