November 12, 2010
Economists Call for Reforms of Socio-Economic
In the hope of putting forward a map with which the Philippine
economy may best be steered by the new reform-oriented administration,
the Philippine Economic
Society (PES), with the support of the Friedrich Naumann
Foundation for Liberty (FNF) Philippine Office, held
its 48th Annual Meeting last 12 November 2010 at the Bangko
Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
In his welcoming address, BSP Deputy Governor Diwa Gunigundo
said that Filipinos are called to work harder and smarter
in the face of uncertainties about global economic and financial
recovery. He also underscored the need for credibility. “Credibility
enables us to anchor and lead expectations. It is our
only true capital in a crisis situation,” said Mr. Gunigundo.
He lauded the gathering as timely opportunity for an enriching
dialogue on current economic issues, trade and industrial policy
Philippines Country Director Mr. Jules Maaten
Mr. Jules Maaten, FNF Philippines Country Director, summarized
key liberal principles that can catalyze reforms in the Philippine
economy into three Rs: responsibility, rule of law, and
. He said that these promote free competition
in the market by operating under a system of transparency and
accountability. Mr. Maaten also pointed out that a proactive approach
is needed, “Balance of directives and reforms is important,
but it is always not necessary to wait for politicians to come
with a new idea. People should just do things now,” Mr.
National Economic Development
Authority (NEDA) Director-General Dr. Cayetano Paderanga Jr.
spoke on behalf of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.
Dr. Paderanga, who is a past president of PES, acknowledged the
audience: “It is encouraging that the country’s best
economic minds from various sectors are actively contributing
to help realize a progressive and globally competitive Philippines.”
He highlighted that the Philippines’ reported growth of
4.6% per year since 2000 despite domestic and external shocks,
low investments and net exports, is lower than its Asian neighbors.
“However, we can still do much better than this. Our country
remains poor despite the wealth of natural and human resources.
The government is committed to transformational leadership
that is steadfast to poverty reduction and inclusive growth,”
announced Dr. Paderanga.
Director-General Dr. Cayetano Paderanga Jr.
Dr. Paderanga further spoke about the two basic blueprints of
the governments’s efforts to accomplish aspirations as incorporated
in the social contract of P-NOY with the Filipino people, the
Medium Term Philippine Development Plan
and the Medium Term Philippines Investment Plan
(MTPIP). “We envision for the MTPDP to be moored on five
pillars of growth: 1) Macroeconomic policy framework and programs
to uplift and empower the poor; 2) infrastructure for development;
3) enhancing peace and security; 4) financial sector development
and efficient capital mobilization; and 5) protecting the integrity
of the environment and natural resources.” He pointed out
that these are in programs such as development of an efficient
and modern agri sector, Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) program,
establishment of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) infrastructures,
approaches for long-lasting resolutions to conflict-ridden areas
of Mindanao, enforcing the rule of law to ensure efficient and
effective delivery of public service thru greater transparaency,
and considering climate change challenges and cross-cutting human
rights and gender issues. Dr. Paderanga noted the importance of
reforming socio-economic structures
economic stagnation and the combined efforts in achieving and
sustaining economic growth for Filipinos.
PES is a strong network of economists in the academe, government,
and business sector. It partners with NGOs, GOs, civic organizations
and the media and plays a major role in providing a venue for
open and free discussions of a wide range of
policy issues, improving the standard of economic research
in the country and disseminating new research findings through
its conferences, symposia and publication.