Gov’t sets economy to high growth trajectory — NEDA

The government’s desire for the country is the reinvigoration of job creation and poverty reduction by steering the economy back to a high-growth trajectory, a Cabinet official said on Monday.

National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan on Monday said over two years after the pandemic, the incumbent government’s goal is “the reinvigoration of job creation and the acceleration of poverty reduction by steering the Philippine economy back to a high-growth trajectory
Speaking at the Philippine Economic Briefing in Frankfurt where he and other economic managers in the Marcos cabinet presented to business leaders, bankers, and investors the Philippine economic situation as well as investment opportunities in the country, Balisacan stressed, “More importantly, the focus is no less than effecting economic transformation toward a prosperous, inclusive and resilient Philippine society.

He gave highlights of the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, spelling out the government’s policy strategies, including actionable reform initiatives and legislative priorities in efforts to attain desired socioeconomic targets, which Balisacan said include rapid and sustained economic growth.

“But this shall be growth that is inclusive – that is, growth that creates more, better, and green or resilient jobs to reduce unemployment and allow our people to earn decent incomes,” the NEDA chief said.

“Further,” Balisacan pointed out, “it is growth that is supported by low and stable prices to protect people’s purchasing power, buttressed by a robust fiscal space, and powered by a dynamic innovation ecosystem.”

“”Of course,” he emphasized, “growth is not the end in itself — only the means to see poverty reduced from 18 percent of the population in 2021 to a single- digit level by 2028.”

Balisacan said the current administration’s strategies involve transforming the production sectors.

He said the government will modernize agriculture and agribusiness to raise overall productivity as well as to create and diversify into higher value-added products.

In this manner, thus, “we shall ensure food security for all Filipinos. Industry will be revitalized with technology, as we embed services into manufacturing to imbue our products and exports with greater value.”

The Philippine services sector which Balisacan said is the country’s strongest performer “shall become a modern, productive and resilient global leader. Tourism will be a strong driver of growth, together with our buoyant and resilient creative, IT, and business process management sectors.

“Of course, an economy is only as dynamic as its people – this is why we shall enact policies and programs that promote and develop our social sectors in education, health and labor,” he said.

“This entails upgrading the skills of our labor force and matching these with the requirements of industry, addressing the socioeconomic scarring inflicted by the pandemic on the vulnerable segments of our population by boosting health, ensuring food security and proper nutrition, and strengthening social protection.”

Filipinos will enjoy livable communities where spaces for work, recreation, and transit will be integrated into our plans for the use of these spaces, the NEDA chief added.

Meanwhile, he stressed, “good governance, including an efficient bureaucracy, a responsive regulatory system, and robust law enforcement shall underpin economic activity, assuring businesses that government rules will be transparent and predictable for long-term investment decisions.”

Balisacan described the Philippines as a fast-growing economy of over 110 million people. “Besides having a sizeable domestic consumer market, the Philippines can serve as a competitive launching pad for the ASEAN economies which is home to over 680 million people or roughly nine percent of the world population.”

“The Philippines is in the midst of reaping the ‘demographic dividend,’ where a growing and young working population can fuel economic growth for the next two to three decades,” he said.

“And as we have mentioned, we are more open to business now more than ever with investors having a wide array of industries to choose from: energy, water, logistics, transportation, agribusiness, manufacturing, tourism, health, education, and digital connectivity,” he added.

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