By Vince Angelo C. Ferreras, June 3 2019; Business World

Image Credit to Philippine Star

THE House of Representatives approved on third and final reading Monday a bill which expands the number of interagency committees helping the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) evaluate more areas of the economy.

House Bill 9204 or “The National Economic and Development Authority Act” seeks to ensure the independence of the agency in implementing long-term, integrated and coordinated programs and policies for national development.

The bill will enhance decentralization and strengthen the autonomy of units within the various regions to accelerate their economic and social growth and development.

Section 9, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution authorizes “an independent economic and planning agency headed by the President, which shall, after consultations with the appropriate public agencies, various private sectors, and local government units, recommend to Congress, and implement continuing integrated and coordinated programs and policies for national development.”

It added, “Until the Congress provides otherwise, the National Economic and Development Authority shall function as the independent planning agency of the government.”

The bill also calls for additional interagency committees to assist NEDA.

The NEDA board currently has seven committees: the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC), Infrastructure Committee (InfraCom), Investment Coordination Committee (ICC), Social Development Committee (SDC), Committee on Tariff and Related Matters (CTRM), the Regional Development Committee (RDCom) and the Marine Resource and Land Use Committee (MRLUC).

Under the NEDA act, additional committees include the Economic Development Committee (EDC), the Science, Technology and Innovation Committee (STIC), the Sustainable and Resilient Development Committee (SRDC), the Governance Committee (GC), and the Human Resource and Cultural Development Committee (CultureCom).

The bill also provides for the harmonization and synchronization of development planning, investment programming, budgeting, and monitoring, among others. — Vince Angelo C. Ferreras