Press Releases Archived (January 2017)

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State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) hosted the assessment and coordination meeting of the Federalism Initiative Project last January 16 at its office in Centris, Quezon City. The meeting was attended by experts in the fields of political science, governance, economics, and finance from government, academe, and international organizations.

PIDS President Gilberto Llanto, in his opening statement, emphasized the importance of carefully studying the proposals to shift from the current government structure to a new one. He noted that the studies and discussions from this group could serve as valuable inputs in the current political discourse on federalism.

Prof. Ed Tayao of the Local Government Development Foundation (LOGODEF) presented the political and governmental framework of the Philippine model of federalism that the study groups of the Federalism Institute are currently working on. He noted that there are still plenty of gaps requiring in-depth study on federalism that need to be addressed.


Dr. Romulo M. Miral, director-general of the Congressional Planning and Budget Research Department of the House of Representatives, also presented his PIDS-commissioned study on federalism. Miral's paper looks at how the government has responded to issues and challenges in the field of governance and how successful these policy responses were, notably in terms of decentralization reforms. It also looks at what federalism has to offer and whether a shift from a unitary to a federal form of government for the Philippines is warranted.

Meanwhile, PIDS Senior Research Fellow Rosario Manasan discussed the considerations in the design of the fiscal features of a federal form of government. She also talked about the distinction between a multi-tiered unitary and a federal form of government, particularly on the sharing of powers among the various branches of government.

Manasan also pointed out that shifting to a federal form of government has potential benefits such as increased efficiency and welfare. According to Manasan, when a geographic area where benefits of public service are confined coincides with jurisdictional boundaries of level of government operating and financing, public service also improves. She further argued that when lower level governments have some degree of revenue autonomy, local accountability is also enhanced.

Other issues on the ongoing draft of the Philippine model of federalism were also discussed during the meeting. These include issues on the dual executive (i.e., the president and the prime minister are both responsible for the executive functions), powers of the Senate and the National Assembly, intergovernmental relations, and national and regional elections.


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For the fifth time since 2012, state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) has been ranked one of the world's top think tanks. In the 2016 edition of the Go To Think