Dr. Gerardo P. Sicat, NEDA founding Director-General, visited the NEDA Regional Office in  Soccsksargen  (NRO XII) last  May 19.

Dr. Sicat’s visit  is part of his travel in the whole island of Mindanao that aims to observe the details of Mindanao’s economy both in macro and micro perspectives.

During his visit, he shared his observations about  the country’s economy in general.  “The Philippine economy is moving forward, and the rate of development can double, except that this is being  hampered by divisions among us,” he stated.

“A nationally divided nation cannot move far because of misaligned allocation of scarce resources in wrong activities. Our leaders appear to be apprehensive in finding deeper solutions to these matters,” Dr. Sicat said.

Despite this, Dr. Sicat said many positive changes have been happening in the country’s economy since 1998. Some of these are the improved national road system and school buildings.  However, there is a   need to further develop the country’s seaports and the roll-on roll-off (RORO) system.

“The regional leaders must be critical in doing the right job such  as  formulating  a sound policy, coordinating with the national government and understanding the planning process,” he pointed out.

Asked to comment on the type of leaders the country should have in the next term, he said that a leader should be able to bring the country’s development in a forward pace and  create  decisions that will not lead to crisis.

“A leader must understand the issue; he or she must be honest, with  vision, works hard in attending to the needs of the poor and ordinary citizens of the country,” he added.

Dr. Sicat also advised  NEDAns on retirement. “When you retire the world does not end there, do what you love to do especially those that will make you happy and will keep you young at heart, ”he said.