MANILA – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) on October 18 conducted a consultative meeting with civil society organizations (CSOs) to get inputs and comments on the midterm update of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP).

NEDA presented updates on macroeconomic policy, financial sector, good governance and the rule of law, industry and services, agriculture and fisheries, infrastructure, environment and natural resources, social development, and peace and security.

“The midterm update was envisioned as a consultative process and was implemented pursuant to the vision of inclusive growth. We sought inputs and comments from the CSOs on the draft chapters of the Plan to improve the coherence and soundness of the goals and strategies,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan.

Balisacan, in his remarks, also encouraged the CSOs to consider the updated contents of the Plan in the shaping of their respective programs and projects.

“While we have put a lot of effort into improving the PDP, it is not by any means exhaustive and we recognize the important role of CSOs in addressing the gaps,” he said.

Last April, NEDA also conducted consultations with CSOs in the regions to address regional gaps in the Plan and bring in wider participation in the planning process.

“Aside from strengthening the document’s regional dimension, a key update to the PDP is highlighting the importance of employment generation to achieve inclusive growth. The update also aimed to mainstream employment concerns and make these concerns more prominent in the chapters where they are relevant,” Balisacan said.

He emphasized employment as a powerful means by which growth and poverty reduction can be bridged, thus making it a priority in the updated PDP. “We recognize that the recent rapid economic growth has yet to translate into rapid employment generation and poverty reduction,” the NEDA Director General said. “This is what has occupied us the most in recent months,” he added.