Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Philippine Development Plan midterm update aims to ensure sustainability and inclusiveness of the country’s economic growth, Balisacan says

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has updated the Philippine Development Plan: 2011-2016 (PDP) to ensure sustainability and inclusiveness of the country’s rapid economic growth, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said.

Balisacan presented during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Monday the updates on macroeconomic policy, financial sector, good governance and the rule of law, industry and services, agriculture and fisheries, infrastructure, environment and natural resources, social development, among others.

The Philippine Development Plan Midterm Update spells out the government’s roadmap for inclusive growth, Balisacan said.

“Overall, the ultimate goal of the updated Plan is inclusive growth. Accomplishments will be measured primarily in terms of economic growth, to an average of 7-8 percent until 2016, reduction in unemployment to 6.5-6.7 percent in 2016 and the incidence of income poverty to 18 to 20 percent,” Balisacan said.

“In addition, we are committing to quality of life targets: raise the quality of employment and overall quality of life. The former will be reflected as a reduction of underemployment to about 17 percent in 2016 and the latter, as a reduction of the incidence of multidimensional poverty incidence to 16-18 percent,” the Socioeconomic Planning Secretary said.

The PDP midterm update will highlight high and sustained economic growth; growth that generates mass employment; and growth that reduces poverty and facilitates the achievement of the millennium development goals.

“Multidimensional poverty incidence, unlike income poverty, looks at deprivation in various dimensions – health, education, access to water, sanitation, secure housing, etc. This indicator can then track the supposed outcomes of the different human development strategies, which impact on future income poverty.” he said.

“Accelerating job creation requires building up of capital. Investments must continually rise for the economy to continue to grow and this requires a stable and predictable market environment. Thus, we should maintain positive expectations of consumer and business sectors through macroeconomic stability, a strong financial system, and a healthy external sector,” Balisacan said.

Balisacan emphasized the need to raise productivity and sustain growth in the agriculture, industry, and services sectors.

“Reducing the cost of doing business in the country will continue to be a priority, consistent with the platform of good governance, and in order to encourage more investments. This requires addressing infrastructure bottlenecks, improving connectivity and increasing the availability of highly trainable and skilled labor,” he said.

The plan aims to substantially reduce poverty by improving the skill sets of the poorest families and undertake more aggressive employment facilitation for better job-skills match especially concerning the poor.

“We believe that the key is to directly address the constraints faced by the poor, set against a backdrop of rapid and sustained growth. These constraints operate in a highly diverse, fragmented and hazard prone environment,” he said.

“Some cities or provinces have been experiencing economic growth, but the poorest families are being left behind perhaps because the growing sectors do not require the goods or services that the poor can provide,” he said.

“For this reason, we will make use of the data from the National Household Targeting System which identifies the poor households in these provinces by name. We will begin with the growth sectors present in these provinces, then focus on providing auxiliary and ancillary services that could be provided by the poorest families in the province. Based on our growth experience, these sectors could be IT-Business Process Management, tourism, construction, manufacturing, and logistics,” he said.

The goverment acknowledges that the overall development of the country is ultimately a product of the dynamism of the private sector, Balisacan said.

“The role of government is to set the necessary policy and regulatory framework and provide public goods and services to catalyze private initiative and encourage efficiency improvements,” he said.

The Plan emphasizes the government’s facilitative role in promoting competition and making it easy for firms and entrepreneurs, regardless of size, to do business in the country.

“The updated Plan specifies indicators of efficiency and effectiveness to measure success. The real measure of efficiency is the extent to which private effort has been steered towards the direction laid out in the Plan; effectiveness is the extent to which the well-being of Filipinos has been improved,” he said.


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