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PIDS Updates
Wednesday / 8 OCTOBER 2014
IN FOCUS: Transport and logistics

With the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 just a few months away, the issue of adequate transport and logistics has come to the fore. The AEC’s goal of establishing a free trade area that will ensure the free flow of goods, services, skilled labor, and investments will depend heavily on the quality of the country’s road, air, and sea transportation. The ongoing congestion problem at the Port of Manila, which has affected a large area of the metropolis, serves as a stark reminder of the significant work that still needs to be done to upgrade the Philippines’ infrastructure and to make it a competitive hub that can tap into regional and global production networks.

PIDS research has helped untangle the issue and has recommended three essential courses of action: policy and legislative reforms, investment, and improved governance. PIDS President Gilberto Llanto and Senior Research Fellow Adoracion Navarro note that there have been successes in regulatory reforms even as restrictions to better logistics and trade facilitation remain. Still, the amendment of existing laws and even the enactment of new laws are needed especially on issues such as limits to foreign equity participation, the movement of international government cargoes only through flag carriers, cabotage restriction, and the port regulator acting as an operator at the same time. Llanto’s team urges additional investments to ease other restrictions, citing the country’s capacity-constrained airports and congested Metro Manila roads; and improvements in operations such as in customs administration.

Agriculture and natural resources experts Roehlano Briones and Danilo Israel, meanwhile, examined supply chain “choke points” in crude coconut oil and aquatic produce. No major choke points were found for crude coconut oil from mill site to export stages, but cost and delay factors were present at the farm-to-mill stage, namely, low farm productivity, poor postharvest practices (leading to low quality of copra), and inefficiencies in marketing to the mill. For sea products, choke points included domestic road conditions, high-cost and inadequate interisland shipping, the conditions in some ports, compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) regulations, and the inadequate number of certified laboratories. Israel and Briones called for road investments, a competition policy in domestic shipping, industry restructuring in the case of coconut, and the adoption of SPS measures in the case of fisheries.

Know more about PIDS studies on transport and logistics. Visit the SocioEconomic Research Portal for the Philippines. Simply type in the keywords “transport”, “logistics”, “roads” and related terms in the Search Box.

  1. Toward Informed Regulatory Conversations and Improved Regulatory Regime in the Philippines: Logistics Sector and Trade Facilitation
  2. Governmental Fiscal Support for Financing Long-term Infrastructure Projects in ASEAN Countries
  3. Enhancing Supply Chain Connectivity and Competitiveness of ASEAN Agricultural Products: Identifying Choke Points and Opportunities for Improvement
  4. Toward Relaxing the Cabotage Restrictions in Maritime Transport
  5. Progress in Ratification and Implementation of ASEAN Protocols and Agreements in the Philippine Transport Sector
  6. The Impact of Trade Liberalization and Economic Integration on the Logistics Industry: Maritime Transport and Freight Forwarders
  7. Investing in Local Roads for Economic Growth
  8. Development of Regional Production and Logistic Networks in East Asia: the Case of the Philippines

In September 2014, the PIDS led the nationwide observance of the 12th Development Policy Research Month (DPRM) with the theme, "Addressing the Jobs Challenge toward Inclusive Growth." Please visit the DPRM website to know more about the activities conducted as part of the celebration.


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22 OCTOBER 2014
PIDS -CPBRD Forum on the Jobs Challenge
RMV Mitra Hall, House of Representatives, Quezon City

Forum on Addressing the Jobs Challenge toward Inclusive Growth
C.P. Romulo Hall, NEDA sa Makati Bldg., Amorsolo Street, Makati City

Press Conference on the 12th DPRM (Tagum City)
Big 8 Corporate Hotel
Tagum City, Davao Del Norte

Press Conference on the 12th DPRM (Baguio City)
City Light Hotel, Baguio City



PN 2014-17: Clarifying the Jobs Challenge
by Aniceto C. Orbeta, Jr. and Vicente B. Paqueo

The jobs challenge is not simply the lack of job opportunities. A more nuanced view is the inability of the common person to earn a decent living through productive employment or self-employment. Viewing the issue as such reveals the other dimensions of the lack of job opportunities issue. This Policy Note clarifies the jobs challenge and its implications for policy based on Paqueo et al. (2014). Defining clearly the jobs challenge illuminates the issue much more clearly and highlights the weakness of viewing it as simply a problem of lack of job opportunities. The Note argues that the jobs challenge extends beyond those who are currently unemployed. It should include those who are currently employed but are earning below subsistence. These workers require much more than just having and keeping their jobs. Finally, there are those who are earning beyond subsistence but for whatever reason still want to work more hours. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE



