A PRELIMINARY government scorecard that monitors the Philippines’ progress in meeting development targets showed mixed results, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said.
According to the Statistical Indicators on Philippine Development (StatDev) 2019, 96 out of the 210 indicators showed “high likelihood” of hitting targets by 2022, when President R. Duterte ends his six-year term.
The report, released by the PSA on Friday, also showed 23 indicators had “medium likelihood” while 91 showed “low likelihood” of meeting targets.
StatDev monitors the progress of meeting economic and social development goals set under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022. The latest report only accounts for 68% of the total number of indicators due to limitations brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and subsequent community lockdowns.
Having a “high likelihood” means a target is likely to be achieved by 2022, while a “medium likelihood” means a target may or may not be achieved.
“Low likelihood” means that a target is “not likely” to be met.
Among the 13 sectors, seven had at least half of their indicators showing a high likelihood of achieving the target by 2022. These are governance (nine of 17 indicators); culture and values (one of one); science and technology (two of three); macroeconomy (eight of 13); competitiveness (10 of 13); infrastructure (18 of 27); and environment (five of nine).
Under competitiveness, among the indicators that showed a high likelihood of meeting their targets include increasing by 4% the proportion of studies on competition and law and economics of major academic and research institutions; and reaching at least the top 40% and 50% in the Global Competitiveness Index’s pillars of business dynamism and product market efficiency.
In the macroeconomy sector, passing marks were noted in achieving “low and stable inflation”; maintaining the number of deposit accounts above 50 million; and maintaining the microfinance service delivery by the banking sector above P10 billion.
However, failing grades were noted in increasing the growth of the financial system’s total assets by more than 10%, and reducing remittance costs.
For infrastructure, the end-of-plan target power requirements in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao will likely be achieved by 2022. As of 2019, these requirements — as measured by the percentage of available capacity over peak demand — reached 164% versus the end-2022 target of 128%.
The number of government hospital beds hit 49,198 in 2018, keeping it on track to meet the target of 57,597 beds by 2022, PSA said.
On the other hand, the goal of increasing the capacity of renewable energy to 13,014 megawatts (MW) is unlikely to be met, with the country’s capacity at 7,399 MW as of 2019.
The aim to increase the proportion of households with access to safe water supply to 97.16% of the total is on track (95% as of 2017) to be achieved, but providing access to improved or basic sanitation facilities to 97.46% (75.7% as of 2017) is unlikely.
Meanwhile, four sectors had at least half of the indicators showing low likelihood of meeting their targets: justice (five of 10); agriculture, forestry, and fisheries (34 of 60); human capital development (12 of 23); and social protection (five of nine).
The justice sector received green marks for improving a one-to-one public attorney-to-court ratio; decreasing the percentage of preliminary investigation backlogs; and increasing the percentage of cases disposed over the total inventory of cases.
On the other hand, it lagged in improving the prosecutor-to-court ratio; as well as increasing the country’s percentile rank in the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law index, particularly on improving fundamental rights, civil justice, and criminal justice. The aim to bring the country to at least a 50th percentile rank in the “Rule of Law” dimension in World Bank’s the World Governance Indicators is also way off with 34.13 rank as of 2018.
In human capital development, failing marks were recorded in increasing the labor productivity growth in the industry and service sectors to 3%-4% and 4%-5% by 2022, respectively. As of 2019, these sectors only managed to grow their respective labor productivity by 1.4% and 1.5%.
The aim of bringing the proportion of births attended by skilled health professionals to 99% by 2022 was considered highly likely with 84.4% as of 2017. In contrast, bringing down the proportion of women of “reproductive age” of 15-49 years with unmet need for modern family planning to less than five percent is unlikely.
For the agriculture sector, the government’s aim of increasing crop and livestock yields is not likely to be achieved. Likewise, the targets related to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program such as the increase of land redistributed and the share of beneficiaries with emancipation patents or certificates of land ownership awards were also given failing grades.
“The indicators that are likely to be met by 2022 parallel the government’s current priorities such as infrastructure development and the growth of the economy in general. Agriculture, social protection and human capital development are the perennial laggards in economic development in general,” UnionBank of the Philippines, Inc. Chief Economist Ruben Carlo O. Asuncion said in an e-mail.
“These trends also do tell one the structural weaknesses of the Philippines’ efforts at economic development that are truly inclusive, sustainable, and relevant,” he said.
Mr. Asuncion said the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic “poses a great challenge” in meeting these goals by the end of 2022.
“Although I personally see the current crisis as a great opportunity for the Philippines, getting our act together as a nation seems to be really challenging especially during crises,” Mr. Asuncion said.
“The containment of COVID-19 spells so much for goals of the PDP to be met by 2022… How we all contribute to making our economic and political institutions stronger will dictate the attainment of our beloved country’s long-term plan of AmBisyon Natin 2040,” he added. — Marissa Mae M. Ramos