PIDS in the News Archived (February 2013)

Part 1 - For over 20 years now, the government has been trying to develop the automotive industry through various auto policies and programs. However, these resulted in very limited success, as the automotive assemblers encountered difficulties in achieving the scale necessary to reduce their costs and improve their competitiveness. So global automakers have not located their regional assembly operations in the Philippines and have not assigned us the role of a regional hub for any specific car model. Ford tried to make the Philippines its hub for passenger cars in the early 2000s.

But difficulties in meeting the required volume forced it to transfer its domestic assembly operations to Thailand last year. Volume has remained a major internal problem in reducing firms' costs and improving their competitiveness. The relatively small size of our domestic market has been exacerbated by the entry of used vehicles in the Subic Bay Freeport during the early 2000s and Port Irene in Cagayan in more recent years. The industry has been facing stiff competition from second-hand imported vehicles which are priced 30% to 50% lower than their new counterparts (depending on vehicle model). Under Republic Act 8506, the importation of second-hand cars has remained prohibited. Used cars cannot be imported, except for imports of returning residents and members of the diplomatic corps. However, this has been circumvented through free port zones which have been used as staging points to allow the duty-free entry of used vehicles in the country.

Author: Rafaelita Aldaba
Date: February 25, 2013
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Sixty-nine Day Care Centers (DCC) here continue to implement the Essential Health Care Program (EHCP), benefitting some 2,383 pre-schoolers. For three years, toothbrushes, fluoride toothpaste `poly paste,` lice shampoo and hand soap were provided to pre-schoolers. Barangay councils look after the needs of the DCCs in maintaining their centers` dental traps. The Fit for School Foundation initiated the project and the provincial government sustained it over the years. It originally covered grade levels 1 to 4 for elementary students and later expanded to cover all pre-schoolers. Aside from receiving hygiene kits, the children also undergo regular deworming. The success of EHCP in the province has garnered recognition from the Philippine Institute for Development Studies.

Author:
Date: February 20, 2013
Source: Philippine Information Agency

A study conducted by the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS) on public and private expenditure on research and development, showed that the very limited R and D (research and development) resources were inefficiently allocated among various sectors. The study showed that there is severe shortage of R and D personnel in the country and that linkage between the government-funded R and D institutions with the private sector is quite weak. According to the study, this is evident in the under-utilization by the industries of technologies developed by various R and D institutions like, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), The Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute, and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Author: Ehda M. Dagooc
Date: February 15, 2013
Source: The Freeman

From a Cabinet member and a senatorial candidate to advocates for the environment and an actor-philanthropist, 40 young Filipinos are joining the ranks of the world`s emerging development leaders who are not quite 40 years old. Thirty-six Filipinos and four Manila-based foreign development workers under the age of 40 will be recognized as the Philippines becomes the first emerging country to host `40 Under 40,` which is sponsored by the US-based Development Executive Group (Devex) which styles itself as `the Bloomberg of the development community.`

Author: Tarra Quismundo
Date: February 17, 2013
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

One reason why many educated people avoid taking regular comprehensive physical examinations, even though they can afford it, is that they dread the discovery of a dire malady. They say they feel fine anyway. They resent being nagged about it, and claim personal responsibility for their health. Their loved ones practically have to drag them to hospital for checkups, lest by the time illness exhibits itself, it has become so expensive, and perhaps impossible, to cure. In like manner, though the government has proclaimed, since time immemorial, poverty elimination as a key objective, it has tried to avoid facing the facts about it. It has dreaded to see its own poverty statistics.

Author: Mahar Mangahas
Date: February 15, 2013
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

MORE investments in road and port infrastructure in Mindanao are needed to hasten the production of fruits and vegetables in the island, according to a recent study. Titled `Strengthening Markets of High-value Fruits and Vegetables: The Case of Transport and Shipping Service Improvement,` the study said better roll-on, roll-off shipping services should be provided for greater connectivity between markets and improved port operations. It added that accurate and timely market information should also be generated, especially for farmers.

