Socioeconomic Planning Secretary

Planning Community of Practice 2nd Technical Workshop
Alignment and Coordination of National and Subnational Plans
Makati Diamond Residences, Makati City
May 22-23, 2019

Honorable Mara Warwick, Country Director for Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Delegates from our fellow ASEAN states – Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand,
our partners from the World Bank,
co-workers in NEDA – both at the central and regional offices,
a pleasant morning to everyone.

On behalf of the National Economic and Development Authority of the Philippines, it is with great pleasure and honor that I welcome you all to the Second Technical Workshop of the Planning Community of Practice (PCoP).

National development planning has long been a significant feature of a country’s development. National planning enables governments to create clear strategies and priorities towards attaining common objective. In our case, the goal of promoting sustainable and economic growth and uplifting the overall quality of life of Filipinos.

Hence, the establishment of the Planning Community of Practice in October 2017 is a major a milestone towards strengthening national development planning and policy formulation in the Southeast Asian region.

As a peer-learning network, the PCoP provides an avenue for development planning practitioners to come together, share, and discuss ways to solve common issues and challenges arising from economic and political landscape that are continuously changing. Through the Planning Community of Practice, practitioners and officials can share experiences and learn from each other. Thereby, improving their own country’s planning systems and strengthening the connections between planning and service delivery.

In the case of the Philippines, the National Economic and Development Authority or NEDA has been pushing to strengthen the capacity as an independent economic and planning agency. Two separate bills expanding and strengthening the powers of NEDA are pending in both houses of Congress. The enactment of this proposed legislation will give NEDA the teeth and strategic vision in planning and implementing reform initiatives that will be sustained beyond an administration’s term. At its core, the measure seeks to address fragmented, uncoordinated, and even often interrupted planning, policy-making, programming, and budgeting process of the government. There will be continuity of plans, programs, and policies that should outlive a President’s term for them to become effective. Through the NEDA Bill, the independent economic and development planning body we envision would be one that directs and integrates development plans at the national and sub-national levels.

This year’s workshop, the theme of which centers on  “Alignment and Coordination of National and Subnational Plans,” which explores the decentralization approach to development planning and that is why we have representatives from all of our regions here today. It sheds light on the crucial role of national and sub-national planning and the mechanism at two levels in effectively implementing various development programs and projects at the local and at the grassroots level.

Through this event, we hope to strengthen cross-boundary collaborations and foster new ideas and fresh perspectives to advance innovation  in the national development planning systems. Thank you very much for being here and we look forward to an insightful, stimulating, and productive discussion with all of you today and tomorrow. We also hope that you will have a pleasant stay in Metro Manila. Thank you very much.

– END –