Spearheaded by the Duterte administration, the Philippine Development Forum – Sulong Pilipinas: Hakbang Tungo sa Kaunlaran is an annual consultative conference that brings together different stakeholders from all over the country. By establishing a strong partnership between the government and different sectors – from business and development partners, to the academe, youth organizations, and many others – Sulong seeks to build a truly inclusive economy, and work towards a comfortable life for all Filipinos.
This conference is a platform through which the government can provide updates on our country’s achievements. More importantly, Sulong is a way through which the administration receives feedback on its proposed plans and programs. Each conference generates ten actionable recommendations for government: the public’s identified priorities, which can guide policy and reform moving forward. Recommendations from past Sulongs are in various stages of implementation, including the National ID, Ease of Doing Business law, and the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program.
- To ensure that K-12 is well implemented and education is relevant, DepEd and CHED should enhance the skills of instructors, and identify and integrate emerging in-demand skills for students into curricula. Teachers’ salaries should increase by 2020.
- To achieve water security, the DPWH should prioritize the rehabilitation of existing water dams, and the government as a whole should consider the creation of a Department of Water, Water Regulation Commission, and National Water Corporation
- To attract investors and spur business, the Office of the President, the DTI, and other concerned agencies should ensure the effective implementation of the Ease of Doing Business Law, and appoint the head of the Anti Red Tape Authority (ARTA)
- To support and stimulate the growth of innovative digital startups in different fields (including in medicine), the Department of Science and Technology, with the private sector, should make grants available to startups and enable technology transfers
- To improve farm productivity, the DPWH and DA should improve agricultural infrastructure and logistics by 2020
- To spur business and job creation, the government should prioritize the amendments to the Magna Carta for MSMEs, Warehouse Receipts Act, weather-indexed agricultural insurance, and the faster implementation of the joint memorandum order on high foreign shipping costs and port congestion to help import/export industries
- To ensure strong agency performance, competent technocrats should be appointed as Secretaries of key departments
- To ensure sustainability of, and efficient use of resources, agencies such as the Department of Agriculture and Department of Agrarian Reform should enact a modern and sustainable national land use and marine use policy
- To increase trade, commerce, and tourism, the Department of Transportation should complete the rehabilitation of the PNR and major airports
- To improve infrastructure development, congress should amend the Public Services Act, Right of Way Act, and economic provisions of the constitution