NEDA bares 8-point socioeconomic agenda

THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) announced the Marcos administration’s eight-point socioeconomic agenda in the post-State of the Nation (SONA) economic briefing it held last Tuesday.

NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the agenda aims to address both short-term and medium-term constraints to economic transformation as was enumerated during the President’s first SONA last Monday.

Its short-term measures plan to tackle current issues such as inflation, vulnerability of certain groups of the population to shocks and the scarring resulting from the pandemic.

Over the short term, the agenda seeks to address priorities like job creation and sustaining the 6.5- to 8-percent growth of the country’s gross domestic product from 2023 to 2028.

“For the generation of quality employment, we need to address the constraints to rapid and sustainable growth that have been well-identified in various meetings and studies by both local and international observers of the Philippine economy. These include issues affecting infrastructure, logistics, energy, digitalization, regulatory measures and governance,” Balisacan said.

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He also highlighted the need to act on problems from both the supply and demand sides of the labor market in order to cope with unemployment.

On the supply side, Balisacan touched on increasing the employment chances of Filipino workers, both for those who are currently in the labor market and those who are about to enter the labor force.

While on the demand side, he stressed the need to improve the investment climate to open up opportunities for job creation, particularly in manufacturing and the formal services sector.

The agency will be at the forefront in dealing with these challenges by spearheading the formulation of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028 and reporting to the President and the Cabinet the progress of its implementation. This PDP will serve as the Marcos administration’s development blueprint for the duration of its term.

During his SONA, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. tasked the agency to begin coordinating with other government bodies for the production and submission of the PDP before the end of 2022.

“The upcoming PDP aspires for growth that is more inclusive this time compared to previous planning periods so that all Filipinos, including the poor, are given opportunities to participate in the growing economy. That’s our intention, and critical to that is our success in generating high-quality jobs and raising productivity, particularly, in agriculture,” Marcos said.