A lawmaker has urged the House Committee on Poverty Alleviation to look into a United Nations report that ranks the Philippines as 117th among 187 countries in the world and determine why the country is still included in the list despite government claims of an improved economy.
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, who filed House Resolution 2010, said while the Philippines moved up one notch in the “Sustaining Human Progress, Reducing Vulnerability and Building Resilience” report, “it still ranked very low.”
In the said report, the Philippines is ranked among Egypt, Paraguay, Gabon, Bolivia, El Salvador, Uzbekistan, South Africa, Syria, and Iraq.
The country’s neighbors, Malaysia and Thailand, ranked 62nd and 89th respectively, placing them in the “high” human development bracket. The Philippines belonged to the medium bracket.
According to Rodriguez, the report also cited the Philippines as one of the countries where the connection between social exclusion and conflict can be illustrated. “It means that these are places where a significant part of the population become vulnerable due to conflict situations such as insurgencies, rebellions or separatist movements.”
“The report states that consumption is one of the drivers of Philippine economic expansion in terms of gross national product which slowed to 5.7 percent in 2014 compared to 6.3 and 7.7 percent in 2013,” Rodriguez added.
Rodriguez said the report pushes for wider access to basic social service like education, health care, water supply and sanitation and public safety, insurance, labor regulations, pension and welfare programs, employment, disaster risk reduction and responsive government institutions.
The report, Rodriguez said, highlights the need to promote the people’s choices and protect human development achievement. It takes the view that vulnerability threatens human development.
“Unless it is systematically addressed by changing policies and social norms, progress will be neither equitable nor sustainable,” Rodriguez said citing the report.
The UN Human Development Report is an annual report that measures income, education, and life expectancy.
It includes the human development index, which measures the average achievement in three basic dimensions of human development—a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living.