THE GOVERNMENT needs to make its development agenda more conducive to attracting investment by specifying “action plans” to flesh out the programs accompanying its medium-term roadmap, GlobalSource Partners said in a brief.

“In line with the practice in private companies, the government’s medium-term Philippine development plan needs an accompanying action plan that concretely spells out shorter-term strategies, resource constraints, refined timelines and persons accountable for the deliverables,” it said.

“This will help in identifying gaps and bottlenecks and additional resources needed, whether public or private,” it added.

Under the Philippine Development Plan, which covers the 2023-2028 period, the government hopes to achieve upper-middle income status by 2025.

It also targets growth of 6-7% this year and 6.5-8% between 2024 and 2028.

Other targets under the plan include reducing the poverty rate to 9% by 2028 and bringing unemployment to about 4-5%.

GlobalSource said that the government should also improve the environment for infrastructure.

“Following its welcoming stance for public-private partnerships (PPP) in infrastructure, the government now needs to identify low-hanging fruit, expedite approvals from national to local levels and get the program up and running to attract even more investments,” it said.

The brief cited challenges such as right-of-way issues, automatic fare adjustments, and lengthy bureaucratic processes.

“The PPP center will need to play its proper role, not just in promoting but in facilitating. Local government units also need capacity building for preparing PPP projects to be able to tap private finance for local projects,” it added.

Meanwhile, GlobalSource said that there is also a need to prioritize agriculture.

“We said many times last year that one of the President’s most pressing tasks is to find a suitable agriculture secretary, one who not only understands the sector but is honest and bold to take on powerful vested interests and perhaps most importantly, has the President’s ear,” it said.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. currently acts as his own Agriculture Secretary. There has been no word from the Palace on potential candidates.

“Following the proposal of a sector expert, perhaps finding a highly technically capable senior undersecretary who could serve as the President’s alter ego may be the second-best option,” it added.

Food security must also be addressed by allowing the entry of more food imports and strengthening the private sector response to food shortages.

GlobalSource also called for the need to “find new growth and foreign exchange sources,” citing mining and tourism as potential growth drivers. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson