IN FOCUS: Public Tertiary Education in the Philippines

As another school year opens, hundreds of thousands of students will continue their tertiary education in the 2,299 higher education institutions (HEIs) across the country. A fourth of these HEIs make up the 547 state universities and colleges (SUCs) subsidized by the national government. In 2012, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) allocated PHP 26 billion to support SUCs, aligned with the country’s commitment to promoting human capital development and improving the country’s economic competitiveness. But how well have SUCs contributed to realizing that commitment? The situation revealed by PIDS Senior Research Fellow Rosario Manasan and Supervising Research Specialist Danileen Parel in their study, “Review and Assessment of Programs Offered by State Universities and Colleges”, uncovers a dismal performance that puts to question the cost and the efficiency of SUC management relative to the quality of education they actually provide.

The study measures SUCs’ performance using the results of 36 professional board exams (PBEs) as an indicator of the quality of instruction. Overall, the numbers reflect very low averages for SUCs. “The weighted passing rate of all SUCs combined in all the PBEs taken together is 4 to 9 percent lower than the national passing rate in 2004-2011,” reveals the study. Only 9 out of the 36 PBEs had average passing rates above 60 percent and only 3 had passing rates above 70 percent. || Read more >>

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Latest Publications


Social Enterprises and Employment: Mainstreaming SMEs and Employment Creation (DP 2015-38)

Doing Business: A Review of Literature and Its Role in APEC 2015 (DP 2015-37)

The BPO Challenge: Leveraging Capabilities, Creating Opportunities (DP 2015-36)

Furthering the Implementation of AEC Blueprint Measures (DP 2015-35)

Evaluation of the APEC Environmental Goods Initiative: A Dominant Supplier Approach (DP 2015-34 (Revised))

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Featured Publications

LIBERALIZING TRADE OF ENVIRONMENTAL GOODS AND SERVICES: HOW TO ADDRESS THE FREE-RIDER PROBLEM

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Reducing trade barriers in environmental goods and services (EGS) makes adoption of environmental technologies cost effective for different industries. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation's (APEC) contribution to foster trade in EGS is to put forward its own list of 54 environmental goods (EGs) slated for sectoral liberalization. This Policy Note explores how APEC can liberalize trade in EGs based on the most-favored-nation (MFN) principle. Liberalization of these EGs on an MFN basis, however, generates free-rider problems. Using the predominant supplier approach could address free riding and provide the stimulus needed to foster free trade in EGS. The results show that APEC has a dominant supplier role in renewable energy and clean technology production. These are followed by waste water management and potable water treatment, management of solid and hazardous waste and recycling systems, and natural risk management. || Read more >>


TOWARD REGIONAL COOPERATION FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THE EAST ASIAN SEAS

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In an era where development issues concerning human security, health, and the environment transcend national boundaries, international cooperation has become more crucial than ever. This issue of the Development Research News explores this theme in which various facets of collaboration in addressing transnational and local concerns are presented, particularly in the areas of resource management, research, and policy development. The price of noncooperation is high, as the banner article on the East Asian Seas shows. In the absence of a coherent cooperative management arrangement, the unsustainable and illegal exploitation of resources in the South China Sea will continue. With or without territorial disputes, sustainable development should remain both a national and an international goal. A good example of mutual cooperation in development is regional cooperation in research and capacity building, as exemplified by the East Asian Development Network and the APEC Study Centers Consortium. This issue reports on the recent activities of these two regional research platforms. || Read more >>


REVIEW AND ASSESSMENT OF PROGRAMS OFFERED BY STATE UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES

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The state universities and colleges (SUCs) in the Philippines have always been a major issue mainly because of the poor quality of education that most of them offer, the undeveloped management and financial systems, and the inequality of access. And yet the government has been providing them considerable funding support primarily due to the importance of tertiary education in promoting human development and improving the economy`s competitiveness. A review of the mandates of the various SUCs in the selected regions covered by this study indicates that the mandates are fairly broad, to start with. But beyond this, the charters of most SUCs allow them to offer programs outside of their core mandates. Given the broad mandates of SUCs, there is a substantial duplication in their program offerings. One recommendation therefore is for the Commission on Higher Education to enforce more vigorously its policy of closing existing programs of SUCs and private higher education institutions that perform under par year after year. || Read more >>


