PIDS in the News Archived (December 2014)

ILOILO CITY, Dec. 31(PIA)"The Commission on Higher Education-6 (CHED) has reported that recipients of the Student-Grants-in-Aid for Poverty-Alleviation Program (SGP-PA) in Western Visayas.

From only 246 for School Year 2013-2014 the grantees have increased to 3,538 this school year 2014-2015.

CHEDs Supervising Education specialist Dr. Rex Casiple said these grantees are proportionally distributed to 11 state universities and colleges in Western Visayas.

Casiple said the expanded SGP-PA is an innovative and generous scheme of the government to increase the number of college graduates among the poorest of the poor households.

The program provides financially constrained poor but deserving students to finish a college degree and break the cycle of poverty.

Meanwhile, a recent study of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS)came up with a recommendation for the CHED and the Department of Social Welfare and Development to review their selection process incorporating indicators such as admission exams, social adaptation and strategies to help grantees gain a developmental approach to their education.

PIDS also recommended a more intensive and detailed information campaign on the availability of the SGA-PA, as well as SUCs should consider the cultural challenges of the grantees when designing intervention programs to help grantees become academically well-adjusted. (ESS/PIA-Iloilo)

Author:
Date: December 31, 2014
Source: PIA

MANILA, Philippines - With only a year and a half left before the end of the Aquino administration, the Department of Agriculture (DA) remains confident it can attain the production targets under its key programs.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said for the coming year, the department would build on the gains of its major programs for food staples, animal industry and high-value crops as it strives to strengthen the value chain in various farm subsectors.

For the remaining period of the current administration, at least, the department would strengthen further the support provided for producers of major food staples such as rice and corn under its flagship Food Staples Sufficiency Program (FSSP).
The Philippines last July succeeded in securing an extension of its quantitative restriction (QR) on rice imports until 2017. This entails increasing the volume of rice that can enter the country at a reduced, albeit still high tariff.
The continued imposition of high tariff on imported rice is expected to help build the competitiveness of Filipino farmers amid the full integration of Southeast Asian economies in 2015.
Having completed all the legal requirements with the World Trade Organization (WTO) in November, the Philippines will allow beginning Jan. 1, 2015 the entry of 805,200 metric tons of imported rice-755,200 MT of country-specific origin and 50,000 MT of omnibus origin-at a tariff of 35 percent.
Alcala said the department would maximize the borrowed time for the protection of farmers by expanding the coverage of its Sikat Saka financing program for small farmers in the coming year.
Under the Sikat Saka program, small palay farmers can borrow from state-run Landbank of the Philippines as much as P47,000 per hectare if they are cultivating certified seeds and P52,000 if they are planting hybrid rice.
The program is now being implemented in 25 provinces but would be implemented in 20 more provinces in 2015.
Domestic palay production is expected to have reached 18.8 million MT this year, slightly short of this years target of 19.07 million MT, but up from last years total production of 18. 44 million MT.
With expansions in production areas and yield per hectare, the country is expected to produce around 20.08 million MT next year.
Corn production, meanwhile, is seen to have reached 7.8 million MT in 2014, up from 7.4 million MT in 2013. Next year, the country is expected to produce around 8.4 million MT. The country is now 103 percent self-sufficient in its corn requirements.
Several think tanks, however, have questioned the merits of the governments push for attaining self sufficiency in rice, noting it uses up so much of the governments resources that could be otherwise used for other programs in the agriculture sector.
The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) have said it would ultimately be more economical for the government to import more rice.
The DA, however, maintains that pursuing self-sufficiency in rice would greatly contribute to food security as supply of the staple grain is vulnerable to political turmoil, climate disturbances and other factors that may affect production,
Domestic corn supply is likewise being protected by disallowing exports. The DA is encouraging production growth beyond the sufficiency level so the country can attract investments in animal feed milling and other animal industries.
Beyond food staples, other high-value agricultural subsectors are being positioned for expansion.
Alcala said more poultry companies are seeking incentives from the government indicating, strong domestic demand and room for growth in the sector.
Many want to take advantage of the countrys birdflu-free status. Its a great advantage for us, he said. This also indicates that there is still elbow room in the industry.
Aside from strong domestic demand, poultry growers also want to take advantage of strong demand for chicken in South Korea, Japan and the Middle East.
In 2014, the chicken dressing plants of San Miguel Corp. in Quezon province had passed the sanitary and phytosanitary requirements of United Arab Emirates but the company is still awaiting halal pre-qualification before it can proceed with exportation.
Late in 2013, Bountry Fresh also gained accreditation from the Korean Quarantine Inspection Agency for chicken exports after the inspection of its dressing plant in Pulilan, Bulacan.
The Philippines also wants to increase its poultry exports to Japan, which is already importing yakitori nuggets from the country.
Philippine poultry sector remains in good condition as it remains free from avian influenza that has plagued the poultry industries of neighboring Asian countries like South Korea, Hong Kong and China.
The livestock sector is also seen to get a boost with the completion of two AAA-rated slaughterhouses in Batangas and Tarlac. Construction of the slaughterhouses began in 2014 and is seen to be completed in 2015.
The P120-million abattoir in Bamban, Tarlac is expected to operate in the first quarter of 2015. The facility, which has a processing capacity of 3,000 heads of birds per hour, will serve the tolling needs of small poultry raisers in the province.
With the establishment of the export-oriented slaughterhouse in the province, small poultry raisers can take advantage of the huge demand for chicken in South Korea, which has recently expressed interest in increasing imports of farm products from the Philippines, poultry products included.
The P150-million cutting floor in Tanauan, Batangas, meanwhile, would have a minimum processing capacity of 250 hogs in a day and a maximum of 500 hogs per day
Alcala said this would encourage swine growers to raise their hogs up to 140 kilograms of live weight, an ideal size for slaughter.
Our swine industry continues to grow as the country remains free from foot-and-mouth disease, he said.
In 2015, the DA is also increasing the number of trading centers under its Agri- Pinoy Program. The department has so far constructed five and would open 10 more.
The Agri-Pinoy trading center program is a component of the Agri-Pinoy framework for attaining sufficiency in food staples and improving the working conditions of farmers.
The Agri-Pinoy framework, on the whole, aims to make farmers trade-oriented rather than production-oriented alone by introducing them to various parts of the value chain.
Im looking forward to 2015. It will be a brighter year for Philippine agriculture as more trading centers and other infrastructure needed by farmers are provided, said Alcala.//

