As the pandemic sets the country back for several years in achieving its AmBisyon Nation 2040 goals, the Philippines is facing more economic shocks such as the looming global conflicts, future health threats, and the unavoidable effects of climate change, according to Arsenio Balisacan, chairman of the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC).

In his speech at the induction ceremonies of the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines on Friday, Balisacan urged the next administration to accelerate the momentum in economic reforms achieved during the current administration: the passage of critical measures such as the tax reform packages, the Ease of Doing Business Law, the Rice Tariffication Law, and the amendments to the Foreign Investment Act and the Retail Trade Liberalization Act.

“It is crucial that we do not miss opportunities and lose the momentum for game-changing reforms – on the contrary, the momentum must be accelerated by the next administration if we hope to catch up with our dynamic neighbors in Asia and meet our 2040 target,” Balisacan said.

Balisacan also warned that the government will have to deal with the economic scars inflicted by this crisis in the next few years: lost skills and human capital, foregone investments, and heightened inequality.

“We must also be able to navigate our way through even more economic shocks such as looming global conflicts, future health threats, and the unavoidable effects of climate change,” Balisacan said.

The AmBisyon Natin 2040 set in 2015, is the anchor for development planning of four administration. It aims to achieve “matatag, maginhawa at panatag na buhay” for Filipinos in 25 years.

At PCC, Balisacan also sees the need for the Philippines to catch up with its dynamic neighbors on competition policies.

“We continue to ramp up our enforcement of competition policy to relieve priority sectors of further harm that arise from anti-competitive practices. We’re also strongly pushing for improving the regulatory environment by reviewing government policies that may be unwittingly creating barriers to entry or inducing anti-competitive market structures.

Robust competition will not only help the economy recover and become more productive in the short term, but also to thrive and innovate in the longer term,” he said.