Senator Win Gatchalian is pushing anew the passage of a measure institutionalizing the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), empowering the agency to play a more important role in steering government policies to solve the country’s most pressing socio-economic concerns.
Saying there is a need to instill a culture of planning in the formulation and implementation of the country’s economic and development policies, Gatchalian filed Senate Bill No. 169, or “The National Economic and Development Authority Act of 2019,” as part of his 10 priority bills in the 18th Congress.
The bill provides for the creation of two distinct but functionally related entities, namely the NEDA, which formulates plans and programs; and the National Economic and Development Board, which directs the formulation and implementation of policies and strategies that would promote economic development.
“The bill will strengthen the autonomy of the units within the various regions of the country to accelerate their economic and social growth development,” Gatchalian said.
“Distressed communities will thus be empowered to revitalize, expand, and upgrade their physical infrastructures to attract new industries, encourage business expansion in the countryside, diversify local economics, and generate or retain long-term private sector jobs and investments,” he added.
Under SBN 169, the NEDA shall ensure the integration of major regional and local development priorities into the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) and Medium-Term Regional Development Plans (MTRDPs), respectively.
The proposed measure also institutionalizes the so-called “Planning Call” that will ensure a timely and coordinated planning process. The NEDA shall prescribe the standards and guidelines in the preparation of the MTPDP and MTRDPs, as well as the Medium-Term Public Investment Program (MTPIP) and Regional Medium-Term Development Investment Programs (RMTDIP), including a planning and investment programming timetable aligned with the budget calendar.
Moreover, the bill reinforces active participatory planning by strengthening NEDA’s oversight function. It establishes a Long-Term Development Plan, which will ensure plans and programs are continued seamlessly despite changes in administration.
“The vision of this landmark bill is to instill a culture of planning in the formulation and implementation of the country’s economic and development policies – and emphasizes the importance of participatory planning by expanding stakeholder participation through various stages,” Gatchalian said.