Marco Polo Hotel, Davao City
5 February 2013

President Benigno S. Aquino III graced the closing session of the 2013 Philippines Development Forum (PDF) in Davao City where he addressed the stakeholders comprised of national government agencies, local government units, international development partners, civil society organizations, academe and the private sector on the country’s development agenda.

The two-day forum adopted the theme – “President Aquino’s Social Contract: Moving Forward in Achieving Inclusive Growth and Good Governance.”

In his message, President Aquino cited the historic economic progress attained by the country in the past two and a half years as a result of the administration’s commitment to good governance and ensured that integrity, transparency and accountability will continue to guide government operations.

He lauded the PDF because it represents the ideals of public-private partnerships. “In the early days of the administration, our sales pitch bordered on requests to consider our country. Today, CEOs and businessmen themselves congratulate our success, express active interest in the Philippines, and sometimes, even extend a hope that we will consider their proposals. They see that the Philippines today is different from the Philippines of the past: through our combined efforts, we are creating an environment in which both business and the citizenry are given opportunities to flourish,” the President said.

He also stressed that the development of Mindanao is a priority of his administration, noting the necessity to step up reforms in the region to foster inclusive growth. This is the primary reason why Davao City was chosen as the venue of this year’s forum.

The PDF was organized eight years ago to serve “as the primary mechanism of the Government for facilitating substantive policy dialogue among stakeholders on the country’s development agenda.” It also serves as a process for developing consensus and generating commitments among different stakeholders toward critical actionable items of the Government’s reform agenda.

Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima is the PDF’s Chairperson and World Bank Country Director Motoo Konishi is the Co-Chairperson.

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