In celebration of the 15th Development Policy Research Month (DPRM), the NEDA Region 5 conducted a forum on Strengthening Decentralization for Regional Development on September 26, 2017 at NEDA Region 5, Legazpi City. The forum highlighted two topics: (a) the proposed amendments of the Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991; and (b) a proposed federal structure for the Philippines. Planning officers of provinces and cities in Bicol, private sector representatives of the Bicol Regional Development Council, and NEDA Region 5 personnel attended the half-day forum.
Atty. Arnaldo E. Escober, Jr., the assistant regional director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Region 5, presented the proposed amendments of the LGC. He cited specific provisions that are proposed to be amended, including the issues and rationale for amending them. His presentation was culled from the LGC review conducted by Dr. Rosario Manasan of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies. The proposed amendments, as provided in Dr. Manasan’s review, will be discussed during a national consultation workshop to be held on October 6, 2017.
Experts from the ASEAN and East Asia region made this call at a recent public symposium on ASEAN Economic Community and Nation Building organized by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies and Jakarta-based Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia.
In his keynote message, Australian National University Emeritus Professor Peter Drysdale pointed out that ASEAN should continue its ‘open regionalism’ strategy in dealing with the protectionist stance adopted by the industrial world, particularly the US and Europe. According to Drysdale, this strategy has been the driver of growth and economic security in the region for the past 50 years. He likewise cautioned that retreating to protectionist measures would cost ASEAN its growth as well as the income and jobs for its peoples.
“The correct strategy for ASEAN is to hold firm and maintain course towards openness, reinforcing reforms and growth and economic security,” Drysdale emphasized.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has significantly helped its member-states achieved economic progress, a Vietnamese senior economic official said.
At the Public Symposium on Economic Integration and Nation Building held in Manila recently, Dr. Vo Tri Thanh, former vice president and a senior expert of the Central Institute for Economic Management of Viet Nam, praised ASEAN for pushing its member-states to aim for sustainability, inclusiveness, and innovation.
The symposium is one of the commemorative outreach activities organized by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and Jakarta-based Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) to celebrate ASEAN’s 50th anniversary this year. It aims to enhance the engagement of stakeholders of ASEAN on economic issues to promote a better understanding of the ASEAN economic integration.