Almost nine in ten Filipinos agree that the private sector plays a crucial role in accelerating economic growth, and that public-private partnerships will fuel national economic growth.
These was indicated in a Pulse Asia survey, commissioned by the Stratbase Group, conducted September 17 to 21 this year.
“The sentiments of the people as reflected in this latest survey is a strong impetus for the administration of President Marcos Jr. to strengthen developmental engagements and further empower the private sector to drive economic growth and strengthen competitiveness,” said Stratbase Group founder and CEO, Professor Victor Andres Manhit.
“A sustained, committed partnership between the government and the private sector will be a game-changer in our recovery and realize inclusive prosperity for our people,” Manhit said.
According to the Pulse survey, 46 percent of the respondents across the country “strongly agree” and another 41 percent “somewhat agree” that the private sector plays a crucial role in accelerating economic growth. Only three percent of disagree, while 11 percent were undecided.
Eighty-nine percent are convinced that the government and the private sector should be partners in economic recovery, with 62 percent strongly agreeing and 27 percent somewhat agreeing.
Only one percent disagree while 10 percent are undecided.
“We have always been pushing for a heightened, constructive and sustained engagement between the government and private sector because of their complementary roles, strengths, resources, and forward-looking perspectives,” Manhit said.
The survey was conducted a few weeks before the 100th day of the Marcos administration, and during his trip to the United States.
The survey covered 1,200 respondents based on a nationwide sample of 1,200 using face to face interviews and has ± 2.8 percent error margin at the 95 percent confidence level.
Survey respondents also believed that the private sector can help in boosting the Philippine economy in several ways, the most prominent of which are creating jobs (69 percent), helping uplift the lives of Filipinos out of poverty (65 percent), expanding livelihood opportunities (49 percent) and improving healthcare systems (37 percent).
“What is even more instructive here is that there was a significant increase in how respondents, notably nationwide and in the National Capital Region, perceive the importance of addressing unemployment and poverty,” said Manhit.
Specifically, there were only 58 percent of respondents for whom creating jobs was an avenue of cooperation by the private sector in December 2021. “In nine months’ time, even more Filipinos are convinced creating jobs was a primary concern, hence the 11-percentage-point jump to 69 percent nationwide,” he said.
In the NCR, an even greater percentage of respondents identified job creation – 77 percent in September, from 61 percent in December, or an increase of 16 percentage points.
Similarly, there was an eight-percentage-point jump — from December 2021 (57 percent) to September 2022 (65 percent) — in the percentage of respondents nationwide who believed the private sector can help uplift the lives of Filipinos out of poverty.
“This means that in a span of nine months, more Filipinos acknowledged that the private sector is an indispensable partner in creating jobs and hence pulling people out of poverty,” said Manhit.
Other areas of cooperation identified in the survey were improving the quality of and access to digital services (27 percent) nationwide, managing natural resources and taking care of the environment (19 percent), developing public infrastructure (16 percent) and improving the quality of education (12 percent).
“The Marcos administration should not drop the ball at this point. There is no more excuse not to aggressively pursue public-private collaboration,” Manhit said.
“Given how Filipinos value the potential of a partnership with the private sector in key areas of our economic outlook, our government leaders must act on this great potential by creating the most conducive environment that would attract the right investments and strategic partnerships through good governance, stable regulatory policies, and a keen attention to upgrading the skills of the Filipino workforce,” he added.