Bernardo M. Villegas
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A Moment to Dream Big (Part 2)

             Another significant effort to Dream Big for the Philippine Future is that of a group of top officials from the private business sector, the academe, the Government, the military, civil society and church organizations that is captured in a document entitled Dream Philippines 2046 Roadmap.  This is a joint effort of three inter-related institutions called the Institute for Corporate Directors (ICD), the Center for Excellence in Governance (CED) and the Institute for Solidarity Asia (ISA), all of which were established under the leadership of former Secretary of Finance, Dr. Jesus Estanislao (Ph.D.  Harvard).  What is significant in this major effort to Dream Big is that it was based on the broadest framework defining the common good of Philippine society inspired by the Philippine Constitution of 1987. It goes much beyond the usual definition of socio-economic development of a country like the Philippines such as that of Ambisyon Natin 2040 of the NEDA.  Instead of being inspired by the usual “greatest good for the greatest number”, the Dream Philippines 2046 Roadmap (DPH2046 Roadmap) adheres closely to the definition of the common good as a social or juridical order which enables every single member of society to attain his or her fullest development economically, politically, culturally, socially, morally and spiritually.  Every dimension of integral human development is thoroughly explored.

            The Mission Statement is taken verbatim from the Declaration of Principles found in the 1987 Philippine Constitution:  We, the Filipino people, implore the aid of Almighty God:  As we seek to build a just and humane society; establish a government that shall promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony; secure the blessing of independence and democracy under the rule of law,; and secure a regime of truth and justice, love and freedom, equality and peace.  The Core Values are expressed in the National Language:  Maka-Diyos, Maka-Bansa, Maka-Tao and Maka-Kalikasan.  The Core Purpose is stated as “for the transformation of the Philippines and the comprehensive development of the Filipino people, by the Filipino and for the Filipino.”

            The Vision Statements are time bound.  By 2028, the end of the current Administration, the Philippines shall have fully recovered from the socio-economic setback brough about by the COVID-19 pandemic.  We shall have built a solid platform of good governance and responsible citizenship from which to take off, on an irreversible and sustained trajectory, towards the transformation of the Philippines and the comprehensive development of the Filipino people.

            By 2034, the Filipinos will enjoy protection, safety and resiliency from climate change by switching to sustainability and holding institutions accountable for the worsening condition of the environment (climate justice).  By 2040, the Philippines shall be a country where all citizens are free from hunger and poverty, have equal opportunities, enabled by fair and just society that is governed with order and unity.  A nation where families live together, thriving in vibrant, culturally diverse and resilient communities (adapted from NEDA Ambisyon Natin 2040).

            By 2046, we shall enjoy a strongly rooted, stable and comfortable lifestyle, secure in the knowledge that we have enough for our daily needs and unexpected expenses; and that we can plan and prepare for our own and our children’s future.  Our families shall live in a place of our own, and we have the freedom to go where we desire, protected and enabled by a clean, efficient and just government that deals with the people equitably and fairly (adapted from NEDA, Ambisyon 2040).

            In line with the definition of the common good as a social or juridical order in which every Filipino citizen can attain his or her fullest integral human development, the DPH2046 Roadmap threshes out strategic objectives in all the dimensions of integral human development, i.e. Moral-Spiritual, Socio-Cultural, Political, Environmental (Natural Resources), Human Resources Development, Physical, Technological-Digital, and Economic-Financial.  As regards the greatest of all human good, the moral-spiritual, Dream PH 2046 envisions a virtues-based society, with deep spiritual, ethical, moral and religious foundation and the highest respect for human rights, religious freedom and the spirit of enterprise.  At the socio-cultural level, there should be a deep sense of patriotism (as distinguished from narrow nationalism), strong family institution (based on the inviolability of marriage, as provided for by the Philippine Constitution), high quality of life, and the preservation of our rich cultural heritage.  Politically, there should be strengthened, integrated and harmonized political institutions; matured electoral process and civic consciousness; and stable national peace and security.

            Concerning Natural Resources, the strategic objectives are the protection, conservation and judicious development of marine resources; the responsible development of mountain and mineral resources and greater priority assigned to food security and sustainability.  In Human Resources, in which the Philippines leads the Indo-Pacific region in having a young and growing population, there must be universal health care; continuing education for all; peaceful, safe and secure communities; and the promotion of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses and the dual vocational training system with strong values components.  So that this very important strategic objective does not stay at the level of a motherhood statement, let me identity the role models for the most important sector in technical education and training in the coming twenty years in line with DPH2046.  These are the Don Bosco schools, the Meralco Institute of Technology, the Dualtech Training Institute and the Center for Technology and Enterprise (CITE).

            In the area of the physical infrastructures, the strategic objectives are quality and efficient transport infrastructures; water adequacy and security; energy cost-effectiveness, sufficiency and security; and environmentally sensitive waste management.  As the Philippines keeps pace with the rest of the developed world in the so-called Industrial Revolution 4.0 (Artificial Intelligence,  Internet of Things, Digitalization and Data Analytics), our technological-digital development should provide for access to technology for all; knowledge-driven competitive digital ecosystem; and global-standard ICT infrastructure.

            Finally, at the strictly economic-financial level, DPH2046 envisions a business environment characterized by competitiveness and ease of doing business; a production and maintenance mindset that results in expanded output and improved incomes; strong economic fundamentals; availability of development finance, especially for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and focused fiscal and monetary policies.

            Those who participated in coming out with this Dream Scenario for 2046 consciously or unconsciously were responding to the call of Pope Francis when he wrote in Dream Big that God is asking us to dare to create something new.  “We cannot return to the false securities of the political and economic systems  we had before the crisis.  We need economies that give to all access to the fruits of creation, to the basic needs of life:  to land, lodging and labor.   We need a politics that can integrate and dialogue with the poor, the excluded, and the vulnerable, that gives people a say in the decisions that impact their lives.  We need to slow down, take stock, and design better ways of living together on this earth.”  For comments, my email address is bernardo.villegas@uap.asia.