Author: Czeriza Valencia
Date: December 30, 2014
Source: Philippine Star

THE Philippines needs to amend the economic provisions of its Constitution in order to seize the investment opportunities offered by next years ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
"The country needs to be competitive in order to take advantage of the growing marketplace of opportunities, especially for small and medium enterprises (SME)," said author Claudette Malana in the latest Economic Issue of the Day release of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS).
Under the AEC, Malana said market access opportunities for Filipino firms can expand as they can sell to 600 million people in the booming region and own majority of their ASEAN operations.
"This also means giving the same opportunity to ASEAN investors," it noted.
Citing another study, the PIDS paper said ASEAN companies, Filipino firms included, can own 100 percent of companies in other ASEAN countries and should be able to own at least 70 percent of services companies under an integrated regional market.
Manala said while the Philippines continues to show strong potential for further growth, the economy is also characterized by Constitutional restrictions.
These include limits to foreign equity in the exploration, development and utilization of natural resources; public utilities; build-operate-transfer projects; operation of deep-sea commercial vessels; and others.
"To sustain the growth of the Philippine economy, these restrictions need to be examined and amended, as they have constrained foreign direct investments (FDIs)," she said.
Manala said the regional experience indicates that where countries have relaxed restrictions, FDIs have increased, providing significant economic benefits to the receiving country.
Moreover, she said countries that have relaxed foreign ownership restrictions have enhanced their competitiveness and achieved a higher trajectory of economic growth.
"For the country to catch up and compete with its neighbors in the high-growth regions of East Asia and Southeast Asia, it is crucial to amend the economic provisions that have caused binding constraints to the growth and productivity of the economy," she added. PHILEXPORT//

Author:
Date: December 26, 2014
Source: Sun Star Cebu

State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) welcomed former Energy Sec. Atty. Raphael Perpetuo M. Lotilla last Dec. 16 as the new member of its Board of Trustees.

He took his oath before PIDS board chairman and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director general and Socioeconomic Planning Sec. Arsenio M. Balisacan at the NEDA head office in Pasig.

Lotilla brings to the board his vast experience from years of government service and leadership.

He replaces Dr. Maria Cynthia Rose Banzon-Bautista whose term as PIDS board member ended.

Aside from his stint at the Department of Energy (DoE)from 2005 to 2007, Lotillas sterling credentials include teaching at the University of the Philippines College of Law, and serving as former deputy director general of NEDA, president and CEO of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), and the Regional Programme Director of Partnerships in Environmental Managements for the Seas of East Asia.

Representing Balisacan, NEDA deputy director general Emmanuel F. Esguerra confidently assured that, with his participation in the PIDS Board of Trustees, the PIDS will continue to be the respected and prestigious institution that it is.

Lotilla was grateful for the welcome. He used the moment to thank his co-honoree and outgoing board member Bautista.
The legacy that she leaves is a challenge not only for me but to all those who will be succeeding her, he said. Bautista, currently a CHED commissioner, was lauded at the dinner event by her peers and colleagues for eight years of meritorious service as member of the board.

Besides being a sociologist and educator, she is one of the countrys voices for educational reforms, and she has held many roles in her career: as a professor, researcher, department chair, dean, policy research director, CHED commissioner, and member of international advisory boards " the list goes on, enumerated Dr. Sheila V. Siar of the PIDS Research Information Department who served as the events master of ceremonies.

PIDS senior research fellow Dr. Aniceto C. Orbeta added to the praise, Ill not be very off if I say because of her words of endorsement for PIDS, PIDS has become respected by many universities. Because of that, and on behalf of the PIDS research family, Id like to say thanks.

Esguerra, on behalf of Balisacan, presented Bautista with a plaque of recognition and appreciation for her distinguished contributions to the sociological aspects of the Institutes development policy research agenda and program, and her genuine concern for the welfare of the institute as a whole.

PIDS president Gilberto Llanto said, Its the good fortune of PIDS that the membership of the board comes from the rank of professionals and people with integrity. [That way] its shielded from political intervention. Thats the secret behind the kind of reputation and good name that PIDS has earned through the years. Well continue with this, and it will be so in the future.
The honorees both expressed their appreciation over the festivities and their sincere and deepest gratitude to the Institute.
Bautista bid her colleagues an amicable farewell, Im very proud of PIDS, and I know you will be moving from strength to strength. Thank you very much, Im not used to this, but I am deeply touched.

Author:
Date: December 19, 2014
Source: The Daily Tribune

State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) welcomed former Energy Sec. Atty. Raphael Perpetuo M. Lotilla last Dec. 16 as the new member of its Board of Trustees.

He took his oath before PIDS board chairman and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director general and Socioeconomic Planning Sec. Arsenio M. Balisacan at the NEDA head office in Pasig.

Lotilla brings to the board his vast experience from years of government service and leadership.

He replaces Dr. Maria Cynthia Rose Banzon-Bautista whose term as PIDS board member ended.

Aside from his stint at the Department of Energy (DoE)from 2005 to 2007, Lotillas sterling credentials include teaching at the University of the Philippines College of Law, and serving as former deputy director general of NEDA, president and CEO of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), and the Regional Programme Director of Partnerships in Environmental Managements for the Seas of East Asia.

Representing Balisacan, NEDA deputy director general Emmanuel F. Esguerra confidently assured that, with his participation in the PIDS Board of Trustees, the PIDS will continue to be the respected and prestigious institution that it is.

Lotilla was grateful for the welcome. He used the moment to thank his co-honoree and outgoing board member Bautista.
The legacy that she leaves is a challenge not only for me but to all those who will be succeeding her, he said. Bautista, currently a CHED commissioner, was lauded at the dinner event by her peers and colleagues for eight years of meritorious service as member of the board.

Besides being a sociologist and educator, she is one of the countrys voices for educational reforms, and she has held many roles in her career: as a professor, researcher, department chair, dean, policy research director, CHED commissioner, and member of international advisory boards " the list goes on, enumerated Dr. Sheila V. Siar of the PIDS Research Information Department who served as the events master of ceremonies.

PIDS senior research fellow Dr. Aniceto C. Orbeta added to the praise, Ill not be very off if I say because of her words of endorsement for PIDS, PIDS has become respected by many universities. Because of that, and on behalf of the PIDS research family, Id like to say thanks.

Esguerra, on behalf of Balisacan, presented Bautista with a plaque of recognition and appreciation for her distinguished contributions to the sociological aspects of the Institutes development policy research agenda and program, and her genuine concern for the welfare of the institute as a whole.

PIDS president Gilberto Llanto said, Its the good fortune of PIDS that the membership of the board comes from the rank of professionals and people with integrity. [That way] its shielded from political intervention. Thats the secret behind the kind of reputation and good name that PIDS has earned through the years. Well continue with this, and it will be so in the future.
The honorees both expressed their appreciation over the festivities and their sincere and deepest gratitude to the Institute.
Bautista bid her colleagues an amicable farewell, Im very proud of PIDS, and I know you will be moving from strength to strength. Thank you very much, Im not used to this, but I am deeply touched.

