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PIDS Updates




3RPS 2020-03: Nontariff Measures in the Philippines:
A Preliminary Analysis Using Incidence Indicators

by Francis Mark A. Quimba and Sylwyn C. Calizo Jr.

As several countries have reduced tariff rates, other forms of regulatory measures that impact on trade have proliferated. These regulations, collectively known as nontariff measures (NTMs), can be imposed on imports and exports. Using descriptive indicators, NTMs could be measured with coverage ratios, frequency indices, and prevalence scores. Across the different government agencies, it has been found that the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources both implement the most number of NTMs with 422 and 103 NTMs, respectively. Moreover, both agricultural goods and manufactured goods have been shown to be highly regulated at 92.2 percent and 93.9 percent, respectively, albeit agricultural goods have a higher prevalence score (19.8) compared to manufacture goods (8.9). Click here to download the research paper.

RPS 2020-02: Are We Missing Out on the Demographic Dividend? Trends and Prospects
by Michael R.M. Abrigo, Rachel H. Racelis, J.M. Ian Salas, Alejandro N. Herrin, Danica A.P. Ortiz, and Zhandra C. Tam

The Philippines is slowly ageing. In a little over a decade, the country's elderly will comprise at least 7 percent of the total population. This rising tide may pose some substantial burden on the country's resources. Nonetheless, the same economic and demographic forces that will eventually lead to population ageing may also provide potentials for economic growth. This paper documents the country's historical experience of the demographic dividend using new National Transfer Account time-series estimates for the Philippines. These estimates also reflect how the interaction between public policy and population ageing may affect household welfare and fiscal balance in the foreseeable future. Click here to download the research paper.

RPS 2020-01: Vulnerability to Income Poverty in the Philippines: An Examination of Trends
from 2003 to 2015

by Jose Ramon G. Albert and Jana Flor V. Vizmanos

This study continues previous work on estimating the vulnerability level of households to income poverty using a modified probit model based on income and other poverty correlates data sourced from the Family Income and Expenditure Survey, as well as the country's official poverty lines. Past model specifications are improved by including data on price and climate shocks to welfare, as well as by generating individual assessments for urban and rural areas before combining the cross-section results, rather than using a common specification nationally as done previously. The vulnerability assessment in this study provides inputs to forward-looking interventions that build the resilience of households for preventing or reducing the likelihood of future poverty. The study emphasizes the importance of using both poverty and vulnerability estimates in programs and identifies differentiated actions for those highly vulnerable and relatively vulnerable to poverty. Click here to download the research paper.


PN 2020-05: Irrigation Investments: Some Recurrent and Emerging Issues
by Arlene B. Inocencio and Roehlano M. Briones

This Policy Note looks at some recurrent and emerging concerns on how to improve irrigation investments in the country. Among others, it finds that despite the increase in allocation, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) has hardly met its annual physical targets for new area development. Among the reasons behind this are institutional, physical, and operational constraints faced by NIA. In particular, its targeting system appears to be weak as a result of the decline in human resources with needed expertise and experience to perform critical functions. Another cause of concern is the fast conversion of lands, rendering irrigation investments useless. To address these issues, the study calls for a clear understanding of the bottlenecks or limiting factors in achieving the target new areas. It also urges NIA to carefully assess land conversions to redirect investments to areas which are in actual need of irrigation. The study likewise suggests exploring the potential for irrigation investment to support the crop diversification program, given the rice tariffication and the increasing nonviability of rice areas. Click here to download the policy note.


