The Philippines has to make extra effort in meeting the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDG) due in 2015 especially in terms of dietary energy requirement, empowering women and reversing the spread of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
The country’s probability to meet six out of 20 MDG targets ranked low according to the Philippine Progress Report on the MDGs presented by National Economic and Development Authority consultant Dr. Celia Reyes to the House of Representatives’ Special Committee on MDG on Wednesday.
These targets are those that are relatively harder to achieve — 100 percent nutrition and dietary intake, lower elementary education cohort survival, lower HIV prevalence among population 15 to 24, more participation of women in national politics, reduced maternal mortality ratio and better access to reproductive health through contraception.
Reyes said that as of 2008, 66.9 percent of households per capita has intake below the 100 percent dietary energy requirement. It is far from the 37.1 percent goal in 2015 set by the UN.
In terms of education, the elementary education cohort survival rate only reached 73.7 percent out of the 100 percent goal. Reyes said that out of 100 students who enter grade 1, only 71 will finish elementary. Out of the 71 who graduate from elementary, only 69 will enroll in high school. Of the 69 who enroll in high school, only 51 will graduate.
“Cohort and completion rates have increased but are still low,” Reyes said.
The country is also failing in its goal to reverse the spread of HIV and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome because HIV/AIDS cases continue to rise at alarming rates.
According to a recent report of the Department of Health, one person gets AIDS every two hours. In May alone, there were 415 new HIV cases recorded.
While elementary enrolment rate among girls have increased, Reyes noted that women’s participation in national politics is only at 25 percent whereas the MDG target is 50 percent.
Maternal mortality rate also has no significant change. According to Reyes, there are 221 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, far from the MDG target of 52.
Contraceptive prevalence rate is also low, only reaching 48.9 percent instead of the 63 percent target.