Revised Economic Blueprint Aims To Fix COVID-19 Situation in the Philippines
Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua announced that the updated economic blueprint will focus on fixing the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines.
The Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022 was amended to prioritize the implementation of the Universal Health Care Act, improve the quality of instructions in education, upskilling the workforce, and institutionalizing the social protection floor.
Chua states, “The [updated PDP] will also include other reforms and strategies we will undertake to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and help every Filipino achieve the long-term vision of a ‘matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay’ [stable, convenient, and assured livelihood] by 2040.”
According to Chua, the updated PDP will be released for public viewing soon but it is unclear whether the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte has approved such amendment.
In November 2020, the interagency plan steering committee reviewed the original PDP 2017-2022 and allowed the economic blueprint to undergo revisions.
Such revisions included a new chapter listing the government’s priorities in protecting the rights, promoting welfare, and expanding opportunities for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
According to the NEDA report, the updated PDP has downgraded the 2022 unemployment rate target to 7-9% from the pre-pandemic goal of 3-5%.
Chua stated that the high jobless rate of 2022 was mainly due to the K-12 program with initial graduates bloating the labor force in the country.
Chua added that “Until we have reached herd immunity, some industries won’t fully normalize yet.”
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the unemployment rate of the Philippines reached a high 10.4% or approximately 4.5 million Filipinos.