Economic adviser and Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said the agency is on the right track and moving at a fast pace to attain its goals,
"In the first 50 days of this administration, I can say that we are on the right track and at a faster pace to make sure that we achieve our goals," Pernia said during a briefing with the MalacaAang Press Corps on the achievements of the agency in the first 50 days of the Duterte administration.
NEDA's plans are in line with President Rodrigo R. Duterte's goals to come up with economic programs and programs which will benefit and will be felt by the masses.
NEDA is carrying on with the economic programs from the previous administration for its sound fiscal and monetary policies.
Using a previous administration's plans as a foundation for succeeding plans, and sustainability of development initiatives are ensured despite the change of political administrations, Pernia said.
Accelerated infrastructure development has become a priority. The Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) has so far approved 10 projects with a total amount of Php 320 billion.
Included in these projects are rural development: farm irrigation and farm-to-market roads, school buildings in depressed areas, regional hospitals, airport modernization, flood management, the North-South railway line project and the Metro Manila Bus Rapid Transit project on EDSA.
NEDA through the Infrastructure Committee (Infracom) is prioritizing the completion of the Mindanao projects initial phase and will be implemented in 2017 once the NEDA board approves it within the year.
In Metro Manila, Infracom has specified measures to urgently address the traffic problem by implementing the Bonifacio Global City-Ortigas link bridge, a common station for the MRT-3, LRT-1 and MRT-7 which is expected to divert at least 25 percent of the city traffic. To decongest ports, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will design the final configuration for the Batangas and Subic ports.
The Legislative Executive Development and Advisory Council (LEDAC) has been reactivated to address institutional, legal and policy issues to facilitate faster implementation of infrastructure projects.
Scheduled to convene in September or October of this year, LEDAC will tackle the following:
1. Creation of a "super body" for the water resources sector-proposed to be the Water Resources Department or Authority.
2. The creation of an independent economic and financial regulator for the water sector.
3. The National Transport Policy which should coordinate different transport projects to facilitate connectivity across the regions and provinces in a systematic manner.
4. Amendments to the Build Operate and Transfer Law and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) to effect faster transactions, avoid procurement and implementation problems for projects, and
5. Amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act or the EPIRA and amendments to the Water Code of the Philippines.
NEDA has submitted a draft executive order with its long-term vision as a guide in crafting the Philippine Development Plan (PDP). The PDP 2017-2022 takes into account the Socio-economic agenda of the Duterte Administration.
For foreign investments, NEDA has launched an online database system for the streamlining of processes and to speed up project approval.
NEDA is also revisiting policies in agricultural and rural development which have lagged behind amid consistent economic growth.
NEDA also continues to monitor previous programs on rice and the effects of the El Nino to ensure there will be no shortage and decide when to import rice given the risks of a La Nina season.
Pernia also announced the launch of a NEDA innovation in planning-"AmbisyonNatin 2040", the long-term vision project of the Philippines.
Aside from government, international development partners, civil society and the private sector, NEDA is also engaging the youth through social media and other forms of new media.
With 14.3 million users on Facebook alone, the goal of making "Ambisyon 2040" a basis for unity among Filipinos will be achieved.
Source: Philippine Information Agency