Author:
Date: February 13, 2013
Source: BusinessMirror

The PIDS study stressed that aligned to the approaches of regional and multilateral liberalization in services is a sustained process of domestic unilateral policy reforms and regulatory changes aimed at expansion and innovation of key services. Such strategy strengthens the sharing of information within the government bureaucracy and enhances coordination among the government, private sector and civil society in the provision of information for policymaking and drafting sub-sectoral roadmaps. It should also broaden public awareness by undertaking an information campaign on the General Agreement on Trade Services (GATS), Asean Economic Community (AEC), ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS) and its opportunities for export of services as it relates to regional integration. The PIDS study also pointed out the importance of addressing internal policy coordination weaknesses and institutionalizing public-private sector mechanism to deliberate on services strategy. It cited the US model of industry trade services advisory committees (ITACs) inputting to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) as one possible framework. There are 30 ITACS with some for services sector.

Author: Edu Lopez
Date: February 11, 2013
Source: Manila Bulletin

The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) continues to be recognized in international think tank rankings for its outstanding public policy research, analysis, engagement, and impact. In the 2012 Global Go To Think Tanks Report and Policy Advice of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program of the University of Pennsylvania, PIDS ranked 40th and 79th on the list of the world`s best social policy think tanks and development think tanks, respectively.

Author: Edu Lopez
Date: February 05, 2013
Source: Manila Bulletin

The Philippine Institute for Development Studies has been ranked 40th in a survey of the world`s think tanks done by the University of Pennsylvania. PIDS said in a statement it was ranked 40th and 79th on the list of the world`s best social policy think tanks, and best development think tanks, respectively. The 2012 Global Go To Think Tanks Report and Policy Advice of the University of Pennsylvania`s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program ranked 6,603 policy institutes from 182 countries for the latest survey.

Author:
Date: February 02, 2013
Source: ABS-CBNnews.com

The state-run Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) continues to be recognized in international think tank rankings for its outstanding public policy research, analysis, engagement and impact. In the 2012 Global Go To Think Tanks Report and Policy Advice of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program of the University of Pennsylvania, PIDS ranked 40th and 79th on the list of the world`s best social policy think tanks and development think tanks, respectively. The Go To Think Tanks index is a comprehensive ranking of the world`s top think tanks and has been described as the insider`s guide to global marketplace of ideas. For its latest rankings, 6,603 think tanks from 182 countries were invited or nominated to participate in the process.

Author:
Date: February 01, 2013
Source: The Daily Tribune

There is no magic exchange rate to the dollar for what some economists call an overvalued peso that hurts agriculture, manufacturing and industries. Dr. Raul V. Fabella of the University of the Philippines School of Economics pegs the ideal exchange rate at P45, the rate in 2010 - two years after the financial crisis and one year after the peso was undervalued at P53 to the dollar.

`It would have been good for us if we stayed at P45 but we didn`t stay there long,` he said in an interview. `As Dr. Fabella said, wag naman sana below P40,` said Dr. Rafaelita M. Aldaba, a Senior Research Fellow at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies.

Author: Paul M. Icamina
Date: February 01, 2013
Source: Malaya

A repeat of the power crisis in Mindanao in the summer months this year and in 2014 is very likely, according to the government think-tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies. It said the crippling power crisis in the hottest months of 2012 might recur because no additional baseload power-generating capacity has been installed on the island. Baseload power generation supplies the minimum or normal electricity requirements of consumers, including households, businesses and other organizations.

Author: Ronnel W. Domingo
Date: February 28, 2013
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Government think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies warned that a power crisis will hit Mindanao again during the dry months this year, in the absence of new power plants on the island. PIDS senior research fellow Adoracion Navarro said the demand for power in Mindanao had spiked, with peak demand expected to reach 1,428 megawatts this year, higher than the dependable capacity of 1,616 MW. Navarro said Mindanao's generating capacity was heavily dependent on hydropower, which became unreliable in the face of worsening deforestation of watersheds and siltation of river systems.

