By Leslie Venzon, Philippines News Agency on March 30, 2016
MANILA – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is pushing for various policies, including the national land use plan and those to eliminate corruption, in line with the goal of more Filipinos to be lifted out of poverty as the Philippines can become a high-income country by 2040.
The NEDA commissioned a nationwide study on the aspirations, values and principles of Filipino people with the intention of developing a long-term vision for the Philippines which is anchored on a vision genuinely owned by its citizens.
The study found that an overwhelming majority, or 79 percent of Filipinos aspire for a “simple and comfortable life” in 2040 by having a medium-sized house, enough earnings, owning at least one car/vehicle, having the capacity getting their children to college and going on local trips for vacation.
A smaller segment of the population wants an affluent life (16.9 percent) while a very small portion aspires for the life of the rich (3.9 percent).
Filipinos see the Philippines as a predominantly middle-class society by 2040, with poverty having been eradicated. There will be sufficient good quality local jobs available.
As the respondents have identified owning a house as their life ambition, NEDA Deputy Director-General Rosemarie Edillon considered the national land use policy important also in ensuring stability and security.
The survey also indicated that most Filipinos expressed the need to eliminate corruption, like extra charge to facilitate transactions, to achieve better future.
“You have to have land and then securing permits in order to build a house should be efficient, fast and less red tape,” said NEDA Director-General Emmanuel Esguerra.
Esguerra underscored the critical role of the government in supporting the realization of Filipinos aspirations.
“Government needs to provide enabling conditions to help Filipinos build-up their resources – including physical, intellectual and financial – by fostering sustained economic growth, investing in people, and protecting them against shocks that destabilizes them,” he said.
Likewise, Esguerra said the government needs to provide the appropriate “rules of the game” and ensure that these are enforced fairly and equally.
He said empirical studies indicate that, with the right policies, improvements in productivity and efficiency can triple the country’s gross per capita income to about USD 11,000 in 25 years, allowing majority of our people to enjoy nearly high-income country standards of living.
“In contrast, without reforms, per capita income can only grow to around USD 5,000 over a period of 25 years, i.e., not even double the current level of USD 3,500,” he noted.
The NEDA chief cited the example of Malaysia which has managed to reduce extreme poverty incidence below 1 percent with per capita income of USD 11,120.
“Is the (2040) Vision within reach? Yes, it can be realized with the right policies and programs,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, the survey undertaken by the Philippine Survey and Research Center (PSRC) on January to first week of February this year, has 10,000 respondents.
Respondents are males/females aged 15 to 50 years old belonging to ABCDE income homes.