Message of Secretary Balisacan on the 40th anniversary of NEDA, January 29, 2013

Message of Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan:
On the event of the 40th anniversary celebration of the National Economic and Development Authority

[Released on January 29, 2013]

Today we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the National Economic and Development Authority, and we are truly honoured that President Aquino took time from his very busy schedule to join us in this simple but especially meaningful commemoration.

Our theme for this celebration, “NEDA at 40 and Beyond: Lead. Engage. Transform,” marks an opportune time for us to look back at the past years since NEDA’s establishment in 1973. NEDA has, since then, taken on the role to lead the planning and coordination of our country’s socio-economic programs and platforms.

Through the years, we have had our highs and lows as an institution. There have been times in the past when NEDA’s integrity had been compromised by those whose intentions were less than honourable. These experiences have served as wake-up calls for us at NEDA to re-examine ourselves, and put in place policies and reforms to more committedly uphold the values that have shaped the foundation of our institution. 40 years have taught us important lessons, as we now embrace our mandated responsibility with renewed vigour and dedicate ourselves to more ably contribute to our nation’s development in the years ahead.

Indeed, these are exciting times for our country as we continue to see positive indicators of growth and stability in our economy. From the once “sick man of Asia”, our country has come a long way to be recognized among the fastest growing economies in the region over the recent quarters. At the heart of all these is our government’s thrust of good governance, which has led to concrete reforms to fight corruption, restore public trust, and enable a good economic environment in our country to thrive.

While good news about the Philippine economy signals that we are well on our way to achieve our unified goals, we know that our task is far from complete, and so we set out to further meet the challenges we face as an institution. We must continue to work hard to improve our internal capacities, and make NEDA a more credible, more accountable, and more relevant agency, by providing timely and reliable data and socio-economic analyses to help inform our country’s policies and programs. As we continue our path toward inclusive and sustainable growth, our task in NEDA becomes even more critical, by ensuring that the poor and most vulnerable sectors of society can take part in the growth process of our country.

As we move forward beyond the 40 years and continue to grow as an institution, we hope that we will be able to achieve greater heights, not only for ourselves, but more importantly for our beloved country. There are undeniable challenges at hand, but, with the leadership of President Aquino and together with other government agencies, the private sector and civil society, we will keep on finding ways to genuinely contribute to socio-economic development as we continue to lead, effectively engage various stakeholders and work together to transform actualized goals for our nation.

Maraming salamat po.