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PBBM rolls out 5-year dev’t plan

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Signs EO for economic recovery to uplift lives of ordinary Pinoys

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has signed an executive order (EO) approving and adopting the Philippine Development Plan for the period 2023-2028, which provides a five-year roadmap for the country’s economic recovery and aims to make the Philippines an upper-middle-income country by 2025.

The Plan lists several target outcomes that the Marcos administration commits to achieve over the medium term:

– Bring down the poverty rate to a single-digit level—9 percent—by the time the administration’s term ends in 2028;

– Keep food and overall prices low and stable. Food and overall inflation will be kept within 2 to 4 percent;

– Create more and better-quality jobs. Although unemployment is nearing pre-pandemic levels in 2022 at 5.7 percent, there is much room to improve the quality, productivity, and stability of employment. By 2028, the target unemployment rate is within 4 to 5 percent, and the percentage of wage and salary workers in private establishments to total employed is within 53 to 55 percent;

– Maintain high levels of economic growth in the medium term, rising from 6 to 7 percent in 2023 to 6.5 to 8 percent from 2024 to 2028; and

– Ensure fiscal discipline. The national government deficit to GDP ratio will be gradually brought down from 6.5 percent during the first half of 2022 to 3 percent in 2028. The outstanding government debt to GDP ratio will also be gradually reduced from 63.7 percent in September 2022 to 51.1 percent by the end-2028.

The PDP seeks to “bring back the country to a high-growth trajectory and more importantly, enable economic and social transformation for a prosperous, inclusive, and resilient society,” the President said (see related story on Business, B4 – Editors).

“This plan represents not only our aspirations as a people but also our resolve to build a nation that we can be truly proud of,” Mr. Marcos said during yesterday’s launch of the PDP 2023-2028 at the PICC in Pasay City.

The President said the Plan will ensure that economic gains will redound to the benefit of ordinary Filipinos.

“Indeed, we look toward the future with hope, with optimism. But our gaze can only go as far as what we have done to unburden the life of the ordinary Filipino,” he said.

The PDP is based on Mr. Marcos’s 8-Point Socioeconomic Agenda, which aims to “reinvigorate job creation and accelerate poverty reduction while addressing the issues brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

EO No. 14 directs all national government agencies, government-owned or -controlled corporations, government financial institutions, other national government offices and instrumentalities, government corporate entities, state universities and colleges, and local government units to adopt and disseminate the PDP 2023-2028.

They should also align their budgets and departmental or corporate programs with the PDP 2023-2028 strategies and activities.

The PDP 2023-2028 will be completed by the first quarter of 2023 and will be updated annually or as deemed necessary by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

For his part, NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said Monday the economic outlook remains “promising”, but the country should take more steps to sustain the recovery from the impact of the global health crisis.

Balisacan said the PDP should serve as the country’s development roadmap that would improve economic performance over the next six years.

But the IBON research group said the PDP 2023-2028 falls short of a comprehensive development plan, calling it obsolete and saying it needs to be reversed to pursue an economy that benefits the many.

The current plan is the ninth development plan since the Marcos regime’s PDP 1978-1982, which pushed free-market reforms as “structural adjustment” while orienting the economy towards exports and attracting foreign investments, it said.

All the development plans since then have had the same framework and have been successful in making the country more export-oriented and in attracting foreign investment, IBON said.

“Measured as a share of gross domestic product (GDP), exports increased from around 16 percent of GDP in the early 1980s to over 40 percent in the early 2000s, albeit moderating to 28 percent in the last five years,” it said.

Foreign investment has meanwhile in effect increased six-fold from inward stock equivalent to less than 5 percent of GDP in the early 1980s to 29 percent today, the group added.

Yet, IBON said the share of manufacturing has fallen to its smallest share of GDP since the 1950s, and of agriculture to its smallest in history. Their respective shares in employment are also down to their smallest in recorded history, it said.


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