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  Tuesday, 05 June 2013  

IN FOCUS: Urban Development and Inclusive Growth

One of the inevitable consequences of economic growth is rapid urbanization. The developing world has seen the emergence of megacities, which are vital hubs of economic activity but are beset with problems such as mushrooming slums, worsening pollution, heightened disaster risks, and growing social inequality. Manila is already the 15th largest city in the world in terms of population density and will be among 21 megacities in Asia out of 37 worldwide by 2025, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB). A recent ADB report noted that 60 percent of the Philippine population is now urban. Greater Metro Manila alone contains 33 million people. While poverty trends are declining in urban areas, many are just above the poverty line and remain vulnerable to shocks.

Key to reaching the goal of inclusive growth is addressing the challenges brought by urban development, such as providing adequate and affordable housing for the
low-income sector.  Research by PIDS experts points to the need to rationalize government subsidies and create favorable environment for housing finance. There is also a need to adopt appropriate and effective policies and mechanisms to correct dysfunctions in the land and housing markets. To make housing more accessible to low-income households, there are other viable options such as rental arrangements. The Philippines needs to build one million homes annually to keep up with the demand, estimated at 5.7 million units for the period 2011-2016.

Know more about what PIDS studies have to say about housing and urban development issues. Understand the dynamics of housing demand, issues about rent control, the efficiency of state resettlement programs, the fiscal costs of housing subsidies, and urban development policy options. Check the following links on the PIDS website's publications section or the SocioEconomic Research Portal for the Philippines.

  1. Housing policy for the poor: revisiting UDHA and CISFA
  2. Community-based approaches toward upgrading of informal settlements: Alternative strategies and recommendations for policymaking
  3. Toward a Strategic Urban Development and Housing Policy for the Philippines
  4. Fiscal costs of subsidies for socialized housing programs: an update
  5. Efficiency and Effectiveness Review of the National Housing Authority Resettlement Program
  6. Rental housing: Opening doors for low-income household
  7. The Dynamics of Housing Demand in the Philippines: Income and Lifecycle Effects
  8. Benefits (and Losses) from Rent Control in the Philippines: An Empirical Study of Metro Manila

HIGHLIGHTS: PIDS Research Agenda 2010-2014

As the blueprint of the Institute's research program, the PIDS research agenda is examined and updated every five years to reflect new and emerging development issues. It is anchored on long-term visioning, which is more suitable than a medium-term plan as it will help the government respond to new or potential problems. Among the areas added in the new agenda include geopolitics, metropolitan issues, infrastructure, industrial policies, SMEs, conditional cash transfer and social protection, and political economy. A section also provides specific recommendations on how to enhance the Institute's research-related and policy advocacy activities, such as adopting a multidisciplinary approach in studying policy issues,  strengthening its knowledge management functions, laymanizing research, and leading the government in conducting impact evaluation of development policies, programs, and interventions. Work on the research agenda was carried out by a committee chaired by Dr. Felipe M. Medalla, with Dr. Arsenio M. Balisacan and Prof.  Allan Benedict I. Bernardo as members. Download a copy.


GDN 14th Annual Global Development Conference, 19-21 June 2013, Manila

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to the GDN 14th Annual Global Development Conference on "Inequality, Social Protection and Inclusive Growth" jointly organized on 19-21 June in Manila, Philippines, with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), East Asian Development Network (EADN) and Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). Why bring more than 400 participants from all over the world to yet another international conference on a theme that seems to have become a new fad in international debates? Is there anything new to consider after hours of litanies and pages of inspiring publications on "pro-poor" growth, "shared" growth, "sustainable" growth or other code words through a newish concept of "inclusive growth"?
Read more





DP No. 2013-34: Water Financing Programs in the Philippines: Are We Making Progress?
by Gilberto M. Llanto

The paper argues the case for developing more innovative financing schemes for the water supply sector. The use of traditional ODA-dependent financing channeled through government lending institutions has a somewhat moderate success record in developing and improving the water supply sector. There are limitations to the use of public funds and public institutions in financing water delivery systems and it will be helpful to think of PPP or PSP arrangements or schemes that can come up with innovative solutions to address the issues in this sector.
Click here for the full article.



