Socioeconomic Planning Secretary

AKSYON PARA SA AMBISYON: Philippine Development Plan Expo
SMX Convention Center, Pasay City
June 2, 2017


Fellow workers and friends from the government and the private sector, development partners, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

Welcome to Aksyon para sa AmBisyon. In November last year, we were here to hold a similar forum and expo and we spoke about our long-term vision popularly known now as AmBisyon Natin 2040. For those still unfamiliar with it, AmBisyon Natin 2040 articulates the aspirations of Filipinos for themselves and for the country all over the next 24 years which is about a generation from now.

Executive Order No. 5  was issued by the president last year to officially adopt and widely disseminate the AmBisyon Natin 2040.

The beauty of the AmBisyon Natin 2040 is that it was shaped, and continues to be enriched, by various stakeholders.  Today, you will be given a glimpse of an important product of collective action toward our goals. You will see around you images that symbolize how our vision has been translated into a plan of action.

This is what we are celebrating today. And I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to grace this public launch of the Philippine Development Plan, or PDP 2017-2022.

The President has issued Executive Order No. 27. Section 1 of the E.O. reads: “All departments, offices and instrumentalities of the national government, including government-owned or -controlled corporations (GOCCs), and the local government units, whether or not they receive funding support through the General Appropriations Act, are hereby directed to adopt and disseminate the PDP 2017-2022 and undertake efforts leading to its full implementation.”

Further, Section 2 say “All heads of departments, offices and instrumentalities of the national government, including GOCCs are hereby directed to align their budgetary and department/corporate programs with the strategies and activities identified in the PDP 2017-2022.”

This first of four PDPs that will work to realize AmBisyon Natin 2040, is the product of endless discussions, months of collaboration, and sometimes even heated negotiations between and among various government agencies, the private sector representatives, the academia, and civil society organizations all over the country.

All these wide consultations and collaboration was spurred by Memorandum Circular No. 12 also issued by the President last year.

The chapters of the PDP – which are featured in our expo today – were written by several interagency committees, that draw on the analyses, insights, and ideas from numerous stakeholders.  It was a tedious and painstaking process, as we tried to be as thorough as possible.

Thorough and inclusive meaning: not only in terms of who wrote each chapter, but also about what ideas went into it. This first PDP springs from the President’s 0-10 point Socioeconomic Agenda, and is anchored on the long-term vision, AmBisyon Natin 2040, as well as the universal Sustainable Development Goals.

This is also the first PDP to adopt a National Spatial Strategy to guide investment programming across the regions and provinces, towards regional and rural development, which is the thrust of this administration.

There is also an entire chapter on Culture and Development, and another on the fair and swift Administration of Justice.  Together with ensuring a clean, efficient and people-centered government, this will facilitate the process of enhancing the social fabric towards having a “matatag na lipunan.”

This is also the first PDP that supports the further acceleration of economic growth even beyond the Administration’s term by promoting science, technology and the creative arts, and by reaching for and optimizing the demographic dividend.

Mind you, this was no easy task: There were “endless” and animated discussions toward producing the Plan. No exaggeration here.

Even after the supposed “final draft” was done, there were still things that many who wanted to add, subtract, or modify. After a few concessions, we just had to say “let’s stop it.” We needed to send the manuscript to the printers given our tight timeline.

This isn’t to say that the Plan is finished, and set in stone. To paraphrase General George Patton’s saying, “A good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan next week.” At one point we just had to say “Aksyunan na natin ito.”

A plan as you know is a living document that needs to be implemented and adjusted as we go along. The   Philippine Development Plan is no different. In a couple of years, we will be doing the Midterm Review and Update of the Plan. And beyond that, the next administrations will be crafting the next Plans, too.

But what is remarkable about anchoring medium-term plans on a long-term vision is that, regardless of who comes next, the end goal – based on the Filipino people’s aspirations – remains the same, which is that:

“By 2040, the Philippines will be a prosperous, predominantly middle-class society where no one is poor.  Our peoples enjoy long and healthy lives, are smart and innovative, and live in a high-trust society.”

Filipinos want a life that is matatag, maginhawa, at panatag. We find that the aspirations of Filipinos are family-centered; they want to enjoy work-life balance, so that they will have more time to bond with their family and friends.

The aspirations also include home ownership, a steady source of income to support family and self, college education for the children, travel and vacation opportunities, and convenient and affordable transportation.

They want to feel secure wherever they are and wherever they want to go. They want stable finances to cover daily needs and unexpected expenses, now and in the future, including in their retirement years.

This Plan is the first of four intended to make such vision a reality.

Before I close, I would like to acknowledge with profound gratitude the people who chose to get involved, and those who worked hard for the PDP. Many thanks to members of the Steering Committee, the different Planning Committees, those who conducted regional consultations all over the country, the different agencies and individuals who submitted inputs to or comments on the Plan; and the NEDA staffs, of course, who put it all together—from compiling the data, to writing, editing, laying out the manuscript, and finally getting it printed and delivered to you today.

As the saying goes, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

We already have the goal, now here’s the plan. The time has come to begin to turn AmBisyon Natin 2040 into reality. Kaya nating umaksyon para sa ambisyon!

Thank you and mabuhay tayong lahat!