NEDA asked to focus on strengthening industryBy Ana G. Roa
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) should look into building a strong industry sector when reviewing the Aquino administration’s economic blueprint, the country director of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said.
“In doing the midterm review, the NEDA could look at adjustments needed in the industry sector,” ADB country director Neeraj Jain told the Inquirer in a phone interview Wednesday.
Jain also said the NEDA should determine whether the country is on track in achieving the targets contained in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for 2011-2016.
Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said last week that the agency would review the PDP to incorporate recent economic developments.
The road map seeks to achieve inclusive growth that creates massive employment opportunities and significantly reduces poverty.
“The key to building inclusive growth is manufacturing,” Jain said.
The ADB official explained that the country’s business process outsourcing sector, on one hand, was excellent but it was generating limited jobs. On the other hand, it said that labor-intensive manufacturing industry could absorb the bulk of the unemployed.
In reviving the industry sector, the government should look into public investments, strategies such as incentives and research and development, said Jain.
According to Jain, the NEDA should assess the progress made in attaining key indicators for inclusive growth as listed in the PDP from the base year of 2011 and identify the adjustments that should be made if needed.
The PDP for 2011-2016 targets an annual economic growth of 7 to 8 percent and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
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