‘Address inequalities and inequities to accelerate post-pandemic recovery’

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated existing socioeconomic inequalities and cultural inequities, which greatly affected the vulnerable and marginalized sectors of society. It is crucial to address these disparities to build their resilience to future shocks and accelerate the country’s post-pandemic recovery.

The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and its partners echo this message in this year’s Development Policy Research Month (DPRM) celebration, which carries the theme “#CloseTheGap: Accelerate Post-pandemic Recovery through Social Justice”, or in Filipino, “#AlisinAngAgwat: Pabilisin ang Pag-ahon Mula sa Pandemya sa Pamamagitan ng Katarungang Panlipunan”.

The DPRM is celebrated every September to promote nationwide awareness of the importance of policy research in crafting evidence-based policies, plans, and programs, pursuant to Malacanang Proclamation 247 signed in 2002. The same proclamation designates the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) as the lead coordinator of the yearly DPRM celebration.

The theme underscores the importance of reducing and removing the socioeconomic and political inequalities and cultural inequities that divide society. This can be achieved by making social justice a guiding principle of the country’s post-pandemic recovery plan, particularly in the areas of human capital development and social protection, public health services and infrastructure, and environmental resilience.

To formally launch the DPRM, a virtual forum will be held on September 1, where key government officials will provide insights on how to make social justice the front and center of the post-pandemic recovery plan. Panelists include Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Assistant Secretary Romeo Balanquit of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Officer-in-Charge Patrick Patriwirawan Jr. of the Department of Labor and Employment-Bureau of Local Employment, and members of the PIDS 2022 Annual Public Policy Conference Scientific Committee (namely, Drs. Valerie Gilbert Ulep, Sonny Domingo, and Ma. Christina Epetia). President Aniceto Orbeta Jr. of PIDS and Deputy Secretary General Romulo Miral Jr. of the Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department (CPBRD) will give the opening and closing remarks, respectively.

The virtual kick-off forum will be followed by the APPC and the Mindanao Policy Research Forum (MPRF).

The APPC was launched in 2015 to serve as a platform for convening policy experts and researchers to analyze critical development issues and provide actionable recommendations. It is the highlight of the yearly DPRM celebration. This year’s APPC, which is supported by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Research Academy, will be conducted through a four-part webinar series on September 13, 15, 20, and 22, featuring presentations from foreign and local experts on the theory and application of social justice.

Meanwhile, the MPRF is an annual forum organized by PIDS and the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) in partnership with a local university in Mindanao. This year, the 8th MPRF will be jointly organized by PIDS and MinDA in collaboration with the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology. It will be held virtually on September 28.

Government agencies, local government units, and the general public are also urged to participate in the DPRM celebration by displaying the DPRM banner, posting and sharing DPRM infographics, videos, and other related announcements on their respective websites and social media accounts, and organizing activities related to the DPRM theme or policy research.

Chaired by PIDS, the DPRM Steering Committee consists of various government agencies, with the NEDA, Civil Service Commission, BSP, Philippine Information Agency, Presidential Management Staff, Department of the Interior and Local Government, DBM, Senate Economic Planning Office, and CPBRD as permanent members. This year’s additional members include the Department of Health, Department of Education, and Climate Change Commission.

Details of this year’s theme and activities are available on the DPRM website at http://dprm.pids.gov.ph. The public may also check the Institute’s social media accounts at https://www.facebook.com/PIDS.PH/ and https://twitter.com/PIDS_PH and the PIDS website at https://www.pids.gov.ph for more information and updates.