Author: Julito G. Rada
Date: February 28, 2013
Source: Manila Standard Today

Residents and businessmen in Mindanao should brace for longer brownouts in summer with no new capacity to support power demand in the region, according to state-owned think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). A PIDS study written by Senior Research Fellow Adoracion Navarro warned that brownouts in Mindanao might mirror the 10-hour long outages seen in 2010.

Author:
Date: February 27, 2013
Source: Rappler

"The business sector in Mindanao is already in a crisis situation. There is negative [power] reserve every day, except maybe on Saturdays and Sundays. What the government should do now is to take measures that are outside the box, above normal procedures," Alejandro told the BusinessMirror. He said these extraordinary solutions could only be taken during a crisis situation, or when the government has officially invoked Section 71 of the Epira. Even the government think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) has warned that with no additional capacities, "the Mindanao power crisis may stage a comeback in this year's and next year's summer season." Alejandro said the reality is that there is no available capacity in Mindanao or anywhere in the country that can be tapped to supply demand in the southern parts of the Philippines. "On the interim, we can only manage the supply and demand of power in the area. In a crisis, the government can curtail supply to 'unimportant' demand. For example, there can be less supply to malls during the evenings," Alejandro said. The government, he added, could also provide incentives or subsidies to households or enterprises that would run their generators to augment the power supply.

Author: Jennifer Ng, Max V. de Leon and Lenie Lectura
Date: February 27, 2013
Source: BusinessMirror

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approved a budget of P24.26 million for the Interim Mindanao Energy Market (IMEM), which aims to alleviate the power supply shortage in Mindanao. The amount is lower than the P34.26 million that the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) applied for. PEMC said the budget would be spent for pre-operating expenses, capital expenditures and consultancy services. "The ERC granted PEMC's proposed budget, except the P20 million for consultancy services, which it reduced by half, pending submission of the supporting documents to justify this expenditure," said the commission. PEMC needs to secure ERC's approval because it would source the amount from unused market fees, which, according to rules, must be given back to customers.

Author:
Date: February 27, 2013
Source: Rappler.com

Forecasts for 2010-2019 show an annual average demand growth of 4.28 percent in Mindanao, higher than the national average of 3.63 percent. Citing 2012 data from the Department of Energy (DOE), the study notes that the Mindanao grid at present has 37.31 percent base load generating capacity, a far cry from Luzon's 63.94 percent and Visayas' 71.88 percent. Mindanao's generating capacity is also heavily dependent on hydropower, which has become unreliable in the face of worsening deforestation of watersheds and siltation of river systems. Of the total 1,616 megawatts (MW) dependable generation capacity in Mindanao, nearly two-thirds come from hydropower plants such as the Agus and Pulangui generating facilities. Mindanao`s peak demand could reach 1,428 MW this year and 1, 823 MW by 2019. To meet peak demand and, at the same time, maintain security and reliability of the power grid, generation capacity must not only correspond to peak demand but also provide for other ancillary services, Navarro said. The DOE requires a reserve margin of at least 21 percent of peak demand. The total generation capacity consequently should be 1,728 MW in 2013 and 2,206 MW in 2019.

Author: Darwin G. Amojelar
Date: February 27, 2013
Source: Interksyon TV5

The increasing demand for power in Mindanao and the lack of additional capacity to accommodate this may result in another power crisis for the region as early as this year, the Philippine Institute for Development Studies warned on Wednesday. PIDS said a study done by its Senior Research Fellow Adoracion Navarro showed electricity demand from the region is foreseen to grow by 4.28% annually between 2010 and 2019, faster than the national rate of 3.63%. Navarro noted that this translates to a demand of as much as 1,428 megawatts (MW) this year and 1,823 MW by 2019, but when computed with a reserve margin of at least 21% of peak demand, generation capacity in the region should be 1,728 MW in 2013 and 2,206 MW in 2019.

Author:
Date: February 27, 2013
Source: ABS-CBNnews.com