Govt to focus on job creation – Balisacan
BY ED PAOLO SALTING
The Manila Times
SOCIOECONOMIC Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the Marcos administration will focus on bringing back the Philippine economy to pre-pandemic levels and undertake proactive engagement with stakeholders. He said President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his economic team are in “substantial agreement” on the overall goal of the new administration. “We all agreed to quickly revive job creation and poverty reduction by steering the economy back to the high-growth path while addressing government debt and the sharply rising prices of food and essential commodities,” Balisacan said. “In particular, we aim for economic growth at least at par with pre-pandemic levels through 2028 while being more inclusive and resilient.” Balisacan, also the chief of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), listed three specific goals which can be expected from the agency under his leadership: push necessary measures to raise the country’s economic performance; enhance its proactive engagement with all concerned stakeholders on policy advising, planning and monitoring; and uphold a culture of openness, transparency and professionalism concerning the direction of national economic policies, plans and programs. He said that all three are interrelated in order for the country to achieve economic growth in these times.“The one thing that was particularly significant to me is the Philippines being on investors’ radars and climbing the ranks based on globally recognized comparative indicators in economic performance and institutions, technology, preparedness and fundamentals,” Balisacan said. “In order to achieve this, it requires closely coordinating national and local policies so that plans and programs appropriately reflect local development priorities. We shall also work closely with Congress for the speedy enactment of priority bills and structural reforms that can address binding constraints to market access for essential goods and services while being transparent.” Despite current headwinds and economic uncertainty, Balisacan’s leadership aims to do even better and surpass the country’s previous performance. “I look forward to productively working with all of you at NEDA and its attached agencies in pursuit of sustained and inclusive growth for the development of the Filipino people. With all of us supporting each other, I am optimistic that we can and will diligently fulfill our mandate, rising to meet the pressing challenges before us head-on,” he said.