IN FOCUS: FINANCIAL INCLUSION

Financial inclusion is crucial for sustained economic growth and poverty reduction. It provides different markets—particularly those that are traditionally unserved and underserved—with access to a wide range of financial resources and services, such as savings, payments, and credit. These financial services not only improve the welfare of the poor and the marginalized but also contribute to the growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises.

Greater financial inclusion contributes to financial stability and economic development. An inclusive financial system is not only pro-growth but also pro-poor, which, along with other interventions, reduces income inequality and poverty. || Read more >>

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Latest Publications


Toward an Effective Regulatory Management System: Philippines (DP 2015-32)

Rapid Appraisal of the Postharvest Facilities Projects in the Philippines (DP 2015-31)

A Review of the Accreditation System for Philippine Higher Education Institutions (DP 2015-30)

Toward an Enabling Set of Rules of Origin for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnertship (DP 2015-29)

Bottom-up Budgeting Process Assessment: Agusan del Norte (DP 2015-26)

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Featured Publications

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 >>


PROMOTING INCLUSIVE GROWTH THROUGH THE 4PS

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The Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the Philippines marks its fifth year of implementation in 2013 since its inception in 2008. The first batch of 4Ps beneficiaries will graduate from the program in several months while the government continues to expand its implementation, devising along the way several variants that it deems necessary to address the many facets of poverty. As program graduation nears, many questions arise as to what to expect from this program. At this point, it may be fitting to draw together assessments that have been conducted so far and to look into some important issues in terms of design and implementation. This paper seeks to answer the question of whether expanding the program would likely yield better results. It discusses the outstanding issues raised against the program, most especially those that bear on the program`s ability to facilitate inclusive growth. || Read more >>


POLICY AND ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE WATER-FOOD-ENERGY NEXUS

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This issue of the Development Research News focuses on the significance of an integrated approach in analyzing problems and finding solutions--otherwise known as `nexus thinking`, which is rooted in the `systems thinking` approach. The main feature delves on the relevance of adopting a nexus approach in formulating policies that affect water, food, and energy resources. A feature also tackles insights on how the Philippines can take advantage of the ASEAN integration, specifically highlighting the need to further liberalize the services sector where the Philippines has a competitive advantage and attract more investments by improving the quality of infrastructure services. Articles about the National Greening Program, the K to 12, and the recognition given to the Institute as one of the world`s best think tanks in the recent 2014 Global Go To Think Tanks Report complete this quarter`s issue. || Read more >>


PORT CONGESTION AND UNDERUTILIZATION IN THE GREATER CAPITAL REGION: UNPACKING THE ISSUES

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The heavy traffic congestion along the roads within the Port of Manila, the largest seaport in the Philippines, and in Metro Manila led the City of Manila to impose a truck ban in February of 2014. With the reduced operating hours of container trucks plying the city streets, this resulted in delays in the delivery of goods, accumulation of containers at the port, increased trucking and port costs, among others. This Policy Note presents the key findings of a study that investigated the causes behind the congestion in the Port of Manila and the underutilization of Batangas and Subic Ports. Using survey and focus group discussion, the study looked into the factors that affect the decision of shippers, freight forwarders, logistics services providers, and truckers on their choice of port and their satisfaction ratings of their chosen port. The Note ends with some short-, medium-, and long-term measures to address the congestion and underutilization issues. || Read more >>


K TO 12 REFORM: IMPLICATIONS OF ADDING GRADES 11 AND 12 ON THE HIGHER EDUCATION SUBSECTOR

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With the enactment of the K to 12 program, the basic education cycle is extended to include two additional years at the secondary level. Enrollment in senior high school (SHS), which will comprise Grades 11 and 12, is expected to increase to 2.0 million students in public schools and 0.7 million students in private schools in school year 2017/18. This will have an effect on the availability of classrooms for the SHS program. This Policy Note does an initial assessment of the K to 12 program`s effects on the supply of classrooms and teachers vis-a-vis the projected demand. It points to some windows of opportunities that may be considered as possible solutions, such as allowing higher education institutions to absorb the additional demand for places in SHSs. || 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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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 expr || 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 o || 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 rank || 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), Vietnam (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 APE || 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 Communication || 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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