Press Releases Archived (January 2014)

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DSWD`s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino program or 4Ps must provide longer assistance to its present beneficiaries instead of increasing the number of its beneficiary families.

A recent study of PIDS Senior Research Fellow Celia Reyes and Supervising Research Specialist Aubrey Tabuga recommends the extension of 4Ps assistance to current beneficiary families to ensure that their children can finish high school. If this happens, they will have more employment opportunities when they enter the labor market.

The Philippine conditional cash transfer program targets extremely poor families and provides PHP300 a month for every child in each family. A maximum of three children can benefit under the program, or PHP3,000 for a school year (i.e., 10 months) for meeting educational expenses. There is also a health component that allots PHP6,000 annually for each family or PHP500 per month.

Targeted children are those aged up to 14 years old. The maximum period of assistance is five years. For example, a poor family with a three-year-old child can only be assisted up until he or she turns eight. On the other hand, one that has only a 12-year-old adolescent can only be assisted for two years.

The study notes that returns on educational investment vary in different levels of educational attainment. High school graduates can earn as much as PHP246 a day, which is 40 percent higher than the PHP186 average daily wage of elementary graduates. The study therefore deems it favorable to extend the coverage to up to 16-18 years of age to enable the 4Ps children to finish high school and to increase the period of coverage from 5 to 10 years or even longer. Enabling the children to finish high school poses more benefits. This would likely boost their wages when they enter the labor market and eventually increase the chance of breaking intergenerational poverty as it will increase investments in human capital.

Extending the period of assistance would also be complementary to the recently adopted K 12 program (kindergarten, six years of primary education, four years of Junior High School, and two years of Senior High School). This would enable the 4Ps children to complete the 12 years of primary and secondary schools by the time they reach 18 years old.

For more information, you may check the full study from these links: http://dirp4.pids.gov.ph/ris/books/pidsepm2012_v3.pdf; http://dirp4.pids.gov.ph/ris/pn/pidspn1302.pdf.

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State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) signed a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for the Research Project APEC 2015 on November 14, 2013 at the Carlos P. Romulo Hall, NEDA sa Makati Building, Makati City. PIDS President Gilberto Llanto and DFA Undersecretary for Administration Rafael Seguis signed for PIDS and DFA, respectively. Under the agreement, DFA will lead in the conduct of the project that will provide the requisite analytical framework for determining the substantive priorities the Philippines will push for as APEC Host Economy in 2015. Meanwhile, PIDS will provide technical expertise in the conduct of the project.

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The 2015 APEC Conference in the Philippines is the second time that the country will chair the Conference since its first hosting in 1996. The project will serve APECs purpose of maximizing the benefits of regional cooperation with other APEC member-economies, and provide inputs to development planning of the Philippine government.

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About 130 million people in Southeast Asia lack access to electricity.

This was revealed by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) in a study by Dr. Adoracion Navarro, a senior research fellow of the Institute, Mr. Maxensius Tri Sambodo of Indonesian Institute of Sciences Economic Research Center, and Mr. Jessie Todoc, Philippines Country Manager of SEA Energy Access and Alternative Energy, International Copper Association Southeast Asia.

The authors noted that at least 228 million still rely on traditional biomass for cooking and lack access to clean and modern cooking facilities. Based on projections of the International Energy Agency (IEA), about 63 million of the ASEAN population will still have no electricity in 2030.

In the Philippines, 16 million of the population are without electricity. This problem also persists in Indonesia (63 million of its population), Myanmar (26 million), Cambodia (10 million), Thailand (8 million), Viet Nam (2 million), Lao PDR (2.2 million), and in Malaysia (200 thousand). Only Singapore and Brunei Darussalam have 100 percent electrification rate.

Lack of electricity access is much greater in rural areas than in urban areas. Improving the rural electrification ratio is a major challenge both at the national and regional levels considering the level of electricity access among the 10 ASEAN members.

The Philippines has a total electrification rate of 83 percent. Its urban electrification rate is 94 percent, which is 21 notches higher than its 73 percent rural electrification rate. Nevertheless, about half or 47 million people rely on traditional biomass for cooking.

The authors recommend linking the benefits from and strategies in ASEAN Energy Market Integration (AEMI) with the eradication of energy poverty in Southeast Asia. In particular, the investment requirements and financing options should consider the needs of the energy-poor. Energy market integration in the region should also contribute to the respective members national economic growth and development, where lack of access to modern energy services is one of the constraints. To achieve universal access to electricity by 2030, the ASEAN would need to invest about US$48 million.

ASEAN countries have to identify the types of technical solutions that are best suited for the types of demand when defining their sources of financing for energy poverty reduction, the authors added. These include on-grid connection extensions, mini-grid distribution systems, and off-grid electrification that can be financed by government budget, multilateral and bilateral official development assistance, and the private sector.

For more information, you may download the study through this link: http://dirp4.pids.gov.ph/webportal/CDN/PUBLICATIONS/pidsdps1350.pdf.