THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board approved the Duterte administration’s Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022, the first medium-term plan anchored on a national long-term vision, or AmBisyon Natin 2040.
The PDP was approved late Monday during the third NEDA Board meeting under the Duterte administration at Malacañan Palace.
The plan calls for a strong gross domestic product (GDP) expanding by 7 percent to 8 percent in the medium-term. Growth is expected to be more inclusive, where the overall poverty rate is targeted to decline from 21.6 percent to 14 percent, and poverty incidence in rural areas to decrease from 30 percent in 2015 to 20 percent in 2022.
The government identified its target of reducing the unemployment rate from the current 5.5 percent to 3 to 5 percent by 2022. Included among the targets are trust in government and society, more resilient individuals and communities, and greater drive for innovation.
“We want the Philippines to be an upper-middle income country by 2022. With the right policies and with mutual trust between government and the citizenry, this is very possible,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia was quoted as saying during his presentation at the NEDA Board meeting.
The plan contains seven main parts, which include an overview of the economy, development challenges that lie ahead and development strategies thoroughly articulated through chapters on Enhancing the Social Fabric, Inequality-Reducing Transformation, Increasing Growth Potential, Enabling and Supportive Economic Environment, and Foundations for Inclusive and Sustainable Development.
“Opportunities in agriculture will be expanded. We will increase our presence in the global market, and we will streamline bureaucratic processes for both local and foreign businesses,” NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon was also quoted as saying.
Also under this pillar, “we will pursue strategies such as achieving quality and accessible basic education for all, enhancing disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) mechanisms, and adopting universal social protection,” Edillon added.
“Patuloy na Pag-unlad” concentrates on increasing potential growth through sustaining and accelerating economic growth, “this will be done by maximizing the demographic dividend and vigorously advancing science, technology and innovation,” she said.
Strategies under this pillar will ensure maintaining macroeconomic and financial stability, and observing fiscal prudence while the tax system is being reformed into a much simpler, fair and equitable one.
According to NEDA, “a strategic trade policy will also be implemented alongside measures to promote competition and establish a level playing field.”
To set the direction for future growth, the PDP 2017-2022 espouses a National Spatial Strategy (NSS), recognizing that population, geography and cities are engines of growth, it said.
The NSS was adopted to identify specific strategies and policies in order to decongest Metro Manila, connect rural areas to key growth areas, and to improve linkages between settlements for higher resilience against natural disasters.
The plan gives special attention to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their families. It identifies strategies and policies that will work to protect the rights of overseas Filipinos, improve their quality of life and integrate them into the country’s development.
AmBisyon Natin 2040, on which the PDP was anchored, represents the collective vision and aspirations of Filipinos for themselves and for the country. The PDP also takes off from the administration’s 10 point Socioeconomic Agenda and is informed by inputs from the cross-section of stakeholders and the general public.
“By the end of 2022, Filipinos will be closer to achieving their long-term aspirations. Through this PDP, the current administration will lay a solid foundation for inclusive growth, a high-trust society, and a globally-competitive knowledge economy by grounding its development thrusts on Malasakit, Pagbabago and Patuloy na Pag-unlad,” Pernia said.
NEDA is drafting an executive order that mandates all government agencies to align respective programs, projects and activities with the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022.