Author:
Date: December 16, 2014
Source: The Daily Tribune

MAKATI CITY, Dec 19 -- State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies welcomed former Energy Secretary Atty. Raphael Perpetuo M. Lotilla last December 16 as the new member of its Board of Trustees. He took his oath before PIDS Board Chairman and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan at the NEDA Head Office in Pasig.

Atty. Lotilla brings to the Board his vast experience from years of government service and leadership. He replaces Dr. Maria Cynthia Rose Banzon-Bautista whose term as PIDS Board member ended.

Aside from his stint at the Department of Energy from 2005 to 2007, Atty. Lotillas sterling credentials include teaching at the University of the Philippines College of Law, and serving as former Deputy Director General of NEDA, President and CEO of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), and the Regional Programme Director of Partnerships in Environmental Managements for the Seas of East Asia.

Representing NEDA Director General and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, NEDA Deputy Director General Emmanuel F. Esguerra confidently assured that, with his participation in the PIDS Board of Trustees, the PIDS will continue to be the respected and prestigious institution that it is.

Atty. Lotilla was grateful for the welcome. He used the moment to thank his co-honoree and outgoing board member Dr. Banzon-Bautista. The legacy that she leaves is a challenge not only for me but to all those who will be succeeding her, he said.

Dr. Banzon-Bautista, currently a CHED commissioner, was lauded at the dinner event by her peers and colleagues for eight years of meritorious service as member of the Board.

Besides being a sociologist and educator, she is one of the countrys voices for educational reforms, and she has held many roles in her career: as a professor, researcher, department chair, dean, policy research director, CHED commissioner, and member of international advisory boards " the list goes on, enumerated Dr. Sheila V. Siar of the PIDS Research Information Department who served as the events master of ceremonies.

PIDS Senior Research Fellow Dr. Aniceto C. Orbeta added to the praise, Ill not be very off if I say because of her words of endorsement for PIDS, PIDS has become respected by many universities. Because of that, and on behalf of the PIDS research family, Id like to say thanks.

Esguerra, on behalf of Secretary Balisacan, presented Dr. Bautista with a plaque of recognition and appreciation for her distinguished contributions to the sociological aspects of the Institutes development policy research agenda and program, and her genuine concern for the welfare of the institute as a whole.

PIDS President Gilberto Llanto reflected, Its the good fortune of PIDS that the membership of the board comes from the rank of professionals and people with integrity. [That way] its shielded from political intervention. Thats the secret behind the kind of reputation and good name that PIDS has earned through the years. Well continue with this, and it will be so in the future.

The honorees both expressed their appreciation over the festivities and their sincere and deepest gratitude to the Institute. Dr. Bautista bid her colleagues an amicable farewell, Im very proud of PIDS, and I know you will be moving from strength to strength. Thank you very much, Im not used to this, but I am deeply touched. (PIDS)//

Author:
Date: December 19, 2014
Source: PIA

ASEAN member-countries, including the Philippines, need to improve the quality of tertiary education to improve competitiveness crucial for seizing an opportunity for brain gain the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will bring starting next year.
Sheila Siar, director for research information at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), said the AEC might boost both South-South and North-South movements of skilled labor as a result of the growth of cross-border education, and increased mobility of professional workers with the implementation of the mutual recognition arrangements (MRA).
"Considering that it will enable freer movement and employment of qualified and certified skilled personnel in the region, in accordance with domestic rules and regulations, an MRA can potentially facilitate brain gain for the region," Siar said in a paper.
She said ASEAN member-countries could benefit not just from increased remittances but also from investment flows and knowledge and technology exchanges.
With greater competition for skilled labor, Siar said there is a need to improve the quality of tertiary education and adopt an international curriculum with sufficient regional and global focus and with an entrepreneurial dimension.
"University networks and alliances are useful avenues for improving the quality of tertiary education and strengthening research capacity," she said.
Siar said the initiatives of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco), Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and ASEAN are valuable in harmonizing higher education in the region and developing quality assurance frameworks and accreditation mechanisms.
"But more gains can be achieved if they can harmonise their work and coordinate efforts," she noted.
To capture an opportunity for brain gain, ASEAN countries, as potential international education providers and cross-border education partners, should address various issues affecting their competitiveness.
Siar said countries are still confronting problems of underdeveloped tertiary education systems, language issues and low innovation capacity.
"There is also a need to harmonise the different education systems in the region, implement quality standards, establish accreditation tools, and resolve language issues," she added.

Author:
Date: December 22, 2014
Source: Sun Star Cebu

Limitations on foreign ownership of land and mass media are among the reasons the Philippines continues to lag in the region in terms of foreign direct investments (FDI).

In the latest Economic Issue of the Day release of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), author Claudette S. Malana said lifting restrictions on foreign ownership will be necessary in order for the country to fully participate in the Asean Economic Community (AEC).

Malana said limits to foreign equity in the exploration, development and utilization of natural resources; public utilities; build-operate-transfer projects, operation of deep-sea commercial vessels, land ownership, mass media, and the practice of professions have kept the countrys FDI low.

To sustain the growth of the Philippine economy, these restrictions need to be examined and amended, as they have constrained FDI, Malana said.

Under the AEC, Asean companies, Filipino firms included, can own 100 percent of companies in other Asean countries and should be able to own at least 70 percent of services companies, she added.

Malanas data showed that the Philippiness FDI only increased to $2.8 billion in 2012, while Singapore, was at $56.65 billion and Indonesia $19.62 billion.

It can be noted that Indonesias FDI level in 2001 was in the red at -$2.98 billion. The country was only able to recover in FDI in 2004, which started eight consecutive years of positive FDI inflows, allowing it to exceed the Philippiness FDI performance starting in that year.

The countrys highest FDI level was recorded in 2006, when FDI reached $2.921 billion and, in 2007 at $2.916 billion. The lowest FDI level was recorded in 2001 at $195 million and in 2003, $491 million.

They [East Asian nations] did impose specific restrictions on foreign capital as they saw it fit for their national interests; but they had the essential flexibility to make adjustments in these provisions, Malana said.

For the country to catch up and compete with its neighbors in the high-growth regions of East Asia and Southeast Asia, it is crucial to amend the economic provisions that have caused binding constraints to the growth and productivity of the economy, she added.

The latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed the total approved foreign investments in the nine months of 2014 declined 35.4 percent.

Total approved foreign investments amounted to P91.8 billion in the January-to-September period of 2014, from P142.1 billion in the same period in 2013.

