(DAVAO CITY, August 31) The Regional Development Council (XI), led by Acting Chairperson and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Regional Office XI Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim, conducted the first Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fiesta in Davao Region on August 31, 2022, via Zoom and Facebook Live.

Guided by the theme, “Local Actions, Global Impact”, the event underscored the importance of the SDGs localization. As such, it employed a blend of knowledge sharing sessions, showcases and contests to enhance Davaoeños’ engagement and appreciation of the SDGs.

In her Message of Support, Vice President Sara Z. Duterte said that “the initiative of the National Economic & Development Authority Region XI to stage the Sustainable Development Goals Fiesta is laudable as it brings public attention to the gains of the government’s efforts to bring about sustainable development across Southern Mindanao”.

NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan also gave his Message of Support for the SDG Fiesta, stating that “this event could not have come at a more opportune time as we mainstream the SDGs not only into government plans and programs, but into the Filipino’s everyday lives. As early mid 2020, NEDA has shown how to use the Agenda 2030 as a blueprint for our development”.

Usec. Carlos Bernardo Abad Santos discussed the topic of “Mainstreaming of the SDGs in the Philippine Development Plan”. The Undersecretary emphasized the Whole-of-Nation approach on SDG Implementation and the integration of the SDGs in the formulation of the PDP 2023-2028.

The second session was handled by Mr. Edwine Carrie, Deputy Resident Representative to the Philippines of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Mr. Carrie spoke about the global best practices on the SDGs, and opportunities for replication in the Philippines.

Chief Statistical Specialist Bernadette Balamban of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) discussed the monitoring, evaluation, and importance of data in achieving the Philippines’ commitments on the SDGs, specifically highlighting the PSA’s SDG Watch.

Aside from the knowledge sharing sessions, winners of the SDG Photojournalism Contest and SDG Champion were also awarded.

Of the 47 photojournalism entries, Ms. Dorothy Mae B. Samson, Ms. Princess Jaikah Mangaron, and Mr. Ronel Renz B. Alvarez, got the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes, respectively.

The SDG Champion Award was given to LGUs/offices/organizations who have exhibited exemplary implementation and best practices towards the realization of the Filipinos’ collective commitments to the SDGs. Of the 44 entries, this prestigious award was bagged by the Province of Davao del Norte (LGU Category), Davao del Norte State College (Academe Category), and Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Mines and Geosciences Bureau (NGA Category).

An SDG Quiz Bee was also conducted to increase the knowledge and boost the consciousness of the event participants on the SDGs. This was participated by 21 Senior High Schools from Davao Region. Ateneo de Davao University Senior – High School was hailed as champion, followed by the Philippine Women’s College of Davao (2nd place) and the Philippine Science High School – Southern Mindanao Campus (3rd place).

The event was attended via Zoom by over 280 participants from Davao Region’s various development sectors/stakeholders such as the RDC XI-member agencies & offices, GOCCs, academe partners and schools, and Local Government Units. –Katrina M. Sanchez, NEDA XI