Key priorities in the Philippines areto improve job creation, to strengthen resilience to natural disasters and climate change, and to promote development of the poorest regions. A weak job-creating capacity that has led to chronically high unemployment and, even more significantly, under-employment has been a key contributor to the persistent poverty and inequality. Job creation also needs to be bolstered through reforms to foster a more favourable business and investment climate, particularly for the small and medium-sized enterprises which contribute so much to employment. The Philippines’ poorest island grouping, Mindanao, has been largely overlooked by rural development policies. To help Mindanao capitalise on its natural assets, invigorate its economy, and lift its people out of poverty, rural development needs to focus on improving agricultural productivity and the island’s woeful transport infrastructure.

The Philippines is one of the countries most prone to natural disasters in the world. It is exposed to multiple natural hazards from typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and especially flooding. Serious aggravating factors are environmental degradation, climate change, and uncontrolled urbanisation. Reforms to improve disaster management and to foster environmentally sustainable growth will be essential to improving and sustaining the country’s development.

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