With only five years left until the 2015 deadline to achieve the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), the scientific community in the country puts social conerns on center stage as it holds the 32nd Annual Scientific Meeting with the theme "MDGs and beyond: Are we making progress?" on 14-15 July 2010, Manila Hotel, One Rizal Park, Roxas Blvd., Manila.
With Dr. Emil Q. Javier at the helm, the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) organized the scientific meeting to highlight the roles of scientists, researchers, professionals, policy makers, and students in the achievement of the MDGs which the Philippines is bound to adhere to as part of the United Nations.
The MDGs represent human needs and basic rights that every individual around the world should be able to enjoy-freedom from extreme poverty and hunger; quality education, productive and decent employment, good health and shelter; the right of women to give birth without risking their lives; and a world where environmental sustainability is a priority, and women and men live in equality.
As the leading forum for the presentation of new findings, researches, and scientific information, leaders and experts from the different government, academic, and private institutions gathered in the scientific meeting to focus the discussions on the assessment and monitoring of the progress toward the achievements of the MDG.
The paper presentations in the plenary sessions included "Achieving Universal Education in 2015: An Impossible Dream? (A Synthesis of the NAST Social Science RTD and other MDG-related Documents)" which highlighted the erosion of the Philippine education advantage but presented hope in the country's getting close to or even meeting the MDG targets by 2015.
The paper, "MDGs and beyond are we making progress?" by Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan, UP College of Medicine presented the challenges and roles of the different sectors in the achievement of MDGs as well as the study on the regions and provinces least likely to achieve the MDGs.
Raul V. Fabella of the UP School of Economics meanwhile presented the paper titled, "MDGs, economic growth, and governance" which gave observations on global poverty across space and time, the decomposition of poverty reduction in terms of growth vs. equity, cross-country evidence on poverty incidence and infant mortality, and social protection as a means of good governance.
Moreover, the paper titled "Population growth and its implications on the realization of MDGs" by Nimfa B. Ogena of the Population Institute, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy, UP Diliman stressed that the Philippine population will continue to grow through the middle of the 21st century and identified its implications in the MDGs. Other paper presentations in the plenary sessions tackled a specific MDG.
The two-day scientific meeting culminated in the formulation of policy recommendations on appropriate interventions for the Philippine government and the private sector to hasten or improve the achievement of the goals for legislative and executive actions and for consideration of other concerned agencies and institutions.
The resolution was packaged into a document titled, "Resolutions on the imperatives to heighten the progress of the Philippines in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)". The document, along with the papers presented in the plenary sessions, are available for download through the NAST website at www.nast.ph.
The 2010 Outstanding Young Scientists of the country and the scientific posters session were also held on the sidelines of the scientific meeting. The Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) likewise provided sponsorship for the event.