The total approved foreign investments contracted 44.4 percent in the third quarter to P18.3 billion in 2014, from P32.9 billion in 2013.
These investments include those that are coursed through the Board of Investments, Clark Development Corp., Philippine Economic Zone Authority and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, as well as the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan, Board of Investment-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority. In terms of total approved
investments of foreign and Filipino nationals, the PSA said it also contracted 15.7 percent in the third quarter of 2014.
Total approved investments of foreign and Filipino nationals only reached P159.6 billion during the period, lower than the P189.3 billion recorded in the same quarter in 2013.

The PSA explained that foreign investments, approved and registered by the investment promotion agencies, are termed approved foreign investments, replacing the term approved foreign direct investments used in the previous reports.

This is to distinguish the approved foreign investments, which are only commitments and pledges, from the actual FDI, which are actual investments being released in the Balance of Payments by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.//

Author: Cai Ordinario,
Date: December 21, 2014
Source: Business Mirror

Ultimately, the private sector, the main engine of the economy, is the source of more employment. Government can only provide
the enabling environment.
With the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) recently releasing economic growth figures
(of 5.4% for Q3), I am sure that some will once again comment that they are not feeling this
growth, particularly since GDP growth has not been accompanied by increased incomes or
increased employment.

The PSA also recently released last October 2014 its estimate of unemployment rate (6.0
percent), that is slightly lower than the corresponding figure (6.4 percent) a year earlier.

These statistics, though, only represent areas excluding Leyte since the PSA still finds it
operationally challenging to conduct its regular household surveys such as the Labor Force
Survey in the Yolanda-devastated province.

In a previous article, I did point out that per capita income has actually increased for various segments of income distribution in
nominal terms for the past few years, but at growth rates commensurate to inflation, and thus poverty rates have remained the
same. This isnt necessarily a fault of government, given that conditions are never the same, especially with climate change
negating whatever plans and programs we have embarked on.

I thought it may be apt to re-emphasize a point I made about the myth of jobless growth that I already stated in a policy note at
PIDS. As far as employment is concerned, people have rushed into examining employment growth and noticed the
seemingvergence in growth of the economy and the growth in employment (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Annual Growth Rates in GDP and Employment, 2006-2013. Source: PH Statistics Authority

Population and growth

In recent years, it is clear that when the economy had high growth rates, the employment growth seemed to be rather low, such
as in 2009. And when there was low GDP growth, there was a huge increase in employment. Thus, employment growth and
GDP growth are negatively correlated.

In addition, the employment rate, i.e. the ratio of those in the labor force with employment activity in the past week, (as well as
the unemployment rate) seem to have been unchanged, leading some analysts to characterize the economy as being jobless.

But a net change of zero for unemployment rates does not mean that there are no jobs being created since the population,
including our labor force, continues to grow.

In the country, employment and unemployment data are regularly collected by the PSA in its quarterly Labor Force Survey (LFS).
Disaggregating LFS employment data, however, debunks the myth of a jobless growth in the country. Increases in full -time
employment (i.e., those who work 40 hours or more during the past week, the reference week in the Labor Force Survey)
actually accompany high economic growth (except for 2012).

During economic slowdowns, full-time employment also goes down. As regards statistics on part-time employment, i.e. those
who work less than 40 hours during the past week), the growth in part-time employment has had reversed directions from those
of growth in the GDP (except in 2008, the year when the slowdown in the global economy started to take effect). It appears that
more jobs, but of less quality, were created during these periods of slowdown.

Figure 2. Annual Growth Rates in GDP, Full Time Employment and Part Time Employment, 2007-2013. Source: PH Statistics Authority
Figure 2. Annual Growth Rates in GDP, Full Time Employment and Part Time Employment, 2007-2013.
Source: PH Statistics Authority
Another set of disaggregated employment statistics, i.e. employment by major sector, is also quite informative.
Dominated by services sector

When we juxtapose historical data on the shares of the agriculture, industry and services sectors on employment, with the
corresponding shares in economic output, we find that the Philippine economy has always been dominated by the services
sector, which currently has a share of more than half (57.7%) of total output.

The output share of agriculture to the economy has always been relatively minimal, less than a fifth of the countrys output for the
past 25 years: 15.4% in 1990, and 11.2% in 2013. Even if we trace shares of major sectors all the way back to immediately after
World War II, i.e., 1946, we would find that the shares of agriculture, industry and services sectors to the GDP then would be
29.7%, 22.6%, and 47.7%, respectively.

The economy has only become much less agricultural in recent times, and this has been the trend in many developing
economies. The services and industry sectors are getting more of the share of the economy.

The decreasing trends in the share of agriculture are also seen in employment (see Figure 3), with agricultures share of
employment decreasing from slightly less than half of total employment (45.2%) in 1990 to about a third (31.0%) in 2013.

In the same period, the service sector took increasing shares of total employment from two-fifth (39.7%) to more than half
(53.4%). Industry, which had a share of about a 15.0% of aggregate employment in 1990, had its share go down slightly to
14.6% in 2009, and increase marginally to 15.6% by 2013.

Figure 3. Output and Employment Shares in the Economy, by Major Sector; 1990-2013. Source: PH Statistics Authority
In 2013, the largest growth in the countrys economic output of 9.5% came from the industry sector, which also had the highest
growth in employment (3.4%) across the major sectors. Agriculture, which only had a mere 1.1% growth in output, even had a
deceleration in employment figures.

All this may be suggesting that structural transformation in the economy is happening, even if overall employment rate has been
relatively flat.

Shifting agriculture to industry

Thus, its not quite right to say that the Philippine economy has been having jobless growth.

The small net changes in the unemployment rates are the result of full-time jobs being created in the industry and services
sectors, and part-time jobs lost in the agricultural sector. Thats good news folks! So, lets not be quick in harshly criticizing
government for every single thing.

Historically, the share of employment in industry has been lowest among the three major sectors. Even the current robust growth
in output of the industry sector has not translated into more jobs (and lower unemployment) because of the low base figures of
employment in the industry sector.
In the short term, for unemployment rates to drop considerably, employment growth must occur in agriculture (which has the
highest share of employment). Volatility in employment (as well as in output) in agriculture, however, has been observed
especially on account of extreme weather events.
In the long run, employment should start shifting from agriculture to industry, the same path taken by many neighboring
economies which are in better development conditions. There is also some evidence of a decreasing share of employment in
vulnerable work (such as unpaid family workers and own-account workers).

Figure 4. Proportion of Total Employment in Vulnerable Work (Unpaid Family Workers and Own-account Workers); 1998-2012.
Source: PH Statistics Authority
While we need to expect highly of our leaders, let us also be realistic. While we have a Department of Labor and Employment
that looks into employment issues, the government can hardly create more jobs.

