MANILA, May 28 (Mabuhay) — Incoming Socioeconomic Planning chief Arsenio Balisacan said Friday he plans to “reinvigorate” public-private partnerships and the manufacturing sector under President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The key to reducing poverty and social inequities is generating proactive jobs, according to Balisacan, a former National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director-general and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary from 2012 to 2016 during the Aquino administration.

“The lessons of recent history is that if you have a manufacturing sector in the early stages of your development, poverty reduction is so fast and likely sustainable,” he said.

“Working the economic policy in such a way that there’s a transformation taking place in the economy from agricultural to industrial, and eventually to services, that has to be facilitated and that’s the role of government.”

Government must also “reinvigorate, reexamine and bring back PPPs” to address its fiscal bind, Balisacan said.

“We’ll reach out to the private sector because the private sector plays a strong role in economic developments, which is also my firm view that without the private sector we can’t really expect to go far,” he said.

On tax reforms, Balisacan said that these “should not come at the expense of those who are vulnerable and have more in need in life.”

“Whenever we have fiscal crises it’s always the sector who are poor, most concentrated that took the heavy hit,” he said.

“I’m talking about education, health and other sectors, including scholarship for the poor–these are the ones that are easy to be chopped. I don’t think that’s a good way to address the issue. This would put disproportionate burden on the poor.”

Balisacan emphasized there was a need to address the country’s education crisis.

“We need to address these issues now because they will become a hindrance to future productivity growth,” he said.

“When kids join the labor market they will not be as competitive as our neighbors. We still have time to do that. The past 2 years I think were very costly as far as human capital is concerned.”

The incoming administration must get “our acts together, move quickly and start getting the programs running and smoothly,” Balisacan added.

“My advocacy has always been in anything of the things we do, government must be pursuing things that achieve the common good. And for us and for me in part, those are poverty reduction and the reduction in socioeconomic inequities which have been a cancer that we should have addressed long ago.

“Those must be addressed if we’re intent or expect our economy to join the ranks of prosperous countries and neighbors.” (MNS)

READ NEXT: Face-to-face classes to push economic growth to full potential  — NEDA’s Chua