By Jochebed B. Gonzales
A GOVERNMENT SCORECARD that plots the Philippines’ progress in hitting economic development targets bared progress in macroeconomy, justice, human capital and environment, but poor performance in agriculture, housing and governance.
According to the Statistical Indicators on Philippine Development (StatDev) 2017, 111 out of the 257 indicators show “high likelihood” of hitting targets by 2022, when President Rodrigo R. Duterte ends his six-year term.
The report, released yesterday by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), also showed 29 indicators had “medium likelihood” while 117 showed “low likelihood” of meeting targets.
StatDev monitors sectoral achievement of economic and social development goals under Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022.
“More than half (54%) of the indicators post either high or medium likelihood of achieving the target early at the start of the medium term,” the report read.
“Among the 14 sectors, 11 have at least 50% of their respective indicators exhibiting high or medium likelihood of achieving the target in 2022.”
The report said indicators in the macroeconomy and justice sectors drove the administration’s performance.
On the other hand, the report cited low likelihood of meeting targets in governance, agriculture, as well as shelter and housing.
Sought for comment, Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion, chief economist at Union Bank of the Philippines, described governance, as well as agriculture, forestry and fishing as “crucial keys”.
“Even when economic growth is high and robust, it may be left wanting if only a few stakeholders are benefiting,” he said.
“Governance is needed to spread the wealth. Transparency in government and strong economic institutions are relevant distributors of prosperity.”
Mr. Asuncion added that agriculture, forestry and fishery are the “proverbial laggard” in terms of contribution to economic growth.
“[T]his is where, sadly, we find many of our country men still in poverty,” he said.
“If and when governance is not addressed consistently and head on, then all other gains may be incomplete and may further slow down. Economic and political institutions should be strengthened. Addressing this may not just come from a change in form of government, but must be a continuing, relentless effort at reform and change in these institutions.”
By Jochebed B. Gonzales