“We have been emphasizing for some years now that the government must move on from the practice of setting annual goals to laying out multi-year programs that will sustain the gains of all projects for the benefit of the people,” Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023.

He welcomed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s signing on Monday, Jan. 30 of Executive Order 14, which approved and adopted the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) for the period 2023-2028. The independent senator expressed his support for the goal of sustained recovery and growth for the country.

During his campaign for the Senate last year, Cayetano emphasized that what the country needed was a long-term plan that will be followed regardless of any leadership change.

“Ang problema kasi, marami tayong magagandang plano, pero kapag nagpalit na ng administrasyon nababale-wala na dahil gustong gumawa ng sarili (The problem is that we have many good plans, but when the administration changes, they are ignored because the new leadership wants to do its own thing). Let us hope EO 14 is the start of a more sustainable view of government programs,” he said.

Cayetano also gave assurance that he will push for the passage of bills he had filed in the Senate aimed at long-term economic recovery, among them the Progresibong Pilipinas Para sa Lahat ng Pilipino (Senate Bill 300) and the Smart Philippines Act (Senate Bill 298).

SB 300 seeks to form a Philippine Decentralization Committee (PDC), which will be tasked to formulate a five-year midterm and a 10-year long-term Philippine Decentralization Plan.

The PDC will conduct a comprehensive feasibility study on the possibility of transferring or relocating national government agencies (NGAs), with the end goal of enhancing the delivery of public goods and services in the regions/countryside.

As far as practicable, each region must have at least one major NGA, the bill states.

SB 298, for its part, calls for the establishment of a Smart Philippines Council that will create a five-year strategic action plan that will focus on modernizing digital infrastructure, health, transportation, education, finance and urban development for the cities and municipalities in the entire country.

“Panahon na para magplano tayo hindi lang para sa sarili natin kundi para sa mga susunod na henerasyon (It is time for us to plan not only for ourselves but also for future generations),” Cayetano said.

“A five-year plan is good, but a 10-year or even a 20-year plan is even better. We have to keep our children and our children’s children on the top of our priorities, and now is the time to prepare for their future,” he added.