Ultimately, the private sector, the main engine of the economy, is the source of more employment. Government can only provide
the enabling environment, which it seems to have done with its focus on good governance and moral politics.

Let us just hope that our taipans, and even our entrepreneurs, continue to invest in the economy and create more jobs,
particularly high-quality jobs. - Rappler.com
Dr. Jose Ramon "Toots" Albert is a professional statistician who has written on poverty measurement, education statistics,
agricultural statistics, climate change, macro prudential monitoring, survey design, data mining, and statistical analysis of missing
data. He is a Senior Research Fellow of the governments think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies, and the
president of the countrys professional society of data producers, users and analysts, the Philippine Statistical Association, Inc.
for 2014-2015.From 2012-2014, he served as Secretary General of the now defunct National Statistical Coordination Board.

Author: Jose Ramon Albert
Date: December 17, 2014
Source: Rappler.com

The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), a government think tank, has urged the creation of a national policy on shelter development as it called for a review of the housing incentives scheme noting that subsidies or tax perks for the low cost mass housing sector did not benefit the intended beneficiaries " poor and informal settlers " but rather the intermediaries.
PIDS senior research fellow Marife Ballesteros and PIDS senior research specialist Jasmine Egana on a study on the countrys housing problem noted that despite policy changes, the overall policy intervention remains wanting.
The Philippines lacks a national policy on shelter development that integrates infrastructure, housing, and environmental concerns. The current approach to shelter is primarily on a per project basis instead of a city-wide shelter development. The absence of a city-wide approach creates difficulties for the national government and LGUs to address the housing problem on scale, said Ballesteros.
In a study entitled Fiscal costs of subsidies for socialized housing programs: An Update, Ballesteros noted of a study of housing-related subsidies in the Philippines which estimated that a total of P25.4 billion in explicit and implicit subsidies was provided to the housing sector over the period 1993"1995.
Fiscal costs from tax exemption through the guarantee program are lowest among other forms of subsidy, Ballesteros said.
In an update, Ballesteros said that in 2009 alone, the government loss amounted to P278 million.
This forgone income may not be necessary at all. Tax breaks are most likely captured by the intermediaries rather than the beneficiaries. It is also difficult to determine how these subsidies result in lower cost of housing for the beneficiaries, she said.
According to Ballesteros, in an effort to reduce losses from financial transactions, government has further restricted financing to the low-income sector through lower exposure of funders and the higher loan ceilings on socialized and low-income packages. The government also continues to grant income tax holiday exemptions to low cost mass housing developers.
And yet, housing needs have ballooned to 5.7 million for 2011"2016 or over 1 million housing annually, with the need highest at the low end of the market.
Clearly, the current subsidy system does not address the objectives of the National Shelter Program, the study said.
Subsidy interventions in the financial system should be focused on low- to middle-income households or those who are able to fulfill obligations resulting from small loans. Subsidy can be provided through a point system that rewards the need for housing and savings effort.
The demand subsidies should be portable, allowing families to select their housing in terms of type of property, location, and other characteristics. The subsidy is given to the household, not to the developer or financial entity.
The poor with incomes below minimum wage and those with incomes that are 1.5 to 3.5 times the minimum wage require other types of intervention. Most likely, these are through different types of public housing arrangements such as NHA housing and rental arrangements, among others.
Lowering the cost of housing should be done outside of the financial intermediation process. Government should avoid large potential future fiscal liabilities such as unfunded pension liabilities or bailouts of failed housing finance institutions, the study said.
The current housing subsidy arrangements such as the use of contractual savings for below-market interest rates, guaranteed take-outs of developers, and tax exemptions may stimulate private sector investment in low-cost housing but would not address the issues of access and affordability for the low-income sector.
The current housing subsidy arrangements such as the use of contractual savings for below-market interest rates, guaranteed take-outs of developers, and tax exemptions may stimulate private sector investment in low-cost housing but would not address the issues of access and affordability for the low-income sector.
If the objective is to improve affordability levels, the study said that direct or upfront subsidies would have greater impact. Latin American countries moved away from similar low-cost contractual savings lending schemes to a demand subsidy mechanism.
Among the key lessons that are worth considering for the Philippines are:
The housing finance subsidy should be a transparent amount that may be budgeted and with government commitment in terms of amount and continuity of resources. Chile, Colombia, and Costa Rica dedicated more than 1 percent of government budget in maintaining temporal continuity in the long term.
Subsidy interventions in the financial system should be focused on low- to middle-income households or those who are able to fulfill obligations resulting from small loans.Subsidy can be provided through a point system that rewards the need for housing and savings effort.
In 2011, the government released PHP 50 billion to the newly formed National Informal Settlement Upgrading System Program for informal settlers living in perilous areas in Metro Manila. Two years later, two major policy reforms were adopted due to the slow pace of its implementation.
First was the National Housing Authority (NHA) Enhanced Resettlement Package that increases the maximum cost of socialized housing units for off-city and in-city resettlements in order to build bigger and more disaster-resilient houses.
Second was the expansion of the financing program of the Socialized Housing Finance Corporation to include high-density housing (HDH). The HDH addresses the problem of limited land for socialized housing in urban areas by accommodating more families per unit of land which also promotes building of better houses and improved access to basic facilities and infrastructure.
Despite these policy changes, the PIDS research showed more housing issues ensued in urban areas.
Decent living spaces are a critical issue among the poor especially in urban areas. Many of them resort to informal or illegal housing, living in shanties, occupying other peoples land, or squatting in the most unsanitary places unimaginable such as riverbanks, streets, and bridges, the study showed.
Inequalities in shelter deprivation and access to basic services are most evident particularly in cities where wealth and poverty exist in close proximity.
Metro Manila alone is home to more than 4 million slum dwellers threatened by adverse congestion, substandard housing, and deteriorating environment.
Relocating informal settlers and victims of natural and human-induced disasters to safer areas is a critical challenge in the housing sector. The adverse impacts of climate change has made the relocation of families living in danger zones more urgent.
Natural disasters also induce further relocation to cities, which can increase informal settlements.
The study also showed that in-city housing projects, despite their higher costs compared to off-city projects, are most cost effective.
In-city housing has higher long-term benefits given better chances of finding employment and more income-generating opportunities. The availability of land for relocation projects, however, is a crucial problem.
For resettlement programs to be effective, land for socialized housing has to be made available by local governments or the national government especially in urban areas like Metro Manila. The authors also emphasized the need to study the feasibility of vertical development in in-city housing and for the NHA to improve the production process for incremental housing.
Ballesteros has proposed policy notes has proposed some policy notes including creation of a database system at the local level to identify beneficiaries.//

Author: Bernie Magkilat
Date: December 15, 2014
Source: Manila Bulletin

THE Philippine economy stands to benefit from the possible brain gain under the Asean Economic Community (AEC), which will take effect in January 2016.

