PH 'likely' to attain dev't plan targets - NEDA


Posted at Jan 07 2013 06:51 PM | Updated as of Jan 08 2013 04:25 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Aquino administration is "likely" to achieve the targets under the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016, a report by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) showed. 

The NEDA's Socioeconomic Report (SER) 2010-2012 showed the Philippine economy is on track to meet goals it set for inclusive growth, infrastructure investment, increased competitiveness, improved social services, among others. 

"From the second half of 2010 to the end of 2011, the Philippines sought to meet these targets despite unexpected external shocks that threatened its economic growth. However, by the first semester of 2012, indicators significantly improved, thus bringing the country’s development path closer to the targets set by the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016," the report said. 

The report assessed the first two years of the Aquino administration in relation to the targets and strategies set in the PDP.

In the first three quarters of 2012, the Philippine economy grew by 6.5%, driven by services and industry on the supply side and net exports, household and government consumption on the demand side. The Philippine economy is likely to surpass the 5 to 6% full year growth target set by the the Development Budget Coordination Committee. 

The report also noted headline inflation remained within the target range set by the government. Inflation for 2012 averaged 3.2%.

"With a benign inflation outlook, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas reduced its policy rates to support domestic economic activity and reinforce investor confidence. The lower domestic interest rates supported the upbeat lending activities of banks during the period under review,” the report said. 

The report said the peso strengthened on the back of sustained remittances from overseas Filipinos, net portfolio investments and foreign direct investments. 

However, revenue collection fell short in 2011 and in the first half of 2012. "The underperformance comes mainly from tax collection shortfalls particularly for BIR and BOC. To be able to catch up with planned levels of revenues, the usual resolve of accelerating non-tax revenue collections still appeared to be the solution to reach targets," the SER said. 

Improving competitiveness 

The Philippines saw improvements in its ranking in the Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013 of the World Economic Forum and the 2011-2012 Doing Business Report of the International Finance Corporation/World Bank. However, these still fell short of the end-of-plan targets. 

"The Philippines ranked 65th out of 144 countries, advancing 22 places from its lowest rank in 2009, according to the WEF Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013. The country also performed better in the 2011-2012 IFC/WB Doing Business

Report, ranking 136th out of 183 countries and moving 12 notches higher from 148th place in 2010. By the end of the Plan period, the country hopes to land at the top 30 percent or at least rank 61 globally in the IFC/WB rating," the SER said. 

While the administration saw an average employment generation of 997,000 per year in its first two years, it is still short of the PDP target of 1 million annually. "Key weaknesses remain in terms of high underemployment rate and the rise in part-time employment,” the report said. 

For the government to meet the PDP targets, the report said the government should team up with the private sector.

"To catch up with the targets in the PDP, the government will continue to partner with the private sector in developing the industry and services sector," it said.