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National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Ernesto M Pernia delivered a lecture at the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) on March 22, 2017.

Secretary Pernia discussed the role of NEDA in enhancing national security.  His lecture is part of the College’s Distinguished Speaker Lecture Series.

“It is a privilege to speak before an audience of defense and security leaders and scholars whom we value at NEDA as our strategic partner towards the attainment of a sustained national development program,” said Secretary Pernia.

In his lecture, Secretary Pernia discussed NEDA’s varied functions such as development planning, investment programming, monitoring and evaluation, linking planning and budgeting process and reviewing of proposed policies, plans, programs and projects.

Expounding on the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022, he said, “The current PDP is the richest compared to the previous ones.”

The PDP provides a blueprint of development priorities for every administration.  It also serves as basis for prioritizing all government programs and projects and basis for identifying priority legislative agenda.

The current PDP includes chapters on attaining just and lasting peace (Chapter 17) and ensuring security, public order and safety (Chapter 19).  There are also chapters on the disposition of fair justice, culture and the arts, and the blue economy or the maritime environment.

The new PDP intends to ‘lay down the foundation for inclusive growth, a high-trust and resilient society, and a globally competitive knowledge economy’.  It provides the medium term plan towards the Duterte Administration’s vision as captured in Ambisyon Natin 2040.

Secretary Pernia stated, “National security and national development are inextricably linked”.

He said that it is clear in the current PDP’s strategic framework that ensuring peace and security is one of the bedrocks for achieving our development goals.

Secretary Pernia is a Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of the Philippines (UP).  He served for 18 years at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) where became he one of the top economists. His significant contribution in international economic cooperation includes leading a team that produced the seven-volume study on the “East Asia Growth Area: Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines” (1996) which provided the roadmap for the implementation of the landmark regional cooperation undertaking.

Members of the Master in National Security Administration (MNSA) program Regular Class 52 were present during the lecture.  Special guests include representatives from the Department of National Defense (DND), National Security Council (NSC), Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The Distinguished Speaker Lecture Series regularly features prominent officials and personalities, international and local, who have become leading figures in their respective fields such as the military, government, academe, non-government, people’s or private organizations.

Now on its eighteenth year, the Distinguished Speaker Lecture Series aims to provide opportunities for academic discussion on current and compelling local and international national security issues delivered by highly renowned experts and luminaries.

– Cloyde Cariño