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PH renews pledge to help peers

March 23, 2019

The Philippine government has renewed its commitment to further collaborate with fellow developing countries for collective help and self-reliance.

National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) chief Ernesto Pernia made the vow during his recent speech at the Second High-Level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Chief Ernesto Pernia

Pernia led the Philippine delegation, composed of the Department of Foreign Affairs, NEDA, and the Philippine Statistics Authority to the conference held from May 20 to 22.

The event marked the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA), a blueprint that details approaches to development assistance, and emphasizes collective self-reliance among developing countries as a foundation for a new international economic order.

“We will continue to provide assistance to our friends in the Asean and the larger Asia Pacific region. Moving forward, we will also enhance engagements with Latin America and Africa as much as our resources allow,” Pernia said.

In September 1978, the Philippines was one of 138 countries to adopt the BAPA to promote and implement technical cooperation among developing countries.

“Four decades ago, our countries gathered here in Buenos Aires to affirm the value of mutual help and self-reliance. It was an outstanding triumph of solidarity over narrow self-interest in an environment then rife with ideological conflict. Today we look back to celebrate our successes even as we set a new direction for South-South cooperation,” said Pernia.

Pernia, who delivered the Philippine country statement, vowed that the Philippine government will share its knowledge and best practices in agriculture, science and technology, education, MSMEs, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and disaster risk reduction with other developing countries through the Technical Cooperation Council of the Philippines and other government agencies.

“It is abundantly clear that many are still left behind, even in countries that have successfully transitioned from low-income ranks. The impact of development can never be optimized if vast inequalities persist within and between states. This is especially true in the face of rapid and disruptive changes brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” he said.

Pernia said the Philippines will also use its resources wisely to sustain its high growth trajectory. He added the government will continue its efforts to help less developed countries.

“We rededicate ourselves to the principles of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action. Let us work together to build our human capital and institutional capabilities, and continue to share our knowledge, expertise, and technology. Let us also defend an open and rules-based global order that allows us to do all these from which we benefit,” said Pernia.

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