by Louise Maureen Simeon – The Philippine Star, 19 Dec 2021
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines would have to ramp up its innovation strategies to ensure economic recovery from the pandemic and achieve the country’s long-term goals.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua said the most basic sectors need to innovate to attain the country’s 2040 vision of eradicating extreme poverty and becoming a high-income country.
The AmBisyon Natin 2040 is the long-term vision and aspirations of the Filipino people for themselves and for the country in the years to come.
Chua said the country cannot just return to business as usual after the pandemic even as recovery seems to be on the way and is faster than expected.
“Innovation is not simply about cutting-edge technology. Rather, at its core, innovation is about working together to find the best solutions to our most pressing problems – even basic ones in agriculture and financial inclusion,” Chua said.
“Except for some city-states, no country has achieved high-income status without first addressing agricultural productivity,” he said.
Chua said more innovations and reforms aimed at addressing the country’s policy distortions beginning with agriculture can transform and trickle down to manufacturing and services sectors.
He said doing so would provide better economic opportunities and outcomes for many Filipinos.
Other reforms that are expected to spur innovation in the country include amendments to the Public Service Act and the Philippine Identification System.
Chua reiterated that the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) supports the urgent passage of amendments to the Public Service Act.
“Relaxing restrictions on foreign ownership will help us attract more investments and create more jobs that are crucial to accelerating our economic recovery. This, in turn, will expose us to new ideas, best practices, and high skills in an increasingly globalized world,” Chua said.
On the other hand, the national ID will provide Filipinos with a unique and digitized proof of identity to give everyone, especially the poor, access to the necessary social, financial, and digital services.
The full implementation of the Philippine Innovation Act will also solidify the country’s growth prospects and improve its global innovation index by encouraging more research, development, and adaptation of new technologies.
Currently, NEDA is developing the National Innovation Agenda and Strategy Document which is a 10-year foresight that will weave and harmonize existing policies and strategies based on the evolving innovation ecosystems.