Press Releases Archived (April 2014)

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The poverty situation in the country did not significantly improve despite of the six-percent economic growth posted from 2003 to 2006.

This was revealed by Supervising Research Specialist Danileen Parel of state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) in her analysis of the 2003 and 2006 rounds of the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) where 12,500 households were surveyed to determine poverty reduction at the household level.

Parel noted that the education and infrastructure services in an area are both closely associated with its poverty situation. Poverty is highly concentrated in rural areas where level and quality of education and infrastructure are very poor.

Her findings show that about 80 percent of the poor live in rural areas. The National Capital Region (NCR) has the least number of poor households, which is 0.88 percent in 2003 and 1.18 percent in 2006.

Access to electricity among poor households is only 52.73 percent in 2006, while access to potable piped water is 66.37 percent in the same year. It is miniscule compared to 80 percent of the nonpoor households that have access to electricity and piped water.

Parel also described the linkage of poverty and education. Fifty percent of the heads of poor households have no formal education, while almost 40 percent completed primary education. Only less than 0.5 percent of the poor have earned a bachelors degree.

Parel stressed that poor communities, especially in rural areas, must be provided with basic education and infrastructure services so that poverty reduction could be better achieved. Rural-urban linkages should be strengthened to narrow the large gap between rural and urban areas. Such linkages would enable rural households to take advantage of urban development like higher access to public goods, and more accessibility to human and physical capital and infrastructure.

She also suggested more investments in infrastructure and basic education in areas where poverty is high.

For more information on the study, you may download it from this link: DOWNLOAD PIDS DISCUSSION PAPER 2014-02

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State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) has been tapped by the Aquino administration, through the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), to lead a PHP300-million research project that will conduct process assessments and impact evaluations of key government programs.

The project, funded by the General Appropriations Act (GAA) of 2014, seeks to strengthen the Aquino administration's reform agenda by promoting accountability in government, under a new initiative led by Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan, NEDA director-general, and Secretary Florencio B. Abad of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

"Impact evaluation strengthens accountability to taxpayers and donors by providing a clear measure of the effects of a program on the beneficiaries' lives. Determining what strategies and interventions work and what needs to be fine-tuned or scrapped will help government design better programs and do more to alleviate poverty," PIDS President Gilberto M. Llanto said.

The Institute's focus on impact evaluation is also in response to policy research directions for the year set by Secretary Balisacan, who is the chairman of the PIDS Board of Trustees.

PIDS' mandate under the GAA includes building capacity on monitoring and evaluation for NEDA and DBM officials and staff. To get the project underway, PIDS conducted a training on impact evaluation on January 6 to 9 that covered evaluation design, data generation, and estimation of impact, with focus on the theoretical and practical aspects of impact evaluation methodologies. PIDS Senior Research Fellows Aniceto C. Orbeta and Jose Ramon G. Albert, then director-general of the National Statistical Coordination Board, conducted the training which was attended by staff members of PIDS, NEDA, and DBM.

The GAA lists specific programs identified by the NEDA for evaluation by PIDS, namely, the National Greening Program, Reforestation Program, Resettlement Program, irrigation projects, farm-to-market road projects, Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive Integrated Delivery of Social Service Project, and other programs that may be selected by the government's socioeconomic planning arm. The Institute has also identified other projects to evaluate, encompassing agriculture support services, health and education, infrastructure, fiscal incentives, disaster management, trade agreements, and even judicial services.

Llanto led a planning workshop last February 19 to 20 for the presentation and critiquing of the impact evaluation proposals developed by in-house research experts of the Institute, the top social policy think tank in Southeast Asia and one of the best in the world according to the 2013 Global Go Think Tank Report released by the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program of the University of Pennsylvania.

PIDS drew inputs from NEDA's agriculture, infrastructure, and monitoring and evaluation staff, and from DBM. Representatives of government agencies that are knowledgeable about the programs to be evaluated, such as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation, Department of Transportation and Communications, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Finance, Department of Education, Department of Energy and Department of Environment and Natural Resources, lent their expertise in appraising the proposals. Experts from the AIM Policy Center and Ateneo Law School also participated in the planning workshop.