Need to assess impact of free trade agreements

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has underscored the need for the Philippines to assess the impact of these trade agreements — particularly those where the country is a signatory — on its efforts to achieve inclusive growth and reduce poverty.
This was stressed by Socio-economic Planning Sec. and NEDA director-general Arsenio Balisacan during the recent  Development Policy Research Month (DPRM) Research Fair 2012 in Makati.
Balisacan urged research institutions particularly the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS) to look closely at how regional economic integration may be taken advantage of to provide high- quality jobs even for the unskilled workers.
“The need for the revival of the manufacturing sector, which has been stagnant for three decades, cannot be overemphasized,” said Balisacan.
He noted that the manufacturing sector could generate high productivity jobs, leading to higher employment and lower poverty incidence, which is the essence of inclusive growth.
Balisacan also cited the establishment of PIDS and the important role that science and analysis play in the formulation of policies that ultimately impact on the lives of our people.
“In the world of policy where diverse political, economic, and social interests converge and, many times, conflict, science and research provide a framework under which rational decisions can be formulated.”
“Through the years, PIDS and the other research and development institutes taking part in the research fair have upheld evidence-based policymaking for the country,” Balisacan said.
PIDS has produced a number of key studies addressing issues, and offering evidence-based policy recommendations, on regional economic integration, competition policy, and poverty reduction issues.
Balisacan also underscored the need for science and analysis in the formulation of development policies that would continue to highlight the significance of think tanks such as PIDS.