NEDA to fix high, but uneven growth

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The Philippine economy grew unevenly in the last six years and failed to reach the majority of the poor, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said .

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To correct such anomaly, NEDA is banking on its 25-year vision—Ambisyon Natin 2040—to do the job.

It will be translated into four medium-term development plans, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said during the Social Initiative’s Summit in Davao City on Wednesday.

In a presentation, Pernia said the economy expanded by a cumulative 43 percent from 2009 to 2015.

However, the incidence of poverty fell by only 2.3 percentage points from 28.6 percent in 2009 to 26.3 percent in 2015.

“Part of the explanation for this puzzle is the imbalance in the distribution of the benefits of this economic expansion, across regions as well as across sectors,” Pernia, who is also the NEDA director general noted.

Another reason is the significant increase in food prices, particularly rice, which upped the poverty line by almost 30 percent over the last three years.

The fast pace of population growth, with an additional 10 million Filipinos in just six years, also make poverty reduction more challenging.

“Clearly, economic growth was uneven. But the biggest criticism is that the benefits of economic growth have not been felt on the ground,” Pernia said.

NEDA’s response is the Ambisyon Natin 2040 survey to determine the aspirations of Filipinos so that developments plans can be formulated in such a way that help the people achieve their aspirations.

Held in January to February this year, covering 10,000 respondents in urban and rural areas, the survey showed that 70 percent of those polled want “a medium-sized home, enough earnings to support everyday needs, at least one car or vehicle, the capacity to provide their children college education, and going on local trips for vacation.

“Our intention is to translate the Vision into the next four medium-term Development Plans, while taking into account our international commitments like the Sustainable Development Goals,” the NEDA chief said.

Pernia said each of the plans must build on previous plans.

To reach the prosperity goal, the first Plan (2017-2022) could aim for reducing poverty and inequality in the first six years and eradicate extreme poverty by 2028, as well as expand the middle-class in the third Plan (2029-2034) and eradicate poverty by 2040.

“A higher growth trajectory can be attained beginning the second Plan (2023-2028) period, if we are able to provide the basis of a higher demographic dividend during the current administration,” Pernia noted.

The next five years will see the highest number of women of reproductive age. This means that the biggest population momentum could happen during this current Plan period.

“We need to significantly reduce fertility rate over the next five years, or else miss out on the demographic dividend altogether,” Pernia pointed out.

The first Plan could focus on expanding health care and implementing the Reproductive Health law for the country to nurse a healthy and resilient society.

The second Plan would reduce morbidity and the third Plan would promote a healthy lifestyle and encourage wealth build up and diversification.

For a smart and innovative society, the first Plan would continue education reforms, increase learning opportunities in the second Plan and improved the IPR framework in the third Plan.

The fourth Plan would encourage research and development and innovation, Pernia said.

To achieve a high trust society, the first Plan would focus on building trust in government, the second Plan on promoting harmony in diversity, the third Plan on cultivating national pride, and the fourth Plan on building pride in our national identity.

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1 Comment

  1. Sounds like the government agencies are starting to wake up and move. The plan as reported still seem to be a bit like motherhood statements and wishful, rather than practical, but can serve as guidance.

    Try to be more focused on an effective short, mid and long term objectives, then develop a thorough plan, timely and prompt implementation. Don’t fail – means be realistic, exert maximum and extra efforts, the results might be worth it.

    Try to find ways to solve immediate and main cause of sufferings today – extreme cost of basic necessities, food, medicine, water, electricity, transportation, education – you have to find ways to change the businessmen’s attitude and actions. Be strong and prompt on this.

    If the government can take over control, minus the corruption, over the basic necessities, it is not too difficult to imagine the immediate relief on the common people. Other countries even subsidize important items; but maybe it is not even needed here as long as the cartels and greedy businessmen are reigned in, and the government watch diligently after price manipulation and other similar schemes. Let the government price control and regulating bodies do their job, hung them if they fail because it is economic sabotage.

    No need to respect or fear the businessmen: their billions of earning has never helped or trickled to the people, because they have no plan to share-they only aim to make more billions, too much greed. To the elites and oligarchs, the pilipinos are there to be their slaves.

    So plan and try to make adjustment for more equitable distribution of gain, effectively and quickly. Not impossible, except corruption only makes it so.

    And how about the banking system, open the can of worms there also. Aren’t the banks the tools of thieves and evil businessmen. Aren’t they protector of stolen money, kickbacks and drug money, aren’t they the tools of outsiders to control the philippine business and key utilities? Can the FOI law be equally applicable to all? Remove the conduit of the fruits of corruption!