DP 2020-06: Efficiency of Local Governments in Health Service Delivery: A Stochastic Frontier Analysis
by Janet S. Cuenca

The study analyzes the efficiency implications of fiscal decentralization using stochastic frontier analysis (SFA). It uses health expenditure (in per capita real terms) data from local government units (LGUs) as input. The output variables of interest include access to safe water and sanitation, health facility-based delivery, and access to hospital inpatient services. It also uses LGU income and its major components (i.e., own-source revenue and income revenue allotment, in per capita real terms) as covariates, as well as the health expenditure decentralization ratio to account for fiscal autonomy on the expenditure side. Two measures of fiscal decentralization were also used as factors affecting efficiency to account for financial/fiscal autonomy of the LGUs on the income side, i.e., the ratio of own-source revenue to expenditures and ratio of own-source revenue to income). Issues such as the mismatch between local government fiscal capacity and its devolved functions, health system fragmentation, existence of two-track delivery system, and unclear expenditure assignments, among others, inevitably create inefficiency. These issues should be addressed to fully reap efficiency gains from fiscal decentralization, particularly in health devolution. Click here to download the publication.

DP 2020-05: Assessment of the Performance Challenge Fund and the Seal of Good Local Governance: Perceptions from Municipalities
by Charlotte Justine D. Sicat, Maria Alma P. Mariano, Angel Faye G. Castillo, and Ricxie B. Maddawin

Using the results of a nationwide survey of all municipalities in the Philippines, this study focuses on the perceptions of the core members of the municipal planning team on the usefulness and importance of the Perfomance Challenge Fund (PCF). Survey showed that majority of the local government respondents appreciated the PCF and recognized its importance. But evidences also showed that about 20 percent of surveyed municipalities were never eligible to receive the PCF. Most of these municipalities were from the 5th and 6th income class, concentrated in the Bicol, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas regions. In addition, there were some local government units that were either consistent or inconsistent recipients of the PCF. These results must be considered by policymakers especially with the recent passage of the Seal of Good Local Governance Law. Click here to download the publication.

DP 2020-04: Fiscal Decentralization and Health Service Delivery: An Assessment
by Janet S. Cuenca

The study proposes an analytical framework that examines the effects of fiscal decentralization on health service delivery using difference-in-differences (DID) method. It draws up the standard measure of the extent/degree of fiscal decentralization affecting the health sector. The findings of the DID analysis suggest that greater health decentralization has a negative impact on access to hospital inpatient services and access to sanitation (toilet). It contradicts the hypothesis of the study that greater health decentralization will result in better health services. Nevertheless, it is consistent with the existing narratives that highlight the lower spending on hospitals at the provincial level due to mismatch between the cost of devolved hospitals and the local government units (LGUs) internal revenue allotment (IRA), i.e., block grant transferred to the LGUs. Such negative effect has remained over the years because most LGUs do not have adequate health budget to maintain and upgrade devolved health facilities. Click here to download the publication.

DP 2020-03: Baseline Study on Policy and Governance Gaps for the Local Government Support Fund Assistance to Municipalities (LGSF-AM) Program (Integrated Report)
by Charlotte Justine D. Sicat, Catharine E. Adaro, Ricxie B. Maddawin, Angel Faye G. Castillo,
and Maria Alma P. Mariano

One major challenge faced in assessing the impact of the various national government interventions is the lack of baseline data. This study aims to identify policy and governance gaps in infrastructure and planning to provide baseline data on key areas and current planning practices of local governments. The desk review revealed low revenue effort, as well as inadequate utilization of mandated development fund, due to poor planning in majority of the municipalities. The study recommends (1) improving compliance of LGUs in the regular updating of their multisectoral development plans, (2) revisiting the basis for establishing the current situation of a locality, (3) improving project readiness and feasibility, and (4) strengthening capacity development programs to address governance gaps in development planning. Click here to download the publication.

