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Tuesday, 02 April 2013

IN FOCUS: Education for Inclusive Growth

The road to inclusive growth can start with education. Human resource is the backbone of the economy, and a well-trained, highly competitive workforce is key to increased productivity and national competitiveness. Education can promote inclusive growth but can also be a purveyor of inequity if left unguided.

Research by PIDS is helping inform policy by showing how education can help break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. For instance, PIDS has found that the government’s conditional cash transfer program—the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino—has been successful in improving school attendance among poor households. An alternative pathway to tertiary education—technical and vocational skills training—is being offered by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Scholarships such as those managed by TESDA and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) have shown internal efficiency based on graduation rates. Gaps and inefficiencies remain, however. For instance, a significant portion of elementary schoolchildren do not finish Grade 6, in general, and more so among the poor, in particular. In the case of tertiary education graduates, the passing rates in professional board examinations remain low and employability is still a major issue. The operating efficiency of state universities and colleges can be substantially improved. In addition, their current record of reaching poorer tertiary education students has been found to be not significantly different from the private higher education institutions. The government has to do a better job in rationalizing the burgeoning number of higher education institutions and encourage those that remain to aim for higher quality. A well-designed and expanded student financial assistance program that gives students the capacity and freedom to choose what course and school to take can improve the efficiency and equity of the tertiary education system.

Know more what PIDS studies have to say about the issues confronting the education sector. Understand the challenges that need to be addressed as the Philippines works to achieve universal primary education by 2015 under the Millennium Development Goals and as it embarks on the Enhanced K to 12 Basic Education Program and reform the higher education system.



PIDS, IMF top officials share insights on inclusive economic growth
The Philippines has a very promising economic future but the country needs to improve on its governance, competitiveness, and fiscal management. In a seminar-forum co-organized by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), leaders from these institutions shared their views on the prospects of the Philippines in achieving inclusive economic growth. <<READ MORE



Peso-Dollar Exchange Rate
The monthly average peso-dollar exchange rate slightly went down to 40.6723 in February, from 40.7295 in January.  The peso remained strong compared to the US dollar in February.

For the time-series monthly data on exchange rates, please refer to this link: http://econdb.pids.gov.ph/tablelists/table/49

Source: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)

Inflation Rate
The year-on-year headline inflation rate* rose to 3.4 percent in February from 3.0 percent in January. Based on the National Statistics Office Press Release, the increases are mainly because of the faster annual gain in the heavily-weighted food and non-alcoholic beverages index and the double-digit annual increment in alcoholic beverages and tobacco index. This also came from increases in the annual indices of furnishing, household equipment and routine maintenance of the house; communication; and recreation and culture commodities. Core Inflation rate** also went up to 3.8 from 3.6 percent.

For the regional headline inflation rates, please refer to this link: http://econdb.pids.gov.ph/tablelists/table/568

Source: National Statistics Office (NSO)

*Headline inflation rate refers to year-on-year change in the overall Consumer Price Index (CPI).
**Core inflation rate is the rate of change in the headline CPI after excluding selected food and energy items.

Gross International Reserves

The country’s gross international reserves (GIR) stood at US$83.6 billion as of end-February 2013, lower by US$ 1.6 billion than the end-January 2013 GIR of US$85.2 billion. According to Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas,  the decline in the reserves level was due mainly to payments for maturing foreign exchange obligations of the National Government (NG) and net foreign currency withdrawals by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM). This level remains adequate to cover 12 months worth of imports of goods and payments of services and income.

For the latest monthly data on GIR, please refer to this link : http://econdb.pids.gov.ph/tablelists/table/181

Source: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)

Philippine Stock Exchange Index (PSEi)

PSEi ended at 6,721.45. This is higher by 7.7 percent from January’s 6,242.74.

For the time-series monthly data on composite and sector indices, please refer to this link: http://econdb.pids.gov.ph/tablelists/table/643

Source: Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE)



https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FhbHnb_2szU/UUgnCJfKajI/AAAAAAAAEgU/XfBgFxL8Z-M/s543/pn1301_cover.pngPN No. 2013-01: Why a New Industrial Policy for the Philippines Is Critical
by Rafaelita M. Aldaba

For the past two decades, the Philippine manufacturing sector has failed to generate sustained growth and employment for the economy. This can be attributed to the stagnation of the sector due to its inability to generate foreign direct investments and to the absence of structural transformation from agriculture to manufacturing. This Policy Notes argues for the development of a new industrial policy to help the government in crafting relevant measures that can enhance productivity growth in the manufacturing sector, deepen the linkages of domestic firms and small and medium enterprises with large domestic and multinational companies, and attract more investments. Such a policy is crucial in building a strong and modern industrial sector which can facilitate sustained and high growth levels for the country. Click here for the full article.


https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-l_QI24p_MOY/UUe_VPtbnNI/AAAAAAAAEfU/ZqfAvEjO9mQ/s448/drn2013.jpgThe Philippine Economy in 2012 and Prospects for 2013
We bring you our thirty-first volume of the PIDS Development Research News which has an enhanced design and layout. In this first issue for 2013, PIDS President Josef T. Yap has again collaborated with Senior Research Fellow Adoracion M. Navarro in analyzing the country's economic performance in 2012 and its prospects for 2013 amid changing conditions in the regional and global economies. This PIDS tradition of welcoming the new year with an expert's forecast of the economy based on macroeconomic trends and developments of the previous year started in 1998.

Despite the global economic slowdown, the Philippines achieved an impressive full-year growth of 6.6 percent in 2012, the highest growth rate in the ASEAN region. Once again, the Philippines is being hailed as one of Asia's tiger economies, a title we have already heard some 20 years ago but which we eventually lost in subsequent years when we failed to catch up with our Asian neighbors. However, as the authors have pointed out, the lack of inclusiveness of economic growth in the Philippines remains to be a critical issue. Despite gains in previous years, poverty incidence in the Philippines is still relatively high. The phenomenon of jobless growth persists. Click here for the full article.


https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-58Y4Ghamo2g/UUe_VNoxTcI/AAAAAAAAEfY/AHpQTn8GnA0/s448/front+cover3d.jpgECONOMIC POLICY MONITOR 2012: Regional Economic Integration and Inclusive Growth
By Rafaelita M. Aldaba, Adoracion O. Navarro, Celia M. Reyes, Josef T. Yap and Associates

This third issue of the PIDS Economic Policy Monitor (EPM) focuses on regional economic integration and inclusive growth. With the approaching ASEAN Economic Community by 2015, it is but fitting to look at the effects of the rapid pace of regional economic integration on the achievement of sustained, inclusive growth in the Philippines. The papers in this issue show that regional economic integration can become a double-edged sword for the Philippines when its pursuit of full integration into the regional and global economy is not complemented by domestic policy reforms in key economic sectors, the strengthening of industrial policy, and deepening of poverty reduction efforts.

Consistent with past issues of the EPM, Chapter 1 looks at recent macroeconomic developments and provides an evaluation of the Philippines’ economic performance. Chapter 2 highlights policy developments in important areas of the economy. Policy updates in international economic cooperation, fiscal policy, education, agriculture, mining, energy, infrastructure, and housing are presented. Download the soft copy of the 2012 EPM.


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