Sulong Pilipinas: Partners for Progress (Business) Top Actionable Recommendations
1. Agriculture and food security: To improve access to farm produce, the Departments of Agriculture (DA) and the of Trade and Industry (DTI), together with Local Government Units (LGUs), should set up a system where small farmers can efficiently deliver their produce to food hubs located in various cities and provinces where prices are regulated by LGUs.
2. Education and science and technology: To ensure continued learning for all students, especially those from lower-income families, the Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) should partner with LGUs and private institutions in providing flexible learning materials, free WiFi connection, and access to computers for both students and teachers before the start of the next school year.
3. Financial inclusion and digitalization: To promote financial inclusion and digitalization, the government should implement the National Identification (ID) system and ensure the digital connectivity of all government agencies and LGUs as soon as possible.
4. Health: To strengthen the government’s response mechanism to pandemics, the Legislature should pass a bill providing guidelines and mechanisms on how the different government agencies, non government organizations (NGOs) and other private groups can efficiently and effectively provide aid to affected areas and communities as soon as possible.
5. Information and communications technology: To improve Internet connectivity and accessibility in the country, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) should implement policies that will allow more service providers to operate, while Malacañang should certify the Open Access in Data Transmission Bill as urgent to ensure its speedy congressional passage by July 2020.
6. Transportation: To improve the availability of public transportation as the country copes with the adverse impact of COVID-19, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), together with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), should allow the operation of mass public transportation, while ensuring that these adhere to the highest health and safety standards with guidance from the Department of Health (DOH); and at the same time look into more sustainable transportation modes and open more and wider pedestrian and bike lanes within the year.
7. Manufacturing: To strengthen the manufacturing sector, value chains and linkages between agriculture and manufacturing should be strengthened for better collaboration, prioritization of homegrown resources and raw materials in supply chains, and enhanced product specialization.
8. Peace and order: To align peace and order initiatives with good governance, the Department of National Defense (DND), Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should reaffirm their commitment to the rule of law and to defend and uphold the Constitution, as well as engage in multi sectoral dialogues to promote cooperation rather than animosity across sectors of the society within the next two months.
9. Services: To improve the competitiveness of Philippine tourism and support the development and growth of the sector, the Department of Tourism (DOT) and LGUs should improve coordination, align efforts, and work together to craft a more detailed recovery plan for this sector by 2021.
10. MSME development: To increase Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and ensure job creation and preservation, the Congress should pass the Public Service Act, Foreign Investment Act, the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, and the Liberalization of the Agriculture sector by August 2020.