THE NATIONAL Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is working to fast-track the submission of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023 to 2028 before its deadline in December, an official said.

“We’ll see how we can fast-track,” NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon told reporters on Monday.

In his first State of the Nation Address on July 25, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. told NEDA to come up with the new PDP not later than yearend.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan on Monday said that the overall goal of the next PDP is reinvigorating job creation and poverty reduction.

He said they will focus on the full reopening of the economy; more investments in human capital, social development, and social protection; and the transformation of production sectors “to generate more and quality jobs and competitive products.”

“We are changing the way our labor market responds to growth. That is, we are not just creating more jobs but we tend to improve the quality of jobs by looking at those sectors that have high potentials for generating high-quality jobs,” Mr. Balisacan said, citing manufacturing, tourism, services, creatives, and agriculture industries.

For agriculture, Mr. Balisacan said “we will work toward[s] improving a yield or profit-per-hectare indicators in the farm sectors. That way we can reduce the pressure on prices for our population, as well as our industries.” 

Global commodity prices have surged in recent months due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and supply chain disruptions. Prices of wheat and fertilizer have soared amid tight global supply, putting pressure on the domestic agriculture industry.

Inflation stood at 6.4% in July, bringing the seven-month average to 4.7%.

The government set its inflation rate assumption to 4.5-5.5% for 2022, reflecting the impact of soaring transport, fuel, and food expenses.

The PDP serves as the government’s overall guide in development planning. The new PDP being created by the NEDA is also anchored in an 8-point socioeconomic agenda that includes ensuring food security, reducing transportation and logistics costs, and bringing down the high cost of power.

The near-term agenda also includes mitigating the scarring impact of the pandemic by addressing learning losses and strengthening social protection, as well as ensuring sound macroeconomic fundamentals by improving bureaucratic efficiency.

The PDP coincides with the government’s medium-term fiscal strategy which aims to attain 6.5-7.5% gross domestic product (GDP) growth this year, and 6.5-8% next year until 2028.

GDP growth averaged 7.8% in the first half, with Mr. Balisacan saying that the economy needs to grow by 7.2% for the remainder of the year to reach the upper end of the target. — Diego Gabriel C. Robles