NEDA Board OKs 3 initiatives for human capital, social, infra dev't

By Anna Leah Gonzales

April 26, 2024, 10:17 am

<p>NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan  <em>(PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)</em></p>

NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan  (PNA photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board has approved three initiatives to support the government's drive to accelerate human capital development and improve the country's social and physical infrastructure. 

In a statement on Friday, NEDA said the Board chaired by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. approved the initiatives during its 15th meeting on April 25.

During the meeting, the NEDA Board approved the Department of Education's Basic Education Development Plan (BEDP) for 2030 and the MATATAG Agenda, which aims to provide all children, out-of-school youth, and adults with equal access to quality basic education.

The MATATAG Agenda, comprises four critical components, which include making the curriculum relevant; taking steps to accelerate the delivery of basic education facilities and services; taking good care of learners by promoting learner well-being, inclusive education, and a positive learning environment; and giving support to teachers to be able to teach better. 

"The BEDP 2030 is the country's first medium-term plan for basic education, covering formal K-to-12 education and non-formal education for youth and adults," NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said.

"This initiative primarily addresses our students' learning losses during the pandemic and strengthens the government's investment in the welfare of our children," he added.  

The NEDA Board also approved the changes to the parameters, terms, and conditions of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) for the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital Cancer Center, including an increase in the project cost from PHP6.05 billion to PHP9.49 billion.

The increase in the project cost will cover the higher construction cost primarily due to the rise in a built-up area (from 20 to 27 floors) and the procurement of cutting-edge technology and equipment to provide patients and medical students with world-class services and facilities for education.

To cover the additional expenses, the UP-PGH updated the bidding documents to comply with the PPP mode of procurement.

The UP-PGH Cancer Center will be a 300-bed hospital that will provide cancer treatment to both charity and paying patients.

The hospital will also serve as a teaching and research facility to meet the country's demand for more medical professionals specializing in cancer prevention and treatment. 

The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2027 and will start operations by early 2028. 

NEDA said the new guidelines of the NEDA Board Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) covering the review and approval of National PPP Proposals to make the process shorter and more efficient, was also approved. 

Under the new guidelines, the ICC approval for projects costing PHP15 billion and above is expected to be completed within 113 calendar days, with a maximum limit of 120 calendar days. 

For projects below PHP15 billion, ICC approvals should be completed in 83 to 90 calendar days, with a possible extension of up to 120 calendar days. 

The approved ICC guidelines will be published on the websites of NEDA, the Department of Finance, and the PPP Center. They are effective immediately. 

"As we envision Filipinos enjoying the benefits of livable communities, the government remains committed to providing them with basic needs such as healthcare and education toward sustained improvements in their overall quality of life," Balisacan said.

"With the right policies and enabling investment ecosystem, we hope our partners from the private sector can join us in the crucial task of nation-building as we continue on our journey toward a Bagong Pilipinas," he added. (PNA)