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Millennium Development Goals

Philippines highlights

Without additional effort, not all MDGs will be met by 2015

MDGs attainment under a
business-as-usual scenario
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Graph: MDGs attainment under a business-as-usual scenario

Existing policies would make it possible for the Philippines to achieve some of its development goals but not all. The targets for increased access to water and sanitation and for maternal and child health would be within reach. However, projected per capita growth would fail to translate into the size of poverty reduction required to meet that target; higher and sustained economic growth that generates higher paying jobs has become a precondition to ending extreme poverty. Additional spending will also be required to achieve universal primary education.



Borrowing to increase MDG spending translates into debt sustainability problems

Public debt under alternative MDG-financing scenarios in 2015
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Graph: Public debt under alternative MDG-financing scenarios in 2015

Closing the gaps in achieving the MDGs would require a substantial increase in Government spending, particularly to enhance primary education service delivery, where the additional cost incurred would be 7% of GDP. Financing additional spending requirements through domestic or foreign borrowing would likely push the public debt to unsustainable levels. There would be more indebtedness with domestic borrowing which, by crowding out private spending, would demand additional Government spending to ensure that development goals remain within reach.



Tax revenues are an option for financing attainment of the MDGs

Tax revenue in the baseline and
tax financing scenarios, 1990-2015
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Graph: Tax revenue in the baseline and tax financing scenarios, 1990-2015

Raising tax revenues by 3-4% of GDP would allow the Government to finance the achievement of the development goals by 2015. The need to frontload spending so as to ensure timely enrolment of children to primary schools explains most of the required increase in revenues. The difficulties that the Philippines has experienced in recent years regarding liquidating fiscal imbalances, however, makes this option somewhat challenging.


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The book "Financing Human Development in Africa, Asia and the Middle East" is forthcoming in the fourthquarter of 2012.

The book's quantitative assessments, conclusions drawn, and policy recommendation are prepared based on the country studies of the project "Realizing the Millennium Development Goals through socially inclusive macroeconomic policies".

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