The government needs a “significant support” from the private sector to increase productivity and improve prospects for economic recovery, Economic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said during the 2022 Inaugural Meeting and Induction Ceremonies of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines.
Chua said the remaining months of his term would focus on pushing for top three priorities including recovery from the pandemic, increasing productivity and addressing the risks of climate change.
“The first is to continue our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. I think this requires a change in our mindset or paradigm, from a pandemic mindset to a more endemic mindset, where we can balance the important needs of the people to protect themselves from COVID and to protect themselves from all other diseases, problems of hunger, joblessness, and the need for income to support also other development objectives,” Chua said.
He said NEDA and the economic team proposed a 10-point policy change to address different areas such as metrics; vaccination; healthcare capacity; economy and mobility; schooling; domestic travel; international travel; digital transformation; pandemic flexibility bill; and medium-term preparation for pandemic resilience.
“The second issue that I want to bring up, which requires significant support from the private sector is enhancing or increasing productivity,” he said.
Chua said that the private sector plays a vital role in enhancing productivity in the country. He said productivity could be increased by strengthening human capital development, improving health and education outcomes, improving logistics, improving how things are done in the factories and in the office, the business process and how the country does governance.
“The Philippines will soon become an upper-middle-income country. To sustain this level of development and eventually reach high-income country status, we need to innovate. If we are to simply copy or assemble products, without any innovation, then we will have difficulty achieving our next stage of development,” he said.
Chua’s third major priority is addressing the threat of climate change. He said NEDA considers putting climate change adaptation and mitigation as a cornerstone of its policy framework.
“Everything we do in the environment, education, agriculture, transportation, energy and governance would revolve around protecting or enhancing the livability of the people, whether it is on planet earth or in the Philippines,” Chua said.