As a known labor-exporting country, the Philippines, like most emigrating countries in the region, suffered from brain drain, as professionals and academicians leave the country for better work opportunities abroad.

However, in a discussion paper, titled Prospects and Challenges of Brain Gain from Asean Integration, Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) Director for Research Information Sheila Siar said the AEC could reverse this trend.

The Asean economic integration in 2015 can be viewed as an opportunity for brain gain for the Asean member-countries, Siar said.

[This] can offset the losses from brain drain experienced by emigration countries in the region, and facilitate knowledge exchanges and collaboration and economic and business linkages, all of which are beneficial for the Asean and its member-countries, she added.

Siar said there are three ways by which a brain gain can occur in emigrating countries like the Philippines.

These are the growth of cross-border education in the region; increased labor mobility in the Asean through mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs); and the migration of Asian expatriates to the Asean.

Siar said, coupled with a more vibrant economy that provides attractive compensation packages in destination, Asean countries could boost movements of international students and workers, as well as promote the exchange of advanced technologies.
It may [also] benefit Asean to allow dual citizenship, as it could facilitate the movement of financial and human capital into the member-countries and the Southeast Asian region as a whole. The portability of social-security benefits should also be pursued, as this promotes return migration and labor mobility, which will enhance circular flows of human capital, investment and technology to the advantage of the Asean member-countries, Siar added.

However, Siar cautioned that if the education sector in Asean countries continue to struggle with language issues, underdeveloped tertiary education and low innovation capacities, a brain gain may not be possible.

Other factors that may prevent a brain gain from occurring includes the low competitiveness rankings of some Asean countries. This makes countries less attractive as labor destinations.

Given these issues, the more advanced economies in the region will have more advantage in exploiting the opportunities of Asean integration during the initial years of the AEC. Prominent economist Joseph Stiglitz expressed the view that the Asean integration could even lead to more brain drain for the poorer countries in the region, Siar said.//

Author: Cai Ordinario
Date: December 12, 2014
Source: Business Mirror

STATE think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) has called for stronger collaboration among member-economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) group to develop human resources and narrow existing gaps in education.

At the same time, PIDS also said that specific measures for increasing productivity of small and medium enterprise through skills training should, likewise, be explored.

Education and human-resource development are important in pursuing the goals of the Apec [group] and in narrowing the income gaps among its member-economies. For example, improvement in economic opportunities for women and vulnerable groups requires access to education and skills training, Tereso Tullao said.

A professor of economics at De La Salle University-Manila and lead author of the PIDS study, Establishing the Linkages between Human Resource Development and Inclusive Growth, Tullao said that Apec economies can learn from the experiences of one another in human-resource development, which is being proposed as a major thrust and theme in the 2015 Apec Ministerial Summit in Manila.

During the meeting, Tullao suggested that Apec member-economies collaborate in developing science and technology in the Apec region.

He said there is an inadequate cooperative program among educational institutions in the region, owing to the limited appreciation of cooperation in educational systems by professors and students in Apec economies, as well as higher educational institutions of other economies.

The study said that inter-university cooperation can only proceed when there is a sense of community among professors and students in Apec economies, hence, the need to establish and maintain academic exchanges among the leading universities in each economy.

Moreover, the study revealed that synchronization of the academic calendar, standardization of course offerings, and measures of accreditation and recognition should also be pursued to facilitate academic exchanges.

Similar to the Apec business visa, the study suggested the establishment of an academic exchange visa for students and professors.

PIDS said the economic and technological gaps among Apec member-economies provide avenues for cooperation and technical assistance and cited as an example the experience of Chinese Taipei and South Korea in training technical workers to support their labor-intensive industries in the past can assist developing economies in Apec area like the Philippines to improve their technical and vocational education.
Cooperation can take the form of sharing of modern equipment and technologies, teacher
training in technical and vocational skills, and accreditation and qualification measures in technical competency, the study suggested, the study said.

The study suggested to expand existing regional cooperative groupings in education, human-resource development, and science and technology, such as the programs and initiatives under the Asean University Network, Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization, Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning.

This can be done, the study said, by increasing their membership and widening the coverage of cooperation.

Apec member-economies are also facing common issues related to labor and talent mismatch. Thus, it is useful for countries to exchange best practices in addressing the problems of educated unemployment and talent mismatch, as well as the migration of human resources.

There should be regular discussions of officials and researchers on how to address this problem of mismatch. There should be mechanisms where these exchanges of best practices can be facilitated either through a web site, joint research projects, and regular conferences on the issue, Tullao added.

The wide gaps in educational indicators and human-resource development in Apec member-economies could also be minimized through various means of cooperation and technical assistance.

Stronger partnership with universities in developed economies in the region may partner with key universities in the developing economies in terms of faculty development, program cooperation, and joint research undertakings is necessary, Tullao said, adding that the cooperative measures can, in turn, strengthen the research and development capacity of research and academic institutions, and improve graduate education in Apec member-economies.

Last, to foster connectivity, there is a need to enhance cross-border education, movement of workers, and development of an Apec area-wide qualification referencing framework, Tullao said.

The government is now gearing for the countrys hosting of the 2015 Apec summit next year.//