DP 2020-02: Assessing the Resurgent Irrigation Development Program of the Philippines -
Communal Irrigation Systems Component

by Roger A. Luyun Jr. and Dulce D. Elazagui

The study evaluates the effectiveness and efficiency of the government's irrigation program with focus on the technical, physical, and institutional aspects of the performance of communal irrigation systems (CIS). Using primary and secondary data collection, key-informant interviews and focus group discussions with key actors, and walkthroughs to gauge the physical irrigation conditions, the study finds that majority of the sampled CIS are gravity systems, except in some provinces where there are more pump irrigation systems coming from lakes, rivers, creeks, springs, runoff, and ground water. While some rivers tapped have adequate flows for irrigation even during the dry seasons, unreliable water supply is a major problem for majority of the CIS that tap water from less dependable water sources or rely on springs and runoff during long dry months. The study suggests that the presence of a dependable surface water source and a good shallow aquifer, as well as soil type and its suitability to different type of crops, be used as major criteria for irrigation development. On the problem of water supply sources, there should be a concerted and united effort on the part of concerned government agencies and the academe to identify potential sites for diversion dams and storage reservoirs. The Free Irrigation Service Act should also clarify its provisions regarding CIS implementation, among others. Click here to download the publication.

DP 2020-01: Assessing the Resurgent Irrigation Development Program of the Philippines -
National Irrigation Systems Component

by Roberto S. Clemente, Arthur L. Fajardo, Vicente G. Ballaran Jr., Julie Carl P. Ureta, Arman S. Baulita,
and Kristel Camille J. Tapire

This study evaluates the National Irrigation Systems (NIS) in the Philippines, which consisted of 22 NIS in Luzon and 17 NIS in Visayas and Mindanao and are represented by 151 irrigators associations (IAs). The overall objective is to evaluate the policy, programmatic, and institutional framework governing irrigation development and management for the main purpose of improving irrigation performance and productivity of irrigated lands. The methodological approach to meet the specific objectives consisted of data collection through site visits, field measurements, and key-informant interviews and focus group discussions. Results showed that siltation problems exist in canals of almost all NIS cases, causing reduced flow capacities that deprived the downstream portion from adequate water supply, among others. To improve performance of irrigation systems, good watershed management is needed to prevent the siltation of water courses and, thus, enhance water supply distribution. The National Irrigation Administration should allocate realistic resources for operation and maintenance to improve efficiency in water allocation and distribution from upstream to downstream users. Click here to download the publication.



DRN 2020-01 Vol. 38 No. 1: New college grads 'mismatched' to their jobs
by PIDS Research Information Staff

This first issue of the Development Research News (DRN) for 2020 puts light on some key challenges in the Philippine education sector. The banner story talks about the current mismatch between the skills learned by the graduates and those needed by the industry today. This was evident in the data science and analytics field--despite being one of the most in-demand jobs. Articles on the challenges faced by reform programs targeting the country's secondary and higher education are also included in the issue. Another article highlights the high labor migration rates among Filipino workers and the role played by social networks. This issue also features articles on the current situation of Philippine trade and export. It also features stories about the launch of the Institute's first book on gender and the groundbreaking ceremony for the new PIDS building. Completing this issue is an article about poor development planning in the local government--specifically at the city/municipal level--and an infographic on the how the country fares in terms of achieving Sustainable Development Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).
Click here to download the publication.


[POSTPONED] March 13, 2020, 8AM–2PM
Dissemination of Research Results of Baseline Studies in Local Planning and Budgeting (Legazpi City)
Venue: The Oriental Hotel,
Legazpi City

[POSTPONED] March 16, 2020, 8AM–2PM
Dissemination of Research Results of Baseline Studies
in Local Planning and Budgeting (Clark)

Venue: Quest Hotel, Clark

[POSTPONED] March 24, 2020,

Dissemination of Research Results of Baseline Studies in Local Planning and Budgeting (Tacloban City)
Venue: Tacloban City

[POSTPONED] March 26, 2020, 8AM–2PM
Dissemination of Research Results of Baseline Studies in Local Planning and Budgeting (Davao City)
Venue: Davao City



The Philippine Journal of Development is a professional journal published by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies. It accepts papers that examine key issues in development and have strong relevance to policy development. As a multidisciplinary social science journal, it accepts papers in the fields of economics, political science, public administration, sociology, and other related disciplines. It considers papers that have strong policy implications on national or international concerns, particularly development issues in the Asia-Pacific region.

