Jasper Marie Oblina-Rucat
Philippine Information Agency
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, June 21 (PIA) – The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) through a public forum held at Xavier University’s SEARSOLIN, Cagayan de Oro City on 20 June 2016 revealed the results of its nationwide study on the aspirations, values and principles of Filipino people dubbed ‘AmBisyon Natin 2040.’
The survey results revealed that an overwhelmingly majority of Filipinos aspire for a simple and comfortable life (79%), followed by a smaller segment of the population who want an affluent life (16.9%) while a very small portion aspires for the life of the rich (3.9%).
Further, the simple and comfortable life is described as having a medium sized home, having enough earnings to support everyday needs, owning at least one car/vehicle, having the capacity to provide their children college education; and going on local trips for vacation.
According to Nerrisa T. Esguerra, Director IV, NEDA Development Information Staff that they probed into how much it takes to have a simple and comfortable life based on the specific needs mentioned by respondents. She said that a household would need an upper middle income of 120,000 per capita per month to live this kind of life.
However, she said that the most revealing aspiration was entrepreneurship but what was lacking was the capital. On the other hand, people also aspired for stability. Esguerra said that people wanted stability at the same time aspiring for entrepreneurship. She said starting a business is risky.
This survey will be taken into the Philippine Development Planning (PDP) process, said Esguerra. How do we provide skills to be entrepreneur? Esguerra said, farmers will not aspire for 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. jobs but they need linkages. How will farmers get links to the market or to the manufacturing sector? The more value added the products, the more income the farmers will get. She said this is the results framework of PDP midterm update is not just the agriculture production but farmers income.
Meanwhile, during the panel discussions, Bobby Ansaldo, former Agriculture Undersecretary and now with the Cagayan de Oro Chamber of Commerce identified three points that the government must look into to consider in the planning process.
First is to give support to entrepreneurial poor. These are the farmers and fishermen who do not aspire for the 8:00-5:00 job. Second is farmer profitability. Farmers not only provide food for the people but are able to really earn from their produce. Third is inclusive growth wherein small farmers can also earn bigger income through contracting with big companies. And lastly, look into the out-of-school youth especially in the far flung areas since they are the most vulnerable to recruitments among others.
Meanwhile, Fr. Roberty Yap, SJ, Xavier University president commended the survey. He said he was pleased that majority have chosen a simple, comfortable life. Even if this was jobs oriented, he was glad as well that some consider entrepreneurship since we need more small scale entrepreneurs.
However, what he found lacking in the survey was care for the environment. He said we need to pass the environmental concern for future generation such as solid waste management, clean air, water, coastal areas, health of forest, climate change, low carbon economy and renewable energy among others.
Meanwhile, according to NEDA, this is the first initiative, nationwide survey and Focal Group Discussions (FGDs) and it is not yet done. Esguerra said, survey results are still partial and must be looked into more deeply.
This survey is anchored on a vision owned by the citizens. Started in 2015, the survey had 10,000 respondents involving males and females, 15-50 years old from ABCDE income homes using face to face personal interviews using Tablets. Scope was nationwide urban/rural Philippines with representation of each region.
Complete survey results are uploaded at 2040.neda.gov.ph.