Proclamation No. 247, issued by Malacañang in September 2002 and declaring the month of September of every year as Development Policy Research Month (DPRM), came at a most opportune time. It highlights the critical role of policy research in the socioeconomic advancement of the Philippines.
The Proclamation underscores the “need for promoting, enhancing, instilling, and drawing awareness and appreciation of the importance and necessity of policy research” in development planning and policymaking.
Thus, the observance of the DPRM is intended to cultivate a strong culture of research and use of data and evidence among the country's national and local decisionmakers in policymaking and program planning. Through the different topics highlighted in every DPRM celebration, this event also aims to raise the public's literacy of important socioeconomic issues.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe) is gaining ground in different parts of the world. It is time for the Philippines to embrace it. To harness the opportunities and mitigate the risks emerging from the FIRe, cross-sectoral collaboration and a whole-of-government approach, guided by policy research and inputs from stakeholders, are what we need to CREATE OUR FUTURE NOW.
Technological breakthroughs in fields such as robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, data analytics, blockchain, cloud technology, quantum computing, internet of things, virtual and augmented reality, and 3D printing have ushered in the FIRe. These can provide many benefits, such as higher productivity, reduced costs, increased revenues, improved communication, and greater transparency. However, they also pose a number of risks. Grave concerns include legal and regulatory issues in terms of ownership and access to data and the disruptions that new business and distribution channels may cause. There is also a possibility of greater inequality within a country or across countries given the uneven access to technologies and levels of development. Workers are also facing possible job cuts due to automation.
Thus, for this year, the DPRM centers on the theme “Harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Creating Our Future Today” or “Isulong ang Fourth Industrial Revolution Tungo sa Katuparan ng Ating Kinabukasan Ngayon” to promote greater awareness and deeper understanding of the potential impacts of modern technologies on the patterns of production, consumption, employment, and governance in the Philippines.
By focusing on this theme, we hope to persuade the government, business sector, and civil society to be proactive in adapting to the changes that are expected to come along with the FIRe.
As the country's leading think tank, the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) was designated as the overall coordinator of all the programs and activities of the DPRM. Being at the forefront of policy research in the Philippines for over 40 years, PIDS has been engaged in the conduct of policy-oriented studies to assist policymakers and planners in crafting development policies, plans, and programs that are based on sound research evidence. PIDS has completed more than 800 studies that encompass a wide range of development topics. The Institute has made a significant contribution and influence on Philippine development policy through its active and close collaboration with government agencies, academic and research institutions, and international organizations. Its various research outputs are widely disseminated through its publications, conferences, seminars, and knowledge databases. The PIDS website is a comprehensive gateway to the Institute’s rich receptacle of socioeconomic studies, while the Socioeconomic Research Portal for the Philippines contains both PIDS and non-PIDS resources.
In the last 15 years, the celebration of the DPRM has focused on areas that PIDS considers as primary concerns and issues, thus are in need of utmost attention by policymakers. Other topics featured in the DPRM are emerging issues of the day, such as climate change which was the theme in 2009, a time when the effects of climate change were just beginning to be felt in the country.
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