By Czeriza Valencia (The Philippine Star), Feb 22, 2017
MANILA, Philippines – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has come up with a new medium-term economic blueprint for the country, targeting an upper-middle class economy status with a per capita income of $5,000 by 2022.
The Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 is the first six-year plan to be anchored on a national long-term vision – the Ambisyon Natin 2040. It also takes off from the Duterte administration’s 10-point socioeconomic agenda.
The new PDP contains seven main parts, which include an overview of the economy, development challenges that lie ahead, and development strategies.
As identified in the 2017-2022 PDP, the Philippine economy is expected to grow seven to eight percent in the medium term to a more inclusive pace.
Poverty rate is targeted to decline from the present rate of 21.6 percent to 14 percent in 2022, while poverty incidence in rural areas is expected to decrease from 30 percent in 2015 to 20 percent in 2022.
Under the new economic blueprint, the government targets to reduce unemployment rate from the current 5.5 percent to between three to five percent by 2022.
Included among the targets are various socioeconomic goals such as attaining higher trust in government and society, having more resilient individuals and communities, and a greater drive for innovation among businesses.
“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,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, who is also director general of NEDA.
The new development plan in supported by three main pillars: Malasakit which aims to regain people’s trust in public institutions. Strategies under this pillar include promoting awareness of anti-corruption measures, improving the productivity of the public sector, implementing regulatory reforms, increasing access to legal aid, pursuing corrections reform, and promoting culture-sensitive governance and development.
The second pillar is Pagbabago, which aims to reduce inequality by increasing income opportunities.
Pernia said under this pillar, the government would be placing emphasis on creating more opportunities in the value chain of the agriculture sector.
“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,” said NEDA deputy director general Rosemarie Edillon.
Also under this pillar, the government will pursue strategies such as achieving quality and accessible basic education for all, enhancing disaster risk reduction and management mechanisms and adopting universal social protection.
The third pillar, Patuloy na Pag-unlad concentrates on sustaining economic growth by maximixing the demographic dividend and advancing science, technology and innovation.
“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,” said NEDA, “A strategic trade policy will also be implemented alongside measures to promote competition and establish a level playing field.”