Author: Jonathan L. Mayuga
Date: December 13, 2014
Source: Business Mirror

Lawmakers of the 16th Congress acted with dispatch in approving into law what could be the most popular bill they ever passed since they first convened in June 2013. For the many hardworking employees to benefit from it once this takes effect, Congress lost no time to pass upon the proposed law to raise the cap from the current P30,000 to P82,000 on tax exemptions of Christmas bonus, or 13th month pay.
Not wanting to be the spoilers of the Yule season, congressmen even cut short the legislative process by adopting the Senate version of the bill. Senators Ralph Recto and Juan Edgardo Angara are co-authors of this soon-to-be-law.
Unfortunately, however, this would take effect not now, but for next years Christmas bonuses.
Both the Senate and the House of Representatives ratified the proposed law two weeks ago. The enrolled bill is now pending for approval and signature into law by President Benigno Noy Aquino III.
This pulled through despite the last-minute strong lobby to stall approval of the bill in Congress. Senate president Franklin Drilon revealed such request from the Department of Finance (DOF), specifically from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) headed by commissioner Kim Henares. At the outset, the BIR cautioned against the estimated P26.8 billion in potential revenue loss for the government from this tax cut measure.
Congress, however, gave weight to the studies of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies which pegged lower estimates of tax loss to reach only P2.6 billion. A separate study by the University of the Philippines School of Economics put the possible revenue loss at P5.6 billion.
From economic calculations, Recto cited, one peso today is worth about 36 centavos. Adjusted to inflation, the present ceiling of P30,000 was adjusted to P82,000 as corrected in the Recto bill which both chambers of Congress eventually adopted.
The enrolled bill is perhaps now pending with the DOF/BIR for final review. They could recommend to President Aquino either its approval into law or veto it. So whos the Christmas scrooge now?
The BIR told Congress it would not reach its revenue target for 2014 if the bill would cover bonuses for this year. Recto admitted he agreed for the bill to be implemented in 2015 rather than lose the bill to a presidential veto.
However, it behooves the BIR to explain to Congress its reported poor revenue collections from the so-called sin tax after the lawmakers approved into law Republic Act 10351, or An Act Restructuring the Excise Tax on Alcohol and Tobacco Products. Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. demanded explanation from the BIR on the alleged failure of the government to fund its universal health care program out of the proceeds from RA 10351.
Enacted in 2012, the Sin Tax Law mandates that 80 percent of the remaining balance of the incremental revenues from the law will be earmarked for the enrollment of the second poorest 20 percent of the population to the state-run Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth). When this was still being deliberated in Congress, the DOF/BIR told them the passage into law would create P34 billion in additional revenues for the government.
In particular, the Speaker noted with concern reports reaching Congress that much of the uncollected revenues were largely due to loopholes of RA 10351 allegedly being taken advantage by tobacco firm Mighty Corp. All of a sudden a small tobacco firm has become a huge company? the Speaker said reacting to an advertising campaign calling the BIRs attention to the possible tax liabilities of Mighty Corp.
The usually articulate and sharp-shooting BIR chief, however, has been unusually silent despite the escalating ad war among the tobacco industry players. If the mighty BIR wont act on it, Congress will.
Speaker Belmonte tasked the House members in the joint congressional oversight committee on the Sin Tax Law to immediately look into these reports. Id like to find out what happened to sin tax collections. Because its really the affair of the BIR but were not hearing from it. But Congress, which has initiated the sin taxes, wants to find out, Belmonte told House reporters last Tuesday.
Under the countrys Constitution, all tax measures emanate from the House of Representatives.
Ang Nars party-list Rep. Leah Paquiz earlier announced the House will summon key officials of the Department of Health (DOH), Finance Department, and the BIR to update Congress on their respective efforts to run after tobacco firms evading taxes and health programs funded out of sin taxes.
She said the House committees on health, and ways and means, will conduct the joint oversight inquiry into the implementation of the law.
This after Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez filed House Resolution 1591 seeking an inquiry into the governments failure to allocate funds for the universal health care program from proceeds of the Sin Tax Law.
The BIR chief was reportedly livid on the flak she has been getting from Congress on this tax war among tobacco industry players. Thus, House leaders believe a review of RA 10351 would enable Congress to help the BIR collect more if they would be able to plug tax-shaving schemes allegedly being carried out by unscrupulous tobacco companies skirting the law.
In obvious attempts to appease the BIR chief, pro-administration congressmen meanwhile started the legislative process to grind on the proposed bill to impose additional tax on soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened drinks. Authored by Nueva Ecija Rep. Estrellita Suansing, House Bill 3365 seeks to impose a 10 percent ad valorem tax on carbonated and non-carbonated drinks purportedly to wean consumers away from sugar-rich drinks that could lead to diabetes, obesity and other health problems.
But the Beverage Industry Association of the Philippines (BIAP), that included global giants Coca-Cola and Pepsi, strongly objected to the proposed new tax measure directly affecting their products. In a position paper submitted to Congress last week, BIAP pointed against discriminating on soft drinks and other carbonated drinks.
While the BIR is taxing the patience of Congress on its ability to collect from the sin tax law, here comes the sweet tax being invoked also in the name of health of taxpayers. But with the next May 2016 elections just around the corner, the passage into law of this new tax-raising bill would likely find rough sailing in Congress.

Author: Marichu A. Villanueva,
Date: December 12, 2014
Source: Philippine Star

The Philippines can focus on services value chains during its chairmanship in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) next year in an effort to further boost its export competitive position in services trade.

Ramonette Serafica, senior research fellow of the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), said the hosting of the Apec is an opportunity for the country to advance its economic interests in services trade and contribute to regional integration.
This is through highlighting the critical importance of global value chains (GVCs) that are now believed to account for more than 50 percent of global trade, she said in a policy notes.

Citing experts, Serafica said global services value chains are not as well understood as goods value chains.

Given the Philippines comparative advantage in other business services and in computer and information services, advancing regional cooperation in services value chains can further strengthen our export position in these activities, she said in a policy paper submitted to select entities obtained by The Daily Tribune.

Based on Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) value chains indicators, Serafica said the Philippines had the highest index of GVC participation relative to other APEC economies in electrical and optical equipment in 2009.

Electrical and optical equipment is the most dominant GVC in Apec as indicated by the number of economies where this sector is the most important in terms of GVC participation.

The next is mining and quarrying.

The growing prominence of GVCs has added a new urgency to develop competitive services so that the country can increase its global participation and enjoy bigger gains by way of higher value added, more jobs and greater productivity improving spill-over effects, she said.

Whether in goods value chains where services play an integral role or in services value chains, participation and upgrading rely on competitive services, she further said.

Citing the OECD data, Serafica said the most prominent services that complement production are transport and warehousing.
Banking and insurance, business services, professional services and communication services are supplied at every stage of production.

She also cited a study indicating that small and medium enterprises in the services sector are most engaged in GVCs.
They note that services activities are usually less capital-intensive than manufacturing ones and require less physical infrastructure, an advantage for countries with limited physical and financial capital, she added.

Author: Ed Velasco
Date: December 08, 2014
Source: The Daily Tribune

A PROPOSED law tackling the creation of a government agency which will separately cover international trade relations is set to be discussed this week at the Philippine Senate.

On Tuesday, Senate Bills 1084, 1149, and 1404 filed by Senators Teofisto D. Guingona III, Antonio F. Trillanes IV, and Jose E. Estrada last year, will be deliberated on the floor as all three proposed laws seek to establish a Philippine Trade Representative Office. Once created, the government body will be in charge of all foreign trade policies.

In the proposed bills, which are all pending at the committee level at the Senate, lawmakers underscored the need for such an entity to promote coherence and cohesiveness in its trade strategies with foreign players.

Similar proposals have been filed at the House of Representatives under House Bills 1690 and 2770, none of which have made it past the committee level.

In a study published in 2005, Government think tank Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS) recommended the need for a single agency which will handle all international trade negotiations and formulate final trade positions for negotiations.

