Five of the top seven most urgent national concerns of Filipinos have to do with the economy as most expressed the belief that the government should collaborate with the private sector to accelerate economic development, separate Stratbase-commissioned surveys found.
These findings were discussed alongside the need for multi-stakeholder cooperation and investments during the first Session of the virtual Pilipinas Conference 2021, Sustaining Economic Recovery Post-Pandemic Towards 2022 & Beyond, organized by Stratbase ADR Institute.
“We continue to advocate for a more investment-driven growth,” said Prof. Dindo Manhit, Stratbase ADRi President.
“We need to establish a favorable environment for businesses so we can attract not only domestic but even foreign investments, generate jobs, spur consumption, and address generational inequality,” he added.
A Pulse Asia survey conducted September 6 to 11 identified Filipinos’ most urgent national economic concerns as controlling inflation (41 percent), increasing the pay of workers (40 percent), reducing poverty (29 percent), creating more jobs (25 percent) and providing assistance/ subsidy to those who lost jobs and livelihood because of COVID (19 percent).
Meanwhile, having a secure or well-paying job or source of income (47 percent) followed the desire to stay healthy and avoid illness as Filipinos’ most pressing personal concern.
Meanwhile, Social Weather Stations found that 57 percent of Filipinos believe their quality of life got worse in the past 12 months, with only 13 percent saying it got better and 29 percent saying it was unchanged. This drop was the steepest across all administrations since the SWS started doing the survey in the mid-1980s. The survey was done nationwide from September 12-16 this year.
A separate SWS survey also showed three of the top four issues that should be addressed by national candidates were economic in nature: controlling the prices of basic / service / commodities (57 percent), providing jobs (54 percent), and increasing the wages of workers (27 percent). The survey was done from October 20-23.
The SWS also found that 82 percent of Filipinos believe that the growth of the economy will be accelerated if the government collaborates with the private sector.
“The private sector has established itself as a reliable partner of the government in addressing the people’s most urgent needs and building back from this economic and health crisis,” Manhit said.
“Through the investments, expertise, and innovativeness of the private sector, coupled with heightened cooperation with other stakeholders, we believe that the most urgent socio-economic challenges can be addressed, jobs can be created, livelihood ecosystems can be nurtured, poverty can be alleviated, and the lives of millions of Filipinos can be uplifted. We adhere to what we call ‘stakeholder capitalism,’” he added.
Ayala Corporation Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala acknowledged that no one enterprise or sector, however large or vigorous, can sustain recovery efforts.
“However, taken together, and working together, our individual contributions, however small, can add up to critical mass and sustainable momentum,” he said.
“The task at hand really requires our collective commitment. All of us, to harness our sectors’ unique and complementary wisdom, resources, and energy to adequately address the societal pain points towards national recovery and growth,” Zobel de Ayala said.
Meanwhile, Ramon del Rosario Jr., chairman of the Philippine Business for Education (Pbed), said the role of the business community has been very visible.
“It’s the private sector that is creating the jobs. But the government has to create an enabling environment for these jobs to be created,” he said.