Events Calendar Archived (May 2013)

Date: May 29, 2013
Time: 02:00 p.m.
Venue: House of Representatives, Quezon City

Organized by Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department and the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), this forum aimed to look into the progress of the social protection program, specifically on whether its objectives of promoting investments in health and education of children while providing immediate financial support to the poor families are being met.

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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.

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Date: May 07, 2013
Time: 9:30
Venue: C.P. Romulo Hall, NEDA sa Makati Bldg., Makati City

The Philippine Institute for Development Studies, in partnership with the Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International of India, is undertaking a project called Competition Reforms in Key Markets for Enhancing Social and Economic Benefits in Developing Countries (CREW) in the Philippines. The CREW Project is being carried out by CUTS in three other countries: India, Ghana, and Zambia. The Project aims to assess the benefits of competition reforms on consumers and producers in two sectors: staple food (rice) and passenger transport. By demonstrating the benefits of competition, greater attention and support can be provided by policymakers on the need for competition law and policy in the country.

The first CREW National Reference Group (NRG) Meeting was held on May 7, 2013 at the Romulo Hall, NEDA sa Makati Building, Makati City. The event brought together relevant stakeholders from industry groups, government, civil society, academe, and media representatives. Around 12-15 representatives from various sectors discussed the CREW Project as well as competition reforms and benefits in the Philippines particularly in the food staple and passenger transport sectors. Also discussed during the meeting were the challenges of designing an effective competition framework and measures to promote competition to enhance socio-economic welfare.

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