Economic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said Monday higher productivity will pave the way for the country to achieve an upper middle income status by the end of the year.
Chua urged the National Innovation Council to work together to promote innovative solutions and raise the country’s overall productivity.
“Higher productivity will allow us to graduate from our current low middle-income country status to upper-middle income country status by the end of 2022, and high-income country status in one generation,” Chua said during the council’s meeting Friday.
Upper middle-income countries have gross national income per capita of more than $4,000.
“For the Filipino people, it means living without poverty and having equal opportunities to succeed,” Chua said.
He said recent economic indicators showed the Philippines was on track to achieve the upper-middle income country status this year. He said sustaining this level of development rests on the country’s ability to innovate in an increasingly competitive and resource-constrained world.
The National Innovation Council is developing the National Innovation Agenda and Strategy Document to be launched within the year. The document will establish the country’s 10-year vision, long-term goals, agenda and strategies related to innovation.
The NIASD will be formulated through a series of co-creation workshops with the NIC member agencies and other stakeholders, and be guided by the Philippine Innovation Toolkit.
To enhance the innovation capacity of the Philippines, all government agencies are mandated by Republic Act No. 11293 to comply with the NIASD and pursue its attainment through a collective national effort.
“A strong economic foundation built on inclusive innovation will be crucial in raising overall productivity and bringing prosperity to the people. The Philippine Innovation Act provides us with a window of opportunity to achieve this objective by creating a culture of futures planning and funding innovative solutions,” Chua said.
The NIC is tasked to develop the country’s strategic vision, goals, and strategies for innovation. It has 25 members, with the President of the Philippines as the chairperson; the Secretary of the National Economic and Development Authority as the vice-chairperson; heads of 16 other member agencies; and seven executive members from the private sector.
As vice-chairperson of the NIC, Chua was authorized by the President to chair the first council meeting.
Meanwhile, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno told Japanese investors the Philippines remains an attractive investment destination given its strong macroeconomic fundamentals and sustained economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are optimistic that there is sufficient support for the country’s recovery this year and in the near term,” Diokno said during the recent Philippine Economic Briefing 2022 for Japanese investors.
“The management of risks, the expected revitalization of key industries from government policy support and structural reforms, as well as the resumption of global economic activities should help the Philippine economy move toward a steady recovery path,” Diokno said.
The Philippine economy grew by a better-than-expected 5.6 percent in 2021, a rebound from the 9.6-percent contraction in 2020.
The strong growth is expected to accelerate further this year, with the official government’s projection of 7 percent to 9 percent.
Diokno said the BSP would remain supportive of the economy as long as necessary. “The BSP will keep its policy settings and regulatory relief measures supportive of the economy as needed. Withdrawal of policy measures will only be done once full recovery is underway,” he said.
He also cited other favorable macroeconomic assumptions for the Philippines this year, including within-target inflation, rising exports and imports, rise in remittances, increase in foreign direct investments and continued resilience of external accounts.