Pilipinas Conference 2021: “Sustaining Economic Recovery Post-Pandemic Towards 2022 and Beyond”

Entitled “Sustaining Economic Recovery Post-Pandemic Towards 2022 and Beyond”, the first session of this year’s Pilipinas Conference sought to gather the country’s most eminent economists and industry thought leaders to share their outlook on the Philippine economic growth prospects towards 2022, especially as the country heads to the national elections. This session also served as ADRi’s fourth virtual business roundtable discussion (vRTD), a quarterly series that started earlier this year to provide a platform for the country’s top business groups and thought leaders to spark discussions and exchange ideas on the vital role of businesses in nation-building.

2020 saw the downturn of economies around the world, including the Philippines, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the improvements seen in the Philippines’ major economic indicators in 2021, sustained economic growth is still uncertain amid high levels of unemployment and underemployment, heightened government borrowings, hunger, inflation, and recurring lockdowns in response to COVID-19 surges, especially with the spread of the more transmissible Delta variant. However, this public health emergency that rapidly evolved into an economic crisis is not expected to end anytime soon.

Challenges of this nature cannot be single-handedly addressed by one player acting alone. It is only through a collective, all-sector effort that these difficulties could be properly managed and solved. The government must continue pushing for economic reforms that accelerate recovery in the post-pandemic era. This is especially true for reforms that encourage private sector participation.

The private sector plays a key role in fighting poverty by creating new jobs and livelihood opportunities. By adopting stakeholder-driven initiatives, the Philippine economy can achieve sustainable and inclusive growth and recover from the detrimental socio-economic effects of the pandemic at the soonest time possible. The private sector has established itself as a partner of government in addressing the people’s most urgent needs and building back from this economic and health crisis.

Through the investments, expertise, and innovativeness of the private sector, coupled with heightened cooperation with like-minded stakeholders, the most urgent socio-economic challenges can be addressed, jobs can be created, livelihood ecosystems can be nurtured, and the lives of millions of Filipinos can be uplifted. This is stakeholder capitalism at work, which could lead to a shared prosperity over the long term.

Program

Introduction and Welcoming Remarks

Prof. Victor Andres “Dindo” Manhit

President, Stratbase ADR Institute

Opening Remarks

Amb. Albert del Rosario

Chairperson, Stratbase ADR Institute

Keynote Address: Addressing the Long-Term Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Sustaining Recovery

Dr. Ernesto M. Pernia

Former Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning, National Economic and Development Authority;

Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of the Philippines-Diliman

Policy Recommendations for Sustaining Economic Recovery

At this point in time, it is imperative for the Philippines to recalibrate its growth trajectory by shifting to a more investment-driven growth and establishing a favorable environment for businesses to attract foreign investments, generate jobs, spur consumption, and address inequality. This panel of experts will share their insights on the necessary economic reforms for a more sustainable recovery that the country’s next set of leaders should pursue and prioritize.

Stratbase ADRi Special Study: Shifting to an Investment-Led Economy in Rebuilding the Philippines Post-Pandemic

Mr. Diwa Guinigundo

Former Deputy Governor, Monetary and Economics Sector, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)

Stratbase ADRi Special Study: Education, Social Reform and Labor

Dr. Vicente Paqueo

Non-Resident Fellow, Stratbase ADR Institute;

Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS)

Policies to Sustain Economic Recovery

Dr. Raul Fabella

National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST);

Professor Emeritus, University of the Philippines School of Economics

Good Governance for Inclusive Economic Growth

Dr. Charlotte Justine Diokno-Sicat

Research Fellow, Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS)

Panel Discussion on Public-Private Sector Cooperation: Initiatives Towards Long-Term Economic Recovery

According to the PwC MAP 2021 CEO Survey, the top three sectors that CEOs said that the government should focus on to recover from the pandemic are the healthcare system, infrastructure, and education. However, CEOs believe that the factors that will delay the Philippines’ economic recovery are the slow vaccine rollout (76%), political uncertainty (44%), and reliance on lockdowns to manage COVID-19 (43%). This panel of the country’s top industry leaders will share their insights on the necessary courses of action to achieve long-term and inclusive economic recovery.

Mr. Ramon del Rosario, Jr.

Chairperson, Philippine Business for Education (PBEd)

Amb. Benedicto Yujuico

President, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI)

Ms. Doris Magsaysay-Ho

Chair, Asia Society Philippines;

President & CEO, Magsaysay Group of Companies

Closing Remarks

Mr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala

Chairperson, Ayala Corporation

Moderator:

Atty. Michael Toledo

Member, Philippine Trade Foundation (Philippines, Inc.)

Host:

Mr. Francesco Javier “Paco” Pangalangan

Executive Director, Stratbase ADR Institute

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