About UNDP in the Philippines
School children holding up the Philippine flag as part of the celebration of the Global Stand Up against Poverty campaign spearheaded by the UN in the Philippines. (Photo: UNDP Philippines)
UNDP has been working to improving the lives of the Filipino people since 1965, and has been committed to helping the country achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as national development priorities as set out in the Philippine Development Plan.
The Standard Basic Assistance Agreement (SBAA), signed on 21 July 1977, provided an early framework for UNDPs work in the country as well as the ongoing legal basis for UNDPs operations in the Philippines.
UNDPs Country Programme (2012-2016), developed in partnership with and agreed by the Philippine Government, is designed around the pursuit of inclusive growth that reduces poverty, including the achievement of the MDGs, with a special focus on social development, good governance, peace and environment and natural resources. It is based on and supports the achievement of the national priorities as reflected in the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016.
The country programme contributes to the UNDAF outcomes on universal access to quality social services, with focus on the Millennium Development Goals, democratic governance, conflict prevention and peace building and women’s empowerment, and resilience to disasters and climate change.
UNDPs overall approach is to strengthen capacities of local governments and communities in democratic governance, poverty, disparity and vulnerability reduction, sustainable management of environment and natural resources, and climate change adaptation and disaster risk management, while ensuring that human rights and gender are integrated into local policies, processes, programmes and budgets. Complementary actions at the national and policy levels will be undertaken to contribute to a more conducive enabling environment for local interventions. To reflect the complex and multi-sectoral nature of the development challenges of the country, UNDP is pursuing convergence in its programme and developing cross-practice activities such as the Poverty-Environment Initiative, Security Sector Reform, Environmental Justice and Improved Local Governance for HIV Response.
Achieving the MDGs and Reducing Human Poverty
The 2010 Philippine MDGs Progress Report shows that despite improvements in gender equality, child mortality and malaria, the overall MDG situation is not encouraging. Further, growing poverty levels and disparities in urban and rural development are both troubling. In response, UNDP is focusing its assistance at local levels and towards empowering marginalized populations. Ten Provincial MDG Progress Reports, with information from UNDP-supported Community Based Monitoring System (CBMS), have provided valuable data and analysis to local governments, allowing them to address gaps in development while also engaging local populations.
Emphasizing inclusive development and participatory governance, UNDP successfully supported the inclusion of an ethnicity variable in the 2010 national census – for the first time ever – an important step in better addressing minority and indigenous groups. UNDP is also involving more stakeholders in the development process through innovative public-private partnerships, like one with Western Union, which will create a funding mechanism to tap the huge potential of remittances of overseas Filipinos for local and sustainable development. Read more
Fostering Democratic Governance
UNDP advocates for integrity in governance and promotes a human rights based approach (HRBA) to policy and planning. The HRBA Toolkit builds on UNDPs work with key government agencies on integrating HRBA into the 2011-2016 Philippine Development Plan. Linking justice and the environment, UNDP also assisted in codifying the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Justice that defends vulnerable sectors against unfair development and environmental aggressions. UNDP supported trainings for more than 600 justice sector personnel on these rules to ensure that cases are decided in a fair and timely manner.
Good governance requires citizens’ participation and engagement. The Anti-Red Tape Act Report Card and the Citizens Guide for Public Finance and Procurement Manual, both supported by UNDP, provide the public with the information necessary to monitor and encourage transparency in government processes, delivery of services, and infrastructure construction. To advocate for greater public participation, UNDP supports and organizes conferences like Re:Publiko. This week-long knowledge-sharing event offered 2,500 people, mostly youth sector, the opportunity to learn about the challenges to good governance, and encouraged them to hold leaders accountable, participate in public discourse, and be more engaged. Read more
Crisis Prevention and Recovery
UNDP works with the government and civil society partners in promoting an enabling policy environment for peace. UNDP strengthens national capacity to integrate conflict prevention and peace-building in development planning and has spearheaded the formulation of a peace-based monitoring and evaluation tool to assess sustainability of peace efforts. These activities are applied to critical peace issues such as security sector reform and the role of women in peace-building.
In Mindanao, UNDP’s support has evolved from emergency relief assistance following the Peace Agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro National Liberation Front in 1996 to capacity-building for former combatants and confidence-building among various sectors and faiths. As a pioneer in community-based peace building, UNDP has supported 278 Peace and Development Communities (PDCs) in transforming from conflict-affected areas to peaceful, resilient communities that promote the reintegration of former combatants, advance dialogue and resolution of conflicts, foster development through delivery of basic services, and support livelihoods. In the typhoon-affected Bicol region, UNDP has helped 60 communities recover from disasters by relocating them to safer areas and providing shelter, electricity, potable water connections, and livelihood options. Read more
Environment and Energy
Changing climate patterns have resulted in more powerful storms affecting larger portions of the country for longer periods of time. This highlights the need to for local government units (LGUs) across the nation to share knowledge and risk mitigation techniques. UNDP supported the passage of the Climate Change Act in 2009 that created the Climate Change Commission. UNDP was also an early supporter of the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 that provides for the institutionalization and implementation of risk assessment, awareness, preparedness, and early warning and recovery.
UNDP has spearheaded efforts at generating risk-profile assessments and data for use in preparedness planning. The Hazard Mapping and Assessment for Effective Community-Based Disaster Risk Management (READY) project has produced multi-hazard maps in the 27 most vulnerable eastern coastal provinces. Local governments and communities have begun to use these maps to help inform land use, risk management, and disaster response plans. The Climate Change Academy in Albay, launched in 2010, is an important institution that will serve as a knowledge repository for local governments and civil society to share and improve on their disaster management and climate change adaptation plans and experiences. Read more
The Resident Coordinator, a.i. (Terence Jones), who is the Executive Representative of the Secretary General, heads the UN Country Team in the Philippines and is also the Resident Representative of UNDP Philippines.
UNDP Philippines is managed by a Country Director (Titon Mitra) who is responsible for ensuring the effective day-to-day management of UNDP Country Office and assumes overall responsibility for the UNDP programmes and operations to ensure coherence and strategic direction of UNDP activities. The Country Director is supported by Operations Manager (Mohammad Rafi Tokhi) and Programme heads responsible for each of the programme areas – Democratic Governance (Emmanuel Buendia), Crisis Prevention and Recovery (Alma Evangelista), and Environment and Energy (Amelia Supetran). Other managers oversee administrative and support units including procurement and administration (Ethelind Capuno), human resources and finance (Jesus Capulong) and management support (Maria Luisa Jolongbayan). The Management Support Unit provides monitoring, reporting and evaluation as well as strategic planning, and resource mobilization support.
UNDP works in close collaboration with the Government of the Philippines through the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and other key Departments and Agencies. The implementation of UNDP programme activities are carried out by Implementing Partners as appropriate, including national and local Government partners and civil society actors.
The following is a list of Individual Consultants/Contractors and Service Contract holders who receive US$ 30,000 or more from UNDP Philippines over a 12 month period: