Philippine Institute for Development Studies
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Statement of PIDS President Gilbert Llanto regarding media reports on the Commission on Audit findings

This is to clarify certain issues raised against the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) in connection with the 2013 Annual Audit Report of the Commission on Audit (COA), and published in the newspapers and online news web sites today. Read More


IN FOCUS: Job Creation and Inclusive Growth

The Philippines enjoys rapid economic growth. From 2008 to 2013, it registered an average GDP growth rate of 5.1 percent. In 2013, the economy grew at a remarkable rate of 7.2 percent despite the combined effects of typhoons and other disasters, the tamed growth of some sectors, and the global economic slowdown in the Euro zone and other trading partners. This can be attributed to improved macroeconomic fundamentals, better financial management, and the reform efforts of the present administration. Nevertheless, income inequality and poverty incidence remain high and stable in the last two decades. It is widely believed that this failure to atta read more...

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Latest Publications


A Spatial Integration Analysis of the Regional Fertilizer Markets in the Philippines (DP 2014-36)

Compilation and Synthesis of Major Agricultural Value Chain Analysis in the Philippines (DP 2014-35)

Labor Policy Analysis for Jobs Expansion and Development (DP 2014-34 (revised))

Child Poverty in the Philippines (DP 2014-33)

The Philippine Manufacturing Industry Roadmap: Agenda for New Industrial Policy, High Productivity Jobs, and Inclusive Growth (DP 2014-32)

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Featured Publications

CLARIFYING THE JOBS CHALLENGE

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The jobs challenge is not simply the lack of job opportunities. A more nuanced view is the inability of the common person to earn a decent living through productive employment or self-employment. Viewing the issue as such reveals the other dimensions of the lack of job opportunities issue. This Policy Note clarifies the jobs challenge and its implications for policy based on Paqueo et al. (2014). Defining clearly the jobs challenge illuminates the issue much more clearly and highlights the weakness of viewing it as simply a problem of lack of job opportunities. The Note argues that the jobs challenge extends beyond those who are currently unemployed. It should include those who are currently employed but are earning below subsistence. These workers require much more than just having and keeping their jobs. Finally, there are those who are earning beyond subsistence but for whatever reason still want to work more hours.

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IS GROWTH REALLY JOBLESS?

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The stellar economic growth in the country since 2012 has not been subsequently accompanied by a significant reduction in poverty or by increased employment. Is the country`s economic growth really jobless? The description about the Philippine economy being jobless stems from the seeming divergence in growth between economic growth and employment. This Policy Note examines whether or not it is fair to characterize the country`s economy as having jobless growth and discusses related issues. The development community suggests the government to focus its efforts on further accelerating structural reforms to facilitate sustained and inclusive growth and development, which will create jobs and reduce poverty.

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EFFECTS OF MINIMUM WAGE ON THE PHILIPPINE ECONOMY

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This Policy Note presents the results of a study that explores the effects of labor policies on the industry. In particular, it examines the minimum wage policy by disentangling and controlling various factors that may confound the effects of minimum wages on employment. Using various econometric methods, the study finds that the minimum wage policy reduces employment in small firms. It causes small firms to reduce their production workers. Furthermore, because of the minimum wages, firms are reluctant to hire younger, less educated, and female production workers. To minimize costs, increasing training for these younger and less educated production workers may no longer be an option as minimum wages rise. These findings may have serious consequences in the way the Labor Code affects production efficiency, as well as social protection. There is thus a need to coordinate these policy areas in a way that reinforces one another.

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PROCESS, NATURE, AND IMPACTS OF IRRIGATION SYSTEM REHABILITATION

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Irrigation systems undergo rehabilitation to maintain developed irrigation service areas and close the gap between service areas and actual areas irrigated. A rapid appraisal of the government`s irrigation program was commissioned to the Philippine Institute for Development Studies to assess how well these goals have been achieved. Historical data on areas reported to have been rehabilitated, restored, and generated nationwide were analyzed vis-a-vis trends on irrigation service areas and actual areas irrigated. The rehabilitation process was studied to gain insights on the planning and implementation of rehabilitation projects and how the adopted processes or practices could have influenced the results of rehabilitation.

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APPRAISAL OF METHODOLOGY IN ESTIMATING IRRIGABLE AREAS AND PROCESSES OF EVALUATING FEASIBILITY OF NIA IRRIGATION PROJECTS

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Irrigation has perennially accounted for the major expenditure outlay of the Philippine government in the agriculture sector. The performance of the national irrigation program, however, has always been below expectation. This Policy Note highlights the key findings of a component study of the rapid appraisal of the irrigation program commissioned by the National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Budget and Management to the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, to provide input to the budget process. The study indicates that the NIA irrigation systems in general have various technical problems and issues that need to be resolved. One of these issues is that the actual irrigated areas in all four irrigation systems studied had been consistently below the target or design irrigation area. This is due to overestimation of irrigable areas by not fully accounting for built-up areas or urbanization, flooded areas during the wet season, and elevated areas that cannot be reached by gravity.

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GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT IN DEEP-WELL PUMPS: SOME PRELIMINARY NOTES FOR POLICY

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Irrigation is a key component of the government`s strategy to improve agricultural productivity and attain food self-sufficiency. In recent years, the government has been investing in deep-well pumps as an option to develop more water sources amid the expansion of service areas. This study undertakes a rapid appraisal of deep-well pump projects in several national irrigation systems in Central Luzon, operated by the National Irrigation Administration. It also provides a preliminary assessment of the suitability of such investments. It then lists down some lessons that should be considered to improve planning and implementation of irrigation projects.

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ANALYSIS OF TECHNICAL ASSUMPTIONS AND PROCESSES OF EVALUATING FEASIBILITY OF IRRIGATION PROJECTS

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This Policy Note presents the highlights of a component study of the rapid appraisal of the government`s irrigation program commissioned by the National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Budget and Management to the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, as input to the budget process. In most Philippine irrigation systems, a large gap exists between design assumptions and operational realities, which causes these systems to underperform chronically. Site visits and collection of secondary data were conducted for 14 irrigation systems in Luzon and the Visayas to evaluate the kind of design problems determining underperformance. The study concludes that good governance of irrigation systems must start with a design that ensures compatibility with operational realities and an acceptable level of financial viability to ensure sustainable performance.

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ECONOMIC POLICY MONITOR 2013: ADDRESSING THE JOBS CHALLENGE TOWARD INCLUSIVE GROWTH

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This fourth issue of the PIDS Economic Policy Monitor (EPM) focuses on the need to pursue inclusive growth through the expansion of quality job opportunities. It revisits the jobs issue and provides recommendations on how to address it, taking into consideration the socioeconomic and political landscape and historical experience of the Philippines. The theme chapter looks into the causes of the economy`s failure to generate substantial and quality job opportunities by examining the effectiveness of minimum wage and other labor regulations to determine if they are growth and welfare enhancing. The study finds that raising the minimum wage reduces employment in smaller firms, lowers household income, and increases the probability of falling into poverty. Along with recommendations for a minimum wage reform, expansion of gainful job opportunities from the labor-intensive manufacturing sector, and greater investments in education and other human development aspects, the study proposes a 12-point agenda called "Job Expansion and Development Initiatives" or JEDI.

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REGIONAL INTEGRATION, INCLUSIVE GROWTH, AND POVERTY: ENHANCING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE POOR

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Regional economic integration in East Asia is characterized initially as a market-driven process of increased trade and foreign direct investment inflows, and eventually by formal arrangements to liberalize trade and integrate economic activities through free trade agreements among East and Southeast Asian countries. This has led to more intensified regional production networks in which East and Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, participated. Set against the backdrop of continuing economic integration in the region, economic growth in the Philippines has not been as inclusive as in the other countries as manifested in the increase in the magnitude of poverty incidence. This paper examines how the Philippines can improve its record on poverty reduction by looking at how it can generate greater demand for the labor services of the poor. Specifically, this paper looks into the linkage between regional production networks and inclusive growth in the Philippines through employment generation for the poor.

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Highlights

JOBS CHALLENGE TAKES CENTER STAGE IN DPRM 2014

Inclusivity remains a critical challenge for the Philippines. Despite an outstanding growth performance in 2013, widespread poverty and joblessness persist - signs that growth continues to benefit only a few. Three million Filipinos were without jobs in 2013 and 7.51 million were underemployed. By 2012, the proportion of the population living below poverty line was 25.2 percent.

The Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016 recommends a number of strategies to enhance job generation, which include, among others, opening legitimate channels for all forms of employment and mutually beneficial work arrangements, and exploiting the country's comparative advantage in labor-intensive activities. In support of the PDP, the 12th Development Policy Research Month (DPRM) has for its theme, "Addressing the Jobs Challenge toward Inclusive Growth", to give emphasis to the urgent need to address the perennially high rates of unemployment and underemployment in the country. With the Philippines in the cusp of major international and regional developments such as the forthcoming ASEAN economy community in 2015, it is high time that we take a look at labor policies and regulations and other binding constraints that hamper the country's ability to generate ample and productive jobs and make use of its abundant resources. We should determine what policy measures and interventions can make a serious dent on high income inequality and poverty incidence.


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Press Releases

SENATE FORUM CALLS FOR LABOR REFORMS TO CREATE MORE JOBS, ACHIEVE INCLUSIVE GROWTH


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The effects of labor regulations such as the minimum wage policy should be considered if government is really serious about creating jobs and pursuing inclusive growth. This was stressed by Dr. Vicente Paqueo, visiting research fellow of state think-tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), in a forum at the Senate on September 18 organized by the Senate Economic Planning Office and PIDS. The forum is part of the nationwide celeb

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4PS YIELDS POSITIVE RESULTS, PRELIMINARY IMPACT STUDIES SAY


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Despite rapid economic growth in the past years, poverty still persists in the Philippines. Investing in development programs such as the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) is thus crucial to delivering better social outcomes. As the flagship anti-poverty program of the country, the conditional cash transfer scheme has been met with some criticisms. Some sectors see it as a dole-out that breeds mendicancy. Supporters, however, argue that t

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FILIPINO EXPERTS TACKLE IMPACT EVALUATION TECHNIQUES IN IEMATTERS WORKSHOPS


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Economists from the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and the University of the Philippines (UP) took turns discussing techniques in impact evaluation at the IEmatters pre-conference workshops, providing development practitioners with the means to generate evidence that will influence policy. PIDS Senior Research Fellow Aniceto Orbeta on Tuesday (Sept. 2, 2014) gave an overview of regression discontinuity and interrupted time

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GOV`T, INTERNATIONAL AGENCIES COMMIT TO MORE FUNDING FOR IMPACT EVALUATION


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Impact evaluation in the Philippines is getting a boost with the government, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation or 3ie, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) ready to pour in more resources to evaluating development programs. In a press briefing on Day 1 of the `Making Impact Evaluation Matter` international conference being held in Manila, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the Philippines is now among many

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CABINET OFFICIALS BACK IMPACT EVALUATION OF GOV'T PROGRAMS


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Two top officials of the Aquino administration on Wednesday (Sept. 3, 2014) backed efforts to integrate evaluation practices into development programs, saying these measures ensure the efficient and prudent use of public and donor funds. Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said evaluation practices have "provided effective feedback of lessons learned for the improvement of program and project designs of future development projec

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SECRETARY BALISACAN TO OPEN IE MATTERS CONFERENCE


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Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan will open Making Impact Evaluation Matter, a large international conference on the increasingly influential field of impact evaluation to be held for the first time in Asia. Balisacan, who is director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), is expected to update more than 400 policymakers, program managers, and researchers on the Philippines` development initiatives an

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IE MATTERS: IMPACT EVALUATION WEEK OPENS


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Development practitioners and advocates are gathering in Manila this week for the first-ever international meet on impact evaluation in Asia. The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) is co-organizing the five-day workshop and conference with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie). `Making Impact Evaluation Matter: Better Evidence for Effective Policies and Programs` is being h

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EVENTS CALENDAR

Click Here to watch the
Forum on Addressing the Jobs Challenge toward Inclusive Growth
September 23, 2014, 9:00am to 3:30pm

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