MAP pushes policy recommendations

Published July 4, 2022, 4:57 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) has submitted eight policy recommendations to the new administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to achieve and sustain a dynamic and inclusive economic growth in the country.

Education topped the MAP list, which strongly urged the President to address the education crisis in the country. The seven others are healthcare; agriculture and agribusiness; trade and industrial policy; infrastructure adequacy; labor market and employment policies; fiscal and financial policies; and, justice and rule of law.

To address the country’s urgent education crisis, MAP has urged Marcos to immediately mobilize the Second Education Commission created by the new Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II) Act and its multi-sectoral Advisory Council, to develop a clear roadmap out of the learning crisis that will pursue foundational reforms, ensure public-private complementarity, institutionalize lifelong learning/upskilling, and draw on international best practices and new knowledge in the neurosciences.

This also called for the full return of the face-to-face classes in all schools that are in non-high-risk areas, while adhering to the highest levels of health and safety guidelines by the start of SY 2022-2023.

Under this policy recommendation are need for connectivity and teacher upskilling prioritization for budgetary support for connectivity in all schools in the 2023 budget, and teachers’ upskilling as learning facilitators, tapping on partnerships with business and civil society organizations domestically and internationally.

To make quality health care accessible to every Filipino, MAP has urged Marcos to upgrade the Public Health System, overhaul PhilHealth’s leadership and management, including investment in technology-enabled management systems and private outsourcing of certain functions; substantial increase in hospital bed and manpower capacity; • Guarantee steady supply of vaccines and medicines across the country; upgrade compensation of public doctors and nurses at all levels in the public and private sectors; and, expand the role of clinics nationwide to give closer medical services to rural folk and take pressure off hospital out-patient care.

For the agriculture and agribusiness sector, MAP said that to achieve high productivity and competitiveness, there should farm consolidation, foster scale economies, stamp out corruption and massive leakages in the agriculture budget; and pursue structural, functional and budgetary reform in the agriculture bureaucracy.

To expand the country’s trade, investments and exports, the group also cited the need for policy reforms that will lower cost of doing business, encourage innovation, and ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement and other trade agreements to tap wider market opportunities that will diversify the country’s exports in terms of products/services and destinations, and enhance the country’s attractiveness to foreign investments.

MAP also pushed for sustaining the gains of the Build Build Build program to ensure infrastructure adequacy in the country.

On labor market and employment, MAP said government must adopt labor flexibility and establish special employment zones in high unemployment areas.

MAP also recommended that the Marcos administration must create policies to support micro, small and medium enterprises and fiscal consolidation.

Lastly, MAP said justice and rule of law must always be upheld if business confidence is to be sustained, and the general population is to live in an atmosphere of peace security. This means ensuring government transparency and zero tolerance for corruption.