As-delivered Opening Remarks
From Plan to Action:
Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028 Forum  

Arsenio M. Balisacan, PhD
National Economic and Development Authority

Philippine International Convention Center, Pasay City
30 January 2023 | 1:30 PM


His Excellency, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr., 

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile, 

Fellow Cabinet Secretaries and co-workers in government,  

Our distinguished panelists and guests from the private and academic sectors, 

Our development partners and friends from the media, 

And to all of the physical and online attendees who made it here today, a wonderful afternoon to all of you. 

First, I would like to take this opportunity to thank His Excellency President Marcos, as well as my fellow government officials, for taking the time to attend this momentous occasion. Today, we hold this Forum to discuss how we intend to implement the Philippine Development Plan or PDP 2023 to 2028, our country’s development roadmap for the next six years. Mindful of the urgent challenges of the times, our discussions intend to highlight the actionable policies, legislative priorities, and cross-cutting strategies we have laid out in the Plan. Equally important is to urge public and private actors, the Plan’s key stakeholders, to take concrete actions toward attaining our socioeconomic goals and targets.  

This PDP forum – a first in a series of stakeholder discussions and roadshows on the Plan – is a manifestation of the Marcos Administration’s commitment to a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach for achieving long-term inclusive development. In these next six years, we can look forward to seeing the government take swift and decisive action, with various agencies working in synergy towards our shared goal of significantly improving the quality of life of the Filipino people and working towards a prosperous, inclusive, and resilient society. 

In this forum, we will listen to and participate in the discussions and exchanges that will emerge from our plenary sessions.  In our first plenary, we shall hear from the leaders of our different economic sectors — including infrastructure, energy, tourism, trade and industry, information and communications technology, commerce, and finance — on their priority programs, activities, and projects toward addressing the current short-term challenges and transforming the production sector in the medium term. 

In the second plenary, we will be hearing from the leaders of our different social sectors on what interventions they intend to pursue to formulate more effective social policies, improve our healthcare system, enhance targeted assistance programs, ensure people’s access to high-quality jobs, collaborate with the private sector, and implement better coordination mechanisms between the local and national government. 

In the execution of the Plan, stakeholder ownership is critical to ensure that our efforts remain aligned and united toward achieving shared aspirations. Thus, we invite everyone – members of the private sector, civil society, the youth, the academe, and the media, as well as our development partners and colleagues in government – to actively participate by asking questions, sharing your insights, and generating dialogue on the key issues and strategies identified not only in this forum but in the PDP document itself. Rest assured that this is but the first of many discussions from which many others shall follow. In future conversations, we hope to delve deeper into specific sectors, inform and exchange views with our stakeholders, and identify opportunities for greater collaboration and engagement. 

 While the pandemic exposed the frailties and weaknesses within our system in the past few years, we were able to draw from those lessons and can now move forward with a better sense of what our priorities and urgent needs are. Last week, we happily reported that the full-year growth of our gross domestic product (GDP) for 2022 was at 7.6%, exceeding forecasts and the official target of 6.5% to 7.5%. The trajectory of our post-pandemic recovery is undoubtedly promising. Still, we cannot rest easy, knowing that we have much work ahead of us as we strive to sustain and improve our performance.  

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. President, thank you for joining us today. We are pleased to welcome everyone and are thankful that you could join us on-site or via Zoom and livestream. I wish us all a productive discussion ahead.  

Thank you, and good day to all.