PHILIPPINE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENT SPECIAL VOLUME ON HEALTH

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The Aquino Health Agenda of 2010 articulates succinctly the Philippine health sector's aim for universal health coverage. The agenda has three thrusts: rapid expansion of enrollment and benefit delivery using subsidies for the poorest families, improved access to quality hospitals and health-care facilities, and attainment of health-related Millennium Development Goals through additional effort and resources targeted to the most critical areas in the country. Years after the launch of the agenda, the Department of Health collaborated with key institutions to implement the Health Systems Research Management (HSRM) Project, with the Philippine Institute for Development Studies as one of the collaborators. Through this HSRM project, several research projects were carried out, providing critical updates and new information on the progress of the health sector's Aquino Health Agenda. Several of these critical updates and new information are presented in this special volume of the Philippine Journal of Development. The volume focuses on health financing and service delivery, particularly PhilHealth coverage, household spending for health, and health infrastructure. || Read more >>


MAINSTREAMING SMES THROUGH SOCIAL ENTERPRISES

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Social enterprises (SEs) are crucial both for the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and labor generation. The goal of SEs is to provide public goods to communities. In the Philippines, SEs are linked to social entrepreneurship as a process of creating spaces and transforming markets toward the goal of poverty reduction and sustainable development. This Policy Note discusses the findings of a study that explored the key policy variables necessary to support SE and SME development. The study also examined the extent to which nongovernment organizations as well as international trade arrangements, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), can improve the business environment for SEs and SMEs. Results indicate that the business environment affects the revenues and incomes of these enterprises. To support SEs, it is crucial to link them to global value chains and to provide them with the necessary global public goods that can help address poverty directly. || Read more >>


PERFORMANCE OF APEC ECONOMIES IN EASE OF DOING BUSINESS

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The World Bank ranks almost 200 countries in terms of their ease of doing business (EoDB) to underscore the importance of a thriving private sector in promoting high and inclusive growth. Its Doing Business Report uses several criteria in scoring and ranking EoDB: starting a business, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency. In the 2015 Report which is discussed in this Policy Note, Singapore is once again on top, a place that it has maintained since 2007, followed by New Zealand and Hong Kong, both APEC economies. The Philippines registered moderate to impressive gain in its ranking, from 108th to 95th. As the ASEAN Economic Community progresses and as the Philippines takes a crucial role in this year`s APEC 2015 Summit, comparing the EoDB metrics of the ASEAN countries becomes highly important. || Read more >>


HOW HAS BASIC EDUCATION IN THE PHILIPPINES FARED AND WHAT ELSE NEEDS TO BE DONE?

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One of the Millennium Development Goals is to achieve universal primary education. For the Philippines, there is good news to achieving this target. A bigger proportion of primary-aged children have been going to primary school since 2008, which suggests that the incidence of out-of-school children (OOSC) has declined dramatically for primary school-aged children. Three interrelated factors can be largely attributed to decreasing OOSC in the country: the passage and full implementation of mandatory kindergarten and the K-12 Law; the increasing budget that the Department of Education has obtained from the national government; and the expansion of the government`s conditional cash transfer program, the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, that requires families to send their children to school. These three broad programs changed the way basic education is implemented in the country, and have helped bring the country closer to its goal of universal education. || Read more >>


AMENDING THE ECONOMIC PROVISIONS OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION

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This issue of the EID features the amendment of the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution. Amending the Constitution`s economic provisions is an ideal recourse for the Philippines if it wants to benefit from the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015. The country needs to be competitive in order to take advantage of the growing marketplace of opportunities, especially for small and medium enterprises. Platforms like the AEC and other free trade agreements are gaining more success in terms of reducing or removing market entry and access issues. || Read more >>