DP No. 2013-33: Toward Optimal Budget Utilization at the Department of Foreign Affairs: Focus on Foreign Service Posts and the International Commitment Funds
by Federico M. Macaranas, Norma Lasala, Alain M. Maulion, and Brenda B. Furagganan

This paper studies the optimization in the use of scarce budgetary resources available to the Philippine national government in fulfilling its role in the three pillars of foreign policy (traditional political-security areas, economic and social development concerns, and more recent engagement on the assistance to nationals). The lack of consistent data for longer-term analysis of benefits and costs in these three pillars and the inadequately defined value-addition of the Department of Foreign Affairs in the One Country Team approach may have been brought in part by the misallocation of human resources; career officers must be trained further in knowledge management, benefit-cost and cost-effectiveness analysis, especially in the management of the International Commitments Funds for international organizations.
Click here for the full article



DP No. 2013-32: Cost Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Sitio and Household Electrification Programs
by Adoracion M. Navarro

The Sitio Electrification Program (SEP) and the Household Electrification Program (HEP) are two ongoing rural electrification programs of the government. To assist the Department of Budget and Management in implementing its zero-based budgeting approach, the study assesses the 2011 SEP and HEP implementation. Using benchmarking for the efficiency and effectiveness assessment of program implementation, the study finds the programs were able to achieve their 2011 targets and at reasonable costs. Using econometric regression for studying the poverty-reduction impacts of rural electrification in the Philippines, it also finds evidence of a positive relationship between rural electrification and poverty reduction.
Click here for the full article





Philippines to host Global Development Network Conference

About 400 researchers from all over the world are expected to converge in Manila on 19-21 June 2013, to attend the 14th Annual Global Development Network (GDN) Conference themed “Inequality, Social Protection and Inclusive Growth.” The conference is being organized in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the East Asian Development Network (EADN), and the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). The venue will be at the ADB Headquarters in Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.

According to Dr. Josef T. Yap, PIDS president, “In the Philippines, the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of conditional cash transfers is an example of a social protection measure that, in the short run, raises incomes and allows people to build their human capital, to eventually reduce poverty. This, and other similar social policies, will be among the topics to be taken up in the three-day conference.” Read more



Auto industry roadmap threatened by smuggling and illegal importation of used vehicles

The country's expanding middle-income population and billion dollars of annual remittances from overseas Filipino workers boost the potentials of our auto industry. At the same time, the third wave of motorization in the region is expected to take place between 2015 and 2022, according to industry experts. All these potentials will be difficult to realize if smuggling and issues of importation of second-hand vehicles are not resolved swiftly. A recent study by PIDS Senior Research Fellow Rafaelita Aldaba reveals that smuggling and importation of used vehicles impede the growth of the country`s auto industry. A murky policy environment, discrepancy of statistics on registered motor vehicles, and revenue losses in the industry are also discussed in the study, which reflect the government`s lackluster effort to curb car smuggling. Read more



Migrant deskilling detrimental to both countries of origin and destination

Deskilling is a double jeopardy for countries of origin and destination. It represents losses for countries of destination because the skills and talents of their foreign migrant workers are not fully utilized and, at the same time, origin countries lose a significant number of their skilled workers.

An analytical review conducted by Dr. Sheila Siar, PIDS Director for Research Information, underscores the difficulties faced by migrants when it comes to finding jobs in the host country and accentuates the role of governments to mitigate the negative impacts of deskilling. Read more







Peso-Dollar Exchange Rate

The monthly average peso-dollar exchange rate went up to 41.1422 in April, from 40.7127 in March 2013.

For more details, please refer to this link: http://econdb.pids.gov.ph/tablelists/table/49

Source: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)


The headline inflation rate further slowed down to 2.6 percent in April from 3.2 percent in March, According to NSO, this is due to the slower annual increments in the entire commodity group except in the education index. Meanwhile, core inflation went down to 3.1 percent in April from 3.8 percent in March.

For more details, please refer to this link: http://econdb.pids.gov.ph/tablelists/table/568

Source: National Statistics Office (NSO)




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