The Philippines is on track in achieving the Millennium Development Goals particularly in education, health, women and children, President Benigno S. Aquino III told visiting Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia Quentin Bryce on Thursday.
The MDGs, which are goals set by the United Nations, are eight international development targets that all 192 UN member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015.
These goals are: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality rate; improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development.
In his speech after meeting with Bryce in Malacañang Thursday morning, President Aquino said his administration has made “significant progress” in achieving these goals.
“As part of our efforts to ensure that no Filipino is left behind, the Philippines is well on track in reducing the number of Filipinos who suffer from hunger and bringing down the mortality rate for infants and children under five-years-old and increasing the number of households who have access to safe water supply and sanitation facilities among others,” the President said.
“The government is intensifying efforts to accelerate progress in eradicating poverty, in providing universal primary education and improving maternal health,” he added.
He thanked the Australian government for generously providing technical and financial assistance which, he said, was key in aiding the country's progress to achieving these goals.
“I am proud to share the significant progress we have made in obtaining the 2015 Millennium Development Goal targets—progress that signifies our gratitude to the people and government of Australia who have been generously providing both technical and financial assistance to our key MDG-related projects and programs through the Australian Agency for International Aid or AusAID,” the President said.
He stressed that the Philippines is committed to further strengthening the ties between the two countries.
“For 66 years, the Philippines and Australia have enjoyed a dynamic and fruitful partnership. It is one of the oldest, strongest, and most enduring partnerships in the Asia Pacific region rooted upon a firm foundation of trust, positive engagement, and shared values and ideals,” the President stressed.
“We remain committed to this partnership and to further harnessing its strength towards the achievement of the goals that our peoples share with the rest of the community of nations,” he added.