Gov’t banking on digitalization to attain PH growth goals
With lingering challenges to sustained recovery from pandemic, the government is pinning its hopes on digitalization efforts to meet its goals for the next sixth years of growing the domestic economy by 6.5 to 8 percent and slashing poverty incidence to 9 percent of the population.
Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan on Friday said adopting digital technologies across the government system would be crucial in the latest iteration of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) that is being crafted and, which would cover the years 2023 to 2028, coinciding with the term of President Marcos.
Balisacan was addressing a gathering of economic planners from both the Executive and Legislative branches of government, which was held online. The new PDP is expected to be completed by yearend.
The growth target for the next six years is faster than the 2022 goal of 6.5 to 7.5 percent growth in gross domestic product.
The lower end of this year’s target range touches the latest numbers from the Asian Development Bank, which maintained a forecast 6.5 percent growth for the Philippines while switching to a less upbeat outlook for developing economies across the continent.
Meanwhile, the National Economic and Development Authority noted that poverty incidence has risen to 18.1 percent of the population or about 20 million people in 2021 from 16.7 percent or 17.7 million Filipinos in 2018.
This happened after a significant reduction in the previous three years from 23.5 percent or 23.7 million people in 2015.
“The more sustainable way to reduce poverty, raise people’s quality of life, and build resilience to shocks and crises, is to enable everyone to become economically productive,” Balisacan said.
Thus, in the medium term, the government aims to steer the economy “back to its high-growth trajectory so as to reinvigorate job creation.
The goal for the next six years is to see the unemployment rate within the range of 4 to 5 percent. The latest reading, as of July, pegged the jobless rate at 5.2 percent.
“We aim for an economic transformation to create more jobs, better or higher-quality jobs, and green jobs or jobs that are resilient to massive societal disruptions like automation and climate change,” Balisacan said.
“We in government must endeavor to transform our own processes so that Filipinos can more easily access and avail of public services,” he added. “Hence, we need to push for digital transformation within the public sector and the entire economy.”
Balisacan said that during the strict quarantine regimes of the pandemic, digital technologies have shown how they can facilitate transactions and connections, enable innovative ways of producing and delivering goods and services, improve access to learning opportunities and prevent corruption.
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