“How do we make AmBisyon Natin 2040 a reality?”
Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning

AmBisyon Natin 2040 Expo
SMX Convention Center Manila, Pasay City
15 November 2016

Good morning, everyone, ladies and gentlemen. To Vice President Leni G. Robredo, our colleagues from various agencies and branches of government, the business sector, development partners, students and representatives from the youth sector, civil society organizations, academe, and social entrepreneurs, we are pleased and honored to have you today at this Expo of AmBisyon Natin 2040 or Our Long-Term Vision.

You may have heard about it, you may have seen electronic posters along EDSA, you may have viewed videos and read posts on social media about AmBisyon Natin 2040, and that’s why you’re here. But I’m sure many of you would want to know more. I hope you agree that this is something very much welcome amid these trying times, as we continue to see so much division among us. This is a time to foster unity, and we believe we can unite toward a common, long-term goal for ourselves as Filipinos and for the Philippines as a nation. As we deal with current events and issues, let us set our sights on the life we want for ourselves and for our children over the long term. So, allow me to share with you what we learned from the Filipino people in terms of how we see ourselves in the future, in 2040, some 25 years from today.

What is the life we want? Our study shows that it is one that is “matatag, maginhawa, at panatag” – a family-centered life that is strongly rooted, comfortable, and secure. It is a balanced life that allows us to pursue career and financial goals while also having enough quality time for our families and ourselves as individuals. It is a life of options and opportunities. It is one that assures us financial stability, security from risks of sudden, unexpected losses, as well as protection from harm.

I enjoin you to imagine life in 2040 when “all Filipinos will enjoy a stable and comfortable lifestyle, secure in the knowledge that we have enough for our daily needs and unexpected expenses, that we can plan and prepare for our own and our children’s futures. Our families live together in a place of our own, and we have a freedom to go where we desire, protected and enabled by a clean, efficient, and fair government.”

Imagine a Philippines that is a prosperous, predominantly middle-class society where no one is poor. Our peoples will enjoy long and healthy lives, are smart and innovative, and will live in a high-trust society.

But beyond imagining and aspiring, let us begin to turn our vision into reality.

Since the inception of the long-term vision project in 2015 and, after its public launch in March this year, NEDA has been engaging with various sectors, such as the business community, civil society organizations, youth organizations, students and the academe, and local community leaders on this effort. The level of interest in discussing the long-term vision’s research findings, the initiatives to demand more from the government, as well as the comments and suggestions offered, have been an enlightening and fulfilling experience for us.

The feedback and support we received has guided and encouraged us in taking the succeeding steps, as we worked to have AmBisyon Natin 2040 adopted by the current administration. We are very pleased that President Duterte signed Executive Order Number 5 just last month, approving and adopting the long-term vision as a guide for development planning across administrations. The EO helps ensure that the next four medium-term development plans are anchored on the long-term vision, as intended, and helps secure the continuity of programs designed to make the vision a reality.

The vision is now reflected in the framework of the upcoming Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022. The PDP seeks to build a strong foundation for a “matatag, maginhawa, at panatag na buhay.” As such, it has three main strategies: “Malasakit” or Enhancing the Social Fabric, “Pagbabago” or Reducing Poverty and Inequality, and “Kaunlaran” or Increasing Potential Growth. Through this framework, the government is committing itself to designing and implementing appropriate polices, programs, and projects for the next six years that will bring the Philippines closer to what we Filipinos envision our country to be.

But as we keep saying, while we clearly recognize the role of government in achieving people’s aspirations, a large part of the effort also comes from the people – from you, as individuals and as members of organizations, communities, and families.

This AmBisyon Natin 2040 Expo is thus another forum for engaging you in discussions on how Filipinos can take the next step toward their aspirations. We would like every citizen to be well-informed of the options currently available to us. Certainly, we are not starting from scratch. Thus, we will hear from our speakers today how the results of the AmBisyon Natin 2040 research are relevant to their sectors and can shape their respective initiatives and programs. We will also hear from successful leaders and social entrepreneurs who were able to launch and sustain programs, and start-ups that help their fellow Filipinos uplift their lives.

For its part, NEDA will remain the steward of medium-term development plans. But as planners who should be visionary, we need to go beyond short- or medium-term plans. After all, turning a long-term vision into a reality requires sustained effort over many years. Thus, as professionals and as public servants, we in NEDA commit ourselves and our institution to AmBisyon Natin 2040. We truly believe this is an inspiring initiative, based on people’s feedback — that this will indeed be a basis of unity among Filipinos that have been divided over so many issues. We thus commit to seeing this through, knowing fully well that it embodies the collective aspirations of the Filipino people. But amid the challenges we face, we certainly need you to join us in shepherding this initiative. Let us not allow this to be a one-off initiative that fizzles out after a short while.

And what better way to ensure the success of the initiative than to have the country’s top leaders to adopt it. The President of the Republic has already signed an Executive Order for this. Today, we are excited to have the country’s Vice President with us in our journey toward making AmBisyon Natin 2040 a reality.
Mga kababayan, I am very much honored to introduce to you, a strong woman, a very smart and principled public servant and leader — the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines, Maria Leonor Gerona Robredo!