May 10, 2018

LAO PDR – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) accepted the hosting of the next gathering of the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) Governing Body in the Philippines next year.

NEDA Undersecretary for Regional Development Adoracion M. Navarro, currently the APO Philippine Director, represented the country in the turnover ceremony held at the APO Governing Body’s 60th Session in Vientiane last May 8-10.

“Let me thank Lao PDR for their hospitality and successful hosting of this 60th Session. And let me welcome you in advance to the Philippine hosting of the 61st Session next year. To this esteemed Governing Body: mabuhay!” Navarro said.

The APO is an intergovernmental organization that aims to contribute to the sustainable socioeconomic development of Asia and the Pacific through enhancing productivity.

Hosting the session entails organizing a three-day summit that will be attended by representatives from all member countries. The APO now has 20 member countries.

In the recent session, Undersecretary Navarro delivered the country statement and listed several initiatives of the government in improving productivity of the Philippine public sector.

One of which is the One Connected Government initiative that allows citizens to easily locate and access government services and complete select transactions through approaches like the National Government Portal.

Another initiative is the National ID System that facilitates the delivery of public services. The government likewise continues to support Project Repeal of the National Competitiveness Council, which pushes for the review and amendment of burdensome and irrelevant regulations.

Meanwhile, Navarro explained that the Philippine two-tiered wage system will be continuously implemented as an approach to minimum wage-setting.

“It is a strategy to strengthen the link between wage and productivity growth by building the capacity of workers and enterprises in formulating productivity-based incentive schemes. Given the country’s exposure to natural hazards, we will also work to strengthen the capacity of government units in climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and business continuity practices,” she said.

Furthermore, a National Government Rightsizing Program will be effected soon to rationalize staffing patterns.

The government is also promoting technology adoption and innovation to serve as the foundation for a globally competitive knowledge economy.

“Directing our efforts towards improving public sector productivity is not only the APO’s vision. It is also reflected in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022,” Dr. Navarro said.

The Philippines, along with seven other founding member-economies, signed the APO Convention in Manila on April 14, 1961. The first APO Director in the Philippines was Dr. Jose C. Locsin, who was the Chairman of the National Economic Council (the forerunner of NEDA) in 1961.

The Development Academy of the Philippines serves as the APO Philippine Secretariat.