CLICK HERE for the guidelines in the preparation of articles. Submissions and inquiries may be sent to PJD@mail.pids.gov.ph.


3PIDS advisory in view of the enhanced community quarantine

In view of the Enhanced Community Quarantine, the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) will implement the work-from-home scheme until April 14, 2020.

All PIDS staff shall continue to discharge their functions via telecommunication platforms.

Our main means of communication, internally and externally, for the time being is through email.

Thank you very much and keep safe.



3Women have less access to social protection programs than men in PH—PIDS study

A study published by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) found that women in the Philippines have less access to social protection programs than men, which may result in their vulnerability, instability, and poverty.

The study, “Towards Inclusive Social Protection Program Coverage in the Philippines: Examining Gender Disparities”, said that this could be attributed to women’s low labor force participation rate, noting that “women’s access to social protection is largely tied to their employment status.”

Furthermore, most social insurance programs in the country “cover only those who are formally employed” as required by law, making women less likely to be covered. READ MORE


3Address uneven distribution of health workers in PH—PIDS study

A study of state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) found that Filipino healthcare professionals are more likely to work in areas where earnings are potentially high and near communities where they were trained.

According to PIDS Senior Research Fellow Michael Abrigo and former PIDS Research Associate Danica Ortiz, authors of the study “Who Are the Health Workers and Where Are They? Revealed Preferences in Location Decision among Health Care Professionals in the Philippines”, the supply of healthcare workers such as nurses, physicians, and midwives are highly uneven in terms of their geographic distribution in the country.


3PIDS to gov't: Develop data science workforce amid FIRe

Data science and analytics (DSA) skills remain underdeveloped in the Philippines despite an increasing demand for DSA professionals with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (FIRe).

This was according to a study published by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) titled, “Aligning higher education with demands for data science workforce”, and authored by PIDS consultants Brenda Quismorio, Maria Antonette Pasquin, and Claire Tayco.

Based on the undergraduate degrees of current DSA practitioners in the country, the study found that the “top 10 of these undergraduate degrees were considered as DSA-related programs.” READ MORE


3Solon calls for 'systemic solution' to resolve PH 'systemic problem' on educ

“The Philippine education sector is plagued with a serious systemic problem that requires a systemic solution.”

This, Albay Representative Joey Salceda said during a book launch conducted by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) in Quezon City recently.

Salceda said that the country’s global standing in providing quality education for students has been sliding in the previous years. This is evident in the outcomes of various national and international assessments such as the National Achievement Test (NAT) administered by the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) READ MORE


3Women's labor market participation in PH low, says gender experts

“Even though women have already attained a lot in terms of education, it does not get translated into their labor market participation.”

This was according to Connie Dacuycuy, senior research fellow at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and volume editor of PIDS’ first book on gender and development titled Outside Looking In: Gendered Perspectives in Work and Education. The book was launched at Novotel in Cubao, Quezon City on March 9.

Dacuycuy noted that from 1990 to 2018, there had only been 3- to 4-percentage points increase in women’s labor force participation rate in the Philippines. READ MORE


3PIDS study identifies gains, challenges in SHS implementation

The Department of Education’s (DepEd) senior high school (SHS) program made a number of gains but also faced several challenges during the first two years of its implementation.

This is according to a study published by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) titled, “Status of Senior High School Implementation: A Process Evaluation”, which looked at the three components of the program, namely, program theory, service delivery and utilization, and program organization. The study, conducted from July to December 2018, included actual interviews with DepEd officials from central and regional offices and SHS teachers and students. READ MORE

3ADB identifies PH priority areas to maintain economic stability

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has identified priority areas that the Philippines has to improve on to be able to sustain its economic performance in the medium term.

