THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the current administration will focus its remaining one-and-a-half years on pursuing critical reforms that will make the Philippine economy more business-friendly and climate-resilient.
In a press briefing on Friday, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said there is need to further reduce the cost of doing business in the country.
Balisacan, who is also the NEDA director general, noted that business prospects this year are somehow conservative despite the optimism from both domestic and foreign businesses.
“To address this and ensure a stable business environment, there is a pressing need to address infrastructure bottlenecks, port congestion and power woes,” he said.
Balisacan’s comments came a day after budget balance figures for 2014 showed that the primary budget surplus was about three times larger than anticipated, indicating significant underspending by the government.
Balisacan also stressed the need to strengthen support for the passage of anti-trust or competition law to improve the country’s business climate and competitiveness.
The passage of the law will encourage firms to innovate and improve the quality of goods and services that they provide, he said.
In addition, the NEDA chief underscored the need to ensure that there is a strengthened and reliable social protection for Filipinos.
He said social protection would cushion the impact of changes brought about by various reforms being implemented.
“This also facilitates faster recovery among victims of disasters and calamities,” he added.
Along with this, Balisacan pointed out that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management law should be revisited to improve coordination and institutional
arrangements in terms of disaster response management in the country.
Lastly, the government must invest more in prevention and mitigation to build better and more resilient communities, he said.
“With only one and a half years remaining, the government is working double time in delivering the commitments of the current administration. However, let us remind ourselves that the task is not the government’s alone and that work should not end with the end of an administration,” he concluded.