Citing the United States Representative Office as an example, the PIDS paper said that creating the agency will eliminate turf mentality among different government line agencies as well as lengthy processes on arriving at a final decision on trade issues.

For its part, the Department of Trade and Industry has continuously voiced opposition for a similar move at the House of Representatives, citing its reservations to the transfer of these function from them to the proposed government entity.//


Author: Alden M. Monzon
Date: December 07, 2014
Source: BusinessWorld

A PROPOSED law tackling the creation of a government agency which will separately cover international trade relations is set to be discussed this week at the Philippine Senate.

On Tuesday, Senate Bills 1084, 1149, and 1404 filed by Senators Teofisto D. Guingona III, Antonio F. Trillanes IV, and Jose E. Estrada last year, will be deliberated on the floor as all three proposed laws seek to establish a Philippine Trade Representative Office. Once created, the government body will be in charge of all foreign trade policies.

In the proposed bills, which are all pending at the committee level at the Senate, lawmakers underscored the need for such an entity to promote coherence and cohesiveness in its trade strategies with foreign players.

Similar proposals have been filed at the House of Representatives under House Bills 1690 and 2770, none of which have made it past the committee level.

In a study published in 2005, Government think tank Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS) recommended the need for a single agency which will handle all international trade negotiations and formulate final trade positions for negotiations.

Citing the United States Representative Office as an example, the PIDS paper said that creating the agency will eliminate turf mentality among different government line agencies as well as lengthy processes on arriving at a final decision on trade issues.

For its part, the Department of Trade and Industry has continuously voiced opposition for a similar move at the House of Representatives, citing its reservations to the transfer of these function from them to the proposed government entity. --

Author: Alden M. Monzon
Date: December 07, 2014
Source: BusinessWorld

DAVAO CITY "Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo said the Philippines is on track to surpass its better performing
economies and appealed to various sectors to contribute their share in cementing a stable economic fundamentals.
Speaking to local industry leaders here on Thursday, Domingo said the country is expected to surpass the economies of Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
The Philippines continued to post impressive growth figures since 2012, being one of the fastest growing economy in the region, he said.
In 2012, the economy grew 6.8 percent, performing better at 7.2 percent in 2013. It managed to pull out a 5.8-percent increase in the first nine months this year, Domingo added.
But Domingo said the feat would happen if each sector: nongovernment organizations, local governments, the private sector and the academe, will do their part.
Domingo delivered the keynote address at the forum Industry Roadmaps and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Game Plan: Regional Roadmaps for Competitiveness held at the Apo View Hotel in Davao City, Thursday. It was organized by the Department of Trade and Industry and the Board of Investments.
Technically, the fundamental things are already there. The demographics and improving supply chain"the ingredients are there for us to achieve that forecast, he said.
He called on industry leaders to develop their roadmaps to build a competitive regional industry.
The Industry Roadmap Project (IRP) of the DTI and Board of Investments, was launched in January 2012 with 30 sectoral road maps and 25 road maps have been completed as of this year.
The IRP continues to forge strategic partnerships with industry stakeholders particularly the private sector, in the development of industry roadmaps that defines its vision, goals, and targets, the DTI said.
The IRP assesses the industrys state and economic performance, identifies the binding constraints to its growth, and recommends strategies for industry upgrading and development.
DTI Assistant Secretary, Dr. Rafaelita M. Aldaba, said the governments role in the IRPs is to set as a facilitator of it while the private sector has a big role as they boost the economy through ownership and development of industry road maps.
Aldaba highlighted the need for a cluster-based industrial policy to transform and upgrade regional industries.
To build competitive regional industries, we need to formulate and strengthen regional roadmaps that are aligned and strongly linked with national industry roadmaps, Aldaba said.
Other speakers at the Davao forum included Dr. Ramon Clarete, senior trade adviser of the US Agency for International Development-Trade project, who spoke on the Asean integration and national development agenda; Dr. Roehlano Briones, senior research fellow, Philippine Institute for Development Studies, on strategy for the agribusiness industry; Francis Penaflor of the Board of Investment and Senen Reyes, senior management specialist of the University of Asia and the Pacific, on food processing.
About 400 persons from private, non-government, academe and local government sectors attended the forum.
The Asean Economic Cooperation aims to establish free flow and exchange of goods, services, capital and people, within the ten-member economies. (davaotoday.com)

Author: by Bal Kenneth Aballe and Maolen Oledan-Estomagulang
Date: December 05, 2014
Source: Davao Today.com

THE HEAD of the Office for Competition (OFC) has reiterated the need for more comprehensive and simplified competition policies and laws (CPL), saying that achieving this is a key step in bringing about economic justice.
Department of Justice Assistant Secretary and OFC chair Geronimo L. Sy said: Economic justice should take center stage in our national consciousness. Simplification of laws, rules, and policies is a step, Mr. Sy told BusinessWorld in a text message.

Mr. Sy, who was making his remarks on the occasion of the third National Competition Day, is the first chair of the DoJ-attached agency formed in 2011. The OFC is mandated to enforce competition law in aid of preventing monopolies, cartels and combinations in restraint of trade.

Mr. Sy has taken the position that CPL needs to be streamlined from the current patchwork of rules to be found in the Price Law, Patent Law, Trademark Law, Property Code, and Consumer Act.

A United Nations Conference on Trade and Agreement (UNCTAD) report in mid-July cited the ongoing pursuits of the OFC, and called on the agency to proceed with the development of a complaint-handling and reporting scheme in order to build public confidence.

Mr. Sy said a series of conferences will highlight the governments efforts in enforcing competition policy, noting that the first National Competition Conference, to be held on Dec. 9 at the Philippine International Convention Center, will be keynoted by President Benigno S. C. Aquino III.

Mr. Sy said the forum will focus on competition and regulatory policies in the energy, transportation, and telecommunications sectors.

For her part, Justice Secretary Leila M. de Lima said the creation of the OFC has helped the government fulfill its mandate of restraining anticompetitive practices.

Through CPL enforcement, we can put an end to the anticompetitive practices of greedy businesses, Ms. de Lima said in a statement.

The OFC took the lead in investigating the spike in garlic prices this year, finding that most of the garlic imports were cornered by some individuals.

We will continue to investigate and prosecute offenders and advocate for reforms in order to achieve effective competition in the markets, Ms. de Lima said.

For her part, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares agreed on the need to consolidate, rationalize, and harmonize those existing policies, and more importantly, make it clear, comprehensive, and specific.

The BIR, together with the Department of Trade and Industry and Philippine Institute of Development Studies, are partner institutions of the DOJ-OFC in celebrating National Competition Day. --

Author: Reden D. Madrid
Date: December 05, 2014
Source: BusinessWorld