MANILA – The Philippines remains committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday.

In his pre-recorded speech at the High-Level Debate of the 75th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Duterte assured that the Philippine government will continue to address poverty, hunger, and good-health, among others.

“Despite this downward pressure on growth, the Philippines remains committed to the Sustainable Development Goals,” Duterte said.

The SDGs were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

Duterte said the country was able to reduce the poverty rate to 16.6 percent; and a sustained economic growth rate of 6.4 percent between 2010 and 2019.

He noted that the Philippines was supposedly on track to becoming an upper-middle income country by the end of 2020 until the health crisis placed the economy in recession.

In August, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the country has officially entered into recession for the first time in almost 30 years with a 16.5-percent economic plunge in the second quarter due to lockdowns

Malacañang, however, expressed optimistic about recovery as the economy starts to reopen after months of coronavirus-linked lockdowns.

“We have hit rock bottom and the only way to go is up,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press conference last Sept. 10.

He urged public to unite in efforts to rebuild the economy while observing minimum health and safety standards. (PNA)

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