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. || Read more >>



Press Releases

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STUDY RECOMMENDS NUANCED APPROACH FOR APEC’S ENVIRONMENTAL GOODS INITIATIVE

A paper released by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) was delivered this week at the second ministerial meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Community (APEC). Written by Dr. George Manzano and Ms. Shanti Aubren Prado, PIDS consultants, Evaluation of the APEC Environmental Goods Initiative: A Dominant Supplier Approach assesses the list of 54 environmental goods and services that the APEC promised in 2012 to liberalize by the end of this ye || Read more >>


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PHILIPPINES` FINANCIAL SECTOR LAGGING BEHIND IN ASEAN

The Philippines` financial sector has a lot of catching to do to improve its competitiveness and be at par with the frontrunners of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Improved financial education and financial literacy, and reform policies to strengthen financial inclusion of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should be at the heart of policy reforms to achieve the critical improvements necessary to gear up for the ASEAN Economic Community. These were ex || Read more >>


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THE POWER OF SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

Social enterprises can help enhance the role of small and medium enterprises (SME) in sustainable economic development, claims a recent study released by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies. Written by PIDS consultant Leonardo A. Lanzona, Jr. of the Ateneo de Manila University, "Enterprises and Employment: Mainstreaming SMEs and Employment Creation" explores the theory and recommends policies to empower both areas of enterprise. While there is strong belief || Read more >>


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NEW UNESCAP SURVEY SHOWS PHILIPPINE ECONOMY STILL LACKS INCLUSIVENESS

State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) hosted a policy dialogue for the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) last May 18. The resource speaker was UNESCAP Economic Affairs Officer Steve Loris Gui-Diby who expounded on the role of measuring growth inclusiveness to determine the best policies for achieving sustainable development. UNESCAP had recently developed a new inclusiveness index. The index ra || Read more >>


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EAST ASIAN DEVELOPMENT NETWORK'S ANNUAL FORUM FOCUSES ON REGIONAL COOPERATION

The East Asian Development Network (EADN) held its annual forum on May 28 and 29, giving the podium to its young research grantees to elaborate on the progress of their individual work. Since 1998, the network has sought to develop the research capacity of participating institutions and individuals by providing the resources to carry out development-focused and policy-relevant research. The Philippines, on its fifth year as EADN Secretariat, welcomed research grantees and men || Read more >>


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EASE OF DOING BUSINESS, A WORK IN PROGRESS FOR APEC MEMBER-STATES

The Philippines took 95th place on the World Bank rankings for Ease of Doing Business, gaining the second highest leap in the charts for the 2015 report. But it's still not enough to beat neighbors Thailand (26th), Viet Nam (78th), and Malaysia (18th). A new policy note released by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development (PIDS) reviews the elements of a good business environment, and what an increase in ease of doing business (EoDB) can bring to the table for AP || Read more >>


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PIDS AND UNICEF STUDY FINDS DWINDLING NUMBERS OF OUT-OF-SCHOOL CHILDREN

`Out-of-school children prevalence has declined in almost all regions of the country,` claims a joint study of state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The numbers are indicative of achievements and further challenges for basic education as a whole. PIDS Senior Fellow Jose Ramon Albert and Assistant Professor Clarissa David of the University of the Philippines-Diliman College of Mass Communicatio || Read more >>


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`2015 IS LOOKING GOOD` GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE SECTOR AGREE AT ECONOMIC SEMINAR

The Philippines can expect a lot of positive growth for the next 24 months. State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) OIC-Vice President Dr. Adoracion Navarro and Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) President and Chief Executive Officer Hans Sicat came to this optimistic conclusion at the PIDS Philippine Business and Economic Outlook seminar held on May 19 in Makati City. Both agreed, however, that the risk of overlooking important opportunities remain || Read more >>


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