Pursuant to Proclamation 247 issued by Malacanang in September 2002, the Development Policy Research Month (DPRM) is celebrated every September to encourage Philippine policymakers, government leaders, and the public to appreciate the importance of policy research in crafting evidence-based policies and programs. The observance of the DPRM also aims to cultivate a strong culture of research and research use among decisionmakers and the general public, and improve the public’s research and information literacy of socioeconomic issues.
Policy research is essential for effective planning and policymaking. Policies should be evidence-based, and the DPRM highlights this fact. It also aims to increase the public’s awareness of the significance of data and research evidence in crafting programs and policies and remind policymakers that there are policy studies and other similar resources within their reach, which they can use in crafting policies and making policy decisions.
Proclamation 247 identified the PIDS, the primary socioeconomic think tank of the Philippine government, as the overall coordinator of the yearly DPRM celebration. Together with the members of the DPRM interagency steering committee, the PIDS crafts the DPRM theme for the year, which is usually a current or emerging development issue, and organizes various activities to demonstrate the importance of policy research and explain the theme. These activities include policy seminars and dialogues, press conferences, media appearances, and roundtable discussions.
The permanent members of the steering committee include the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Civil Service Commission (CSC), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Presidential Management Staff (PMS), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Senate Economic Planning Office (SEPO), and Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD). Each year, other agencies are invited depending on the theme. The additional members for 2022 are the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), and Climate Change Commission (CCC).
This year’s DPRM celebration carries the theme “#CloseTheGap: Accelerate Post-pandemic Recovery through Social Justice”, or in Filipino, “#AlisinAngAgwat: Pabilisin ang Pag-ahon Mula sa Pandemya sa Pamamagitan ng Katarungang Panlipunan”. Through this theme, we wish to highlight how the pandemic exacerbated existing socioeconomic disparities in the country and disproportionately affected the vulnerable and marginalized sectors of society. Hence, to make opportunities equitable, reduce socioeconomic and political inequalities, and remove cultural inequities, it is crucial that we make social justice a guiding principle of the country’s post-pandemic recovery plan, particularly in the areas of human capital development and social protection, public health services and infrastructure, and environmental resilience.
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