THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL (NEC)
The National Economic and Development Authority traces its beginnings to the creation of its forerunner, the NEC, under Commonwealth Act No. 2 that was approved by the National Assembly on 23 December 1935. The NEC’s principal mandate was to advise the national government on the formulation and adoption of a State economic program based on the policy of national independence. The Finance Secretary at that time was appointed the acting Chairman. In 1943, during the Second World War, while the country was under Japanese occupation, a National Planning Board was created under Executive Order No. 1, but this was replaced by the Economic Planning Board created under EO No. 46 of 1944, tasked to recommend measures for the economic development.
After the war, in response to the recommendation of the Government Reorganization Committee, the NEC was reconstituted in 1947 under Executive Order No. 94 of 1947, to serve as the government’s center of national economic planning. However, a period of inactivity followed when NEC personnel were detailed to the Philippine Council for United States Aid (PHILCUSA), which was organized in 1950 as part of the Quirino-Foster Agreement on the United States assistance for the Philippine development.
A new National Economic Council was created under EO 119 of 1955, pursuant to RA997 of 1954, thereby replacing the old NEC, even as the PHILCUSA was abolished under the same EO 119. The new NEC now included an Office of National Planning, Office of Foreign Aid Coordination, and the Office of Statistical Coordination and Standards. In 1960 under RA2699, the membership of the NEC was increased. In 1962, the Program Implement Agency, headed by a Director-General of Cabinet rank, was created under EO 17 to implement the government’s socioeconomic program and to undertake economic planning as well.
Pursuant to RA 5435 of 1968, which authorized the Office of the President of the Philippines to reorganize the executive department and the different government agencies, the Integrated Reorganization Plan of March 1972, was submitted to Congress. It provided for the creation of a National Economic Development Authority. This was realized the following year with the issuance of Presidential Decree No. 107 dated 24 January 1973, creating the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). With the creation of the NEDA, the functions of various socioeconomic bodies created by past administrations were now integrated under one government agency.
In 1987, the NEDA was reorganized under EO 230.
The National Historical Commission on the Philippines affirms NEDA’s founding date on December 23, 1935.
The National Economic and Development Authority is the country’s premier socioeconomic planning body, highly regarded as the authority in macroeconomic forecasting and policy analysis and research. It provides high-level advice to policymakers in Congress and the Executive Branch. Its key responsibilities include:
- Coordination of activities such as the formulation of policies, plans, and programs to efficiently set the broad parameters for national and sub-national (area-wide, regional, and local development);
- Review, evaluation, and monitoring of infrastructure projects identified under the Comprehensive and Integrated Infrastructure Program consistent with the government’s thrust of increasing investment spending for the growing demand on quality infrastructure facilities; and
- Undertaking of short-term policy reviews to provide critical analyses of development issues and policy alternatives to decision-makers.