CLAIRE DENNIS S. MAPA, Ph.D.
Undersecretary
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General

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High Level Side Event on Multidimensional Poverty Indices: An SDG Indicator, an Official Statistic, and a Policy Tool | 52nd Session of the UN Statistical Commission

26 February 2021

MESSAGE

Dennis S. Mapa, Ph.D.
Undersecretary
National Statistician and Civil Registrar General

High Level Side Event on Multidimensional Poverty Indices: An
SDG Indicator, an Official Statistic, and a Policy Tool | 52nd
Session of the UN Statistical Commission
25 February 2021

 

Good morning/afternoon/evening to everyone!

The Philippines commends the organizers of this side event on Multidimensional Poverty Indices at the 52nd Session of the UN Statistical Commission to highlight and discuss the global efforts towards the development of an innovative poverty measurement based on national context; a very timely discussion, as the COVID-19 pandemic made each one of us more vulnerable or deprived of certain aspects.

The country recognizes that poverty is multidimensional. Aside from income, individuals or families may be deprived of education, health, living standards, and employment, which are not captured by income poverty alone. Such are the basic and essential amenities to life, as embodied in the Social Reform and Poverty Alleviation Act of the Philippines. This, in 2018, the Philippines joined the global initiative to develop a Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), an index envisioned to complement the country’s official income-based poverty statistics. On the same year, the first estimates for 2016 and 2017 MPI were released which was based on the initial MPI methodology developed with the assistance and guidance of the World Bank and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI).

The Philippines, through the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), released the first set of MPI estimates for 2016 and 2017; the purpose of which is to solicit feedback and comments from stakeholders of poverty as inputs to the development of an official MPI methodology.  Currently, we are refining the MPI methodology to include other relevant indicators, taking also into consideration the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The efforts take advantage of the expertise of the members of the Technical Committee on Poverty Statistics to ensure the methodology is vetted and rigorously crafted. This will enable creation of appropriate poverty-related policies and programs, in line with the theme of the 2021 UNSC: Better Data, Better Lives.

Specifically, the MPI will provide relevant information to our policymakers and programs implementers that will lead to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target 1.2 - that is, to reduce by half the proportion of women, men, and children living in poverty in all its dimensions, according to national definitions, by 2030.

Recent developments in the country pave the way towards higher granularity of data to support the global SDG indicator framework’s encompassing principle of data disaggregation during the remaining decade of action for the SDGs. The approval of the Community-Based Monitoring System (CBMS) Act in 2019 will cater to the data support for the MPI,  along with other SDG indictors, at lower levels of disaggregation so that no one will be left behind. The CBMS, which is targeted to have its full implementation in 2022, entails a census of households undertaken by the local government units (LGUs) with the participation of the community using an accelerated poverty profiling system in the data collection, processing, mapping, and analysis of data.

Thank you for the opportunity to share Philippines’ efforts on the MPI. We look forward to learning from the presentations of country experiences in the implementation of the MPI.

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