September is Development Policy Research Month (DPRM) in the Philippines, pursuant to Proclamation No. 247 issued on September 2, 2002, which underscored the need to promote and enhance awareness and appreciation of the importance and necessity of policy research and evidence-based policy as a tool in formulating national development plans and programs. Since 2002, the DPRM has been instrumental in improving plans and programs. Since 2002, the DPRM has been instrumental in improving public understanding of socio-economic policy issues, concerns, and concepts and advancing the quality and standard of policy research, through broad-based discussions and interactions among sectors and partners.
The theme for this year’s observance of 12th Development Policy Research Month is “Addressing the Jobs Challenge toward Inclusive Growth” to focus on labor market issues that would help resolve the country’s unemployment and underemployment problems and accelerate poverty reduction, amid the preparations for the forthcoming Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic (ASEAN) Community in 2015.
The Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016 recommends a number of strategies to enhance job generation, which include the opening of channels for all forms of employment and mutually beneficial work arrangements, and using the country’s comparative advantage in labor-intensive activities. Three million Filipinos were without jobs in 2013 and 7.51 million were underemployed, data from the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS) showed, suggesting that government and the private sector should look at labor policies and regulations to help in generating productive, quality jobs, and for the country to harness its abundant resources, especially its young workforce.
PIDS, the lead agency for programs and activities related to the month-long observance, organizes seminars, discussions, and forums to help leaders and communities make sound decisions, through the crafting of policy research, to benefit the people and the nation at large. The activities seek to provide the appropriate base and support to better understand and resolve issues needing immediate action, such as education, rice and food security, economic competitiveness, local governance, labor and migration, trade, investment, climate change, and poverty alleviation. Every year, PIDS encourages the display of a streamer with the DPRM theme in the premises of public and private establishments to better inform the people, agencies, and institutions on the significance of the event, as well as harness their participation.