By Elfren S. Cruz
The Philippine Star
Updated June 5, 2016 – 12:00am
AMBiSYON NATIN 2040 is a NEDA study that reflects the “collective long term vision and aspirations of Filipinos for themselves and for the country…It describes the kind of life people want to live, as well as how the country will look like in 2040.
The study is the result of public consultations and a national survey with 10,000 respondents. It can be divided into two parts. The first part, which I wrote about in my column last Thursday, focuses on the Filipino vision for self and family. Based on the results of the survey, the NEDA has framed the Vision of the Filipino for self and family as follows:
“…we will enjoy a stable and comfortable lifestyle, secure in the knowledge that we have enough for our daily needs and unexpected expenses, that we can plan and prepare for our own and our children’s future. Our family lives together in a place of our own, yet we have the freedom to go where we desire, protected and enabled by a clean, efficient and fair government.”
The NEDA has estimated that the Filipino desire for a “simple and comfortable life” is attainable with a family gross monthly income of P120,000 based on current prices and currency value. This will allow the family to own a medium-sized home; at least one car, send their children to college; relax with family and friends; take occasional trips around the country; and have enough money for day-to-day needs and enough savings for unexpected expenses and retirement. It also includes payment of income taxes.
The Filipino and government
The study shows that the Filipino wants a “clean, efficient and fair government..” In terms of this vision, here are the most important aspects of government that he or she wants to be addressed:
• Eradication of corruption;
• Fair enforcement of the law;
• Fast and easy processes;
• Order and safety in the community;
• Fast response towards problems and complaints;
• Enough venues to be able to ask for help.
The Filipino believes that the main economic issues that should be addressed are hunger, local employment and poverty. Here is the the ranking of the issues:
• 64 percent say no one is hungry;
• 52 percent say that all Filipinos have a chance for adequate earnings;
• 50 percent say no one is poor;
• 38 percent say everyone can go to college;
• 36 percent say everyone can get treatment when sick;
• 36 percent say all Filipino families have their own homes;
• 17 percent everyone has modern lifestyle;
• 10 percent say the country is a world leader in science.
Based on these survey results, the NEDA has framed the Vision of Filipinos for Country as follows:
“The Philippines shall be a country where all citizens are free from hunger and poverty, have equal opportunities, enabled by a fair and just society, that is governed with order and unity. A Nation where families live together, thriving in vibrant, culturally diverse and resilient communities.”
The Filipino believes that the role of government is to be an enabler for economic growth, investment in people, and protection against instability. It is also the responsibility of government to build strong institutions that will ensure fair and equal application of rules.
Achieving the vision
The NEDA proposes that the Filipino vision can be achieved by a responsive, adaptive, resilient and inclusive economy driven by productivity growth to create more and better quality jobs. There are five areas that can make productivity growth and resilience can happen. Here are the five areas with some details:
Competitive enterprises generating high quality jobs can be achieved through the following:
• Sufficient high quality infrastructure, which will make the cost of moving people, goods and services competitive.
• Sound urban development that takes advantage of scale and agglomeration economies to make our cities more competitive and livable.
• Adequate and inclusive financing for small and medium enterprises.
An agile and high quality workforce can be achieved through the following:
• An education system that equips citizens with knowledge necessary to occupy high-productivity employment, while remaining adaptable to changing needs of the economy.
• An economy that is highly capable of generating and using technology and innovation.
• A workforce that is resilient to income and employment shocks.
A healthy society with social protection can be achieved by the following:
• Healthcare system characterized by clear design, effective regulation and proper delineation of responsibilities between the local governments and national agencies.
• Healthcare system where any person, rich and poor, can walk into a facility and receive attention from high-quality medical services without worrying about money.
• Demand driven public health system where patients are supported by a universal health social health insurance with strong safeguards against corruption.
A citizen-centered, responsive and accountable government can be achieved by the following:
• Efficient public service delivery for citizens and businesses
• Professional bureaucracy
• Streamlined and facilitative rules and regulations
• Major political and electoral reforms to control deepening entrenchment of political dynasties
• A transparent and accountable government that is protected from political capture
• LGUs with strong capacity to deliver public service and promote local development
• Peace ensured with accelerated implementation of long-term development agenda in former conflict areas.
An efficiently managed natural resources and environment can be achieved by the following:
• A competitive, sustainable, low-carbon power mix and transmission system that meets energy needs and security for all.
• Natural resources sustainability and responsibly used for development.
• Resilient communities protected from risks arising from natural hazards and climate change.
The NEDA believes that the Philippines can eradicate poverty by 2040 or sooner and that the nation will be a high income country, with a per capita income of $11,000 (present value) by 2040. While this is good news, I believe that the national goal should be to attain the Filipino Vision for Self, Family and Country within the next decade and not wait until 2040.