According to the ADB, the country has to invest in human capital to enhance the quality of the country’s labor force, ensure fair competition practices, address infrastructure gaps, promote social inclusiveness, and look at the future of jobs in order to maintain economic stability in the coming years.

ADB Chief Economist and Director General Yasuyuki Sawada said there is a need to improve the quality of the labor force that caters to industry subsectors such as information technology and business process outsourcing. READ MORE

3Use of mother tongue in teaching facing implementation challenges

The implementation of the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) program is being hampered by a number of challenges.

This was revealed by Jennifer Monje, coauthor of the study Starting Where the Children Are’: A Process Evaluation of the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education Implementation, which was presented at a public seminar recently organized by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies.

The Department of Education (DepEd) defines MTB-MLE as “the effective use of more than two languages for literacy and instruction”. In 2009, DepEd released Department Order No. 74 mandating the use of mother tongue as the medium of instruction during the first four years of primary education READ MORE

3New book of PIDS reveals gender issues in PH education and labor sectors

The Philippines has consistently ranked high in international rankings in gender parity. However, realities on the ground show otherwise.

In Outside Looking In: Gendered Perspectives in Work and Education, state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) revealed challenges confronting Filipino men and women in the education and labor sectors.

The book was launched on March 9 at Novotel in Cubao, Quezon City, in support of National Women’s Month celebration and International Women’s Day.

Authored by various PIDS researchers, it is the Institute’s first book on gender and development. It consists of six chapters that tackle pressing issues affecting both genders, including persistent gender gaps in education, employment, and wages among the poor and agricultural workers. READ MORE

3PIDS study finds low adoption rate of e-commerce among PH firms

Despite the growing digital economy in the Philippines, the adoption rate of e-commerce among firms is low, a study published by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) revealed.

The study, authored by PIDS Senior Research Fellow Francis Mark Quimba and Research Analyst Sylwyn Calizo, found that only 1 in every 7 firms in the country adopted e-commerce in 2015.

Furthermore, based on 2013 and 2015 data from the Survey of Information and Communications Technology, only 15 percent of firms have made purchases or sales through the internet. While majority of these firms are stock corporations, the study noted an “increase in the number of government corporations that are engaged in e-commerce,” adding that “2 in every 100 e-commerce firms are government corporations.” READ MORE

3Sports, arts tracks least offered among SHS institutions

Sports and arts tracks are the least offered tracks under the senior high school (SHS) program of the Department of Education (DepEd).

In the study “Status of senior high school implementation: A process evaluation” presented recently, Karen Brillantes, consultant at state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), revealed that a staggering 98 percent of SHS institutions, including public and private high schools, as well as state universities and colleges, do not offer the sports and arts tracks.

In real numbers, this figure translates to 10,883 out of the total 11,087 SHS institutions that fail to offer either sports or arts track. READ MORE



Fiscal and Governance Gaps among Municipalities in the Philippines

Under a decentralized setting, local government units are given increased spending and revenue-raising authority, including infrastructure development responsibilities. To identify the fiscal gaps in the devolved infrastructure services such as local roads, evacuation centers, and rural health units as well as the governance gaps in the planning process of municipalities, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), have embarked on a joint research project called the Local Government Support Fund- Assistance to Municipalities (LGSF-AM) Baseline Study on Policy and Governance Gaps.

This infographic discusses some of the salient findings of the survey. It highlights the fiscal and governance gaps in the municipalities and provides some recommendations to address them.

This infographic is based on an upcoming PIDS study titled “Baseline Study on Policy and Governance Gaps for the Local Government Support Fund Assistance to Municipalities (LGSF-AM) Program” written by Charlotte Justine Diokno-Sicat (research fellow), Catharine Adaro (former supervising research specialist), Ricxie Maddawin (research analyst), Angel Faye Castillo (research analyst, and Maria Alma Mariano (former senior research specialist).

To view in actual size, visit the PIDS website or the PIDS Facebook page.


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