It’s high time for the government to focus on health as an important subject matter in policy research to directly confront the “conundrum” of undeniable economic progress with stubborn social deprivation.
This was the rationale of the press conference hosted by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) last Sept. 4 to kick-start the celebration of the 11th Development Policy Research Month (DPRM) celebration this year.
Dr. Rafaelita Aldaba, PIDS vice-president, presented the theme “Making Health More Inclusive in a Growing Economy” to members of the press, saying that facing this challenge could be the key to the country’s development.
“We cannot wait for growth effects to trickle down, we need the government to interfere by formulating policies and programs to improve the state of health,” she said during the event at the NEDA sa Makati Building.
The DPRM has been celebrated every September since 2002, under Presidential Proclamation No. 247.
PIDS has been actively promoting and instilling national awareness and appreciation of the importance of policy research and information in national development, by focusing on various socioeconomic themes such as climate change, poverty, and education.
Aldaba noted that Brazil, China, and other emerging economies have gone as far as investing at least 7–8 percent of their gross domestic product in education, training, and health.
She summed up her presentation with a quote from Amartya Sen, the Indian economist and Nobel laureate: “Growth must be accompanied by social capabilities like health, education, gender rights; healthy and educated population serves as foundation for economic growth.”
The annual DPRM aims to cultivate a “culture of research and research use” among decisionmakers and the general public, as well as elicit support of the public for activities that advance the standard of policy research in the Philippines.