EID 2014 Vol. XIV No. 1: Minimum Wage: Is It a Weapon of Choice for Inclusive Growth?
by Felipe F. Salvosa II

The minimum wage is a classic example of a price floor, the lowest price set by law with which to pay a commodity. The idea is to prevent wages from going too low. Historically, societies have used the minimum wage to achieve their social justice objectives. Internationally, there is no consensus on the effect of minimum wages on employment. In the Philippines, a study by Lanzona (2014) established a negative relationship between minimum wages and employment. Paqueo et al. (2014) meanwhile challenges the idea minimum wages and other labor regulations should be the "weapons of choice". Other alternatives such as better education, increased labor-intensive manufacturing of tradable goods, and greater opportunities for training on the job should be considered. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE



There's a glimmer of hope for inclusive growth with the government taking steps particularly in the area of labor and industrial policy as well as human capital development.

PIDS President Gilberto Llanto made this assessment Tuesday (September 23, 2014) as he wrapped up the 12th Development Policy Research Month (DPRM) Seminar that tackled labor policy reforms, the revival of the manufacturing industry, and issues in the educational sector. The seminar was the highlight of the nationwide DPRM observance, spearheaded by PIDS in September every year.READ MORE


The effects of labor regulations such as the minimum wage policy should be considered if government is really serious about creating jobs and pursuing inclusive growth.

This was stressed by Dr. Vicente Paqueo, visiting research fellow of state think-tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), in a forum at the Senate on September 18 organized by the Senate Economic Planning Office and PIDS. The forum is part of the nationwide celebration of the 12th Development Policy Research Month spearheaded by PIDS.READ MORE


Despite rapid economic growth in the past years, poverty still persists in the Philippines. Investing in development programs such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is thus crucial to delivering better social outcomes. As the flagship anti-poverty program of the country, the conditional cash transfer scheme has been met with some criticisms. Some sectors see it as a dole-out that breeds mendicancy. Supporters, however, argue that the program comes with conditionalities that beneficiaries must comply with.

Results of recent evaluation studies on 4Ps reveal that it has no significant negative impact on work effort of household heads, leads to increased school participation of children, and results in increased household consumption of education-related goods. READ MORE


Treasury Bill Rates

The 91-day treasury bill rate went down to 1.244 percent in September from 1.373 in August. Meanwhile, 182-day and 364-day rates went up to 1.65 and 1.864, respectively. All T-bill rates are now higher compared to those of the same period last year.

Source: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

VIEW TABLE for time-series data on Treasury Bill Rates

Value and Volume Production Indices of Total Manufacturing

The value and volume of production indices had minimal movements in the last couple of months. The value index stayed at 188.5 in July from 189.4 in June. Meanwhile, the volume index remained at 126.6 in July from 126.7 in June. Compared to the same period last year, the value and volume indices went up by 13.4 and 11.1 percentage points, respectively.

Source: Monthly Integrated Survey of Selected Industries (MISSI), Philippine Statistics Authority, National Statistics Office (PSA-NSO)

VIEW TABLE for time-series data on Value and Volume Production Indices of Total Manufacturing

Proportion of Underweight Children Aged 0 to 5 Years Old

Based on the latest National Nutrition Survey of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), the proportion of underweight children aged 0 to 5 years old has slightly declined in 2013, from 20.2 percent in 2011 to 19.9 percent.

Note: Data from 2008 up to present (Using WHO-CGS)
Source: Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI)

VIEW TABLE for time-series data on Proportion of Underweight Children Aged 0 to 5 Years Old

Exchange Rate

The average peso-dollar exchange rate went up to 43.7673 in August from 43.4665 in July. This is slightly lower compared to 43.8639 in the same period last year. The highest monthly average rate for 2014 was that in January at 44.9270.

Source: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

VIEW TABLE for time-series data on monthly Average Peso-Dollar Exchange Rate.

Overseas Filipinos' Cash Remittances

The total overseas Filipinos' cash remittances reached 2.06 billion US dollars in July 2014. This is higher compared to 1.95 billion US dollars in the same period last year. It was the highest level of cash remittances registered since January 2014.

Source: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas

VIEW TABLE for time-series data on Total Overseas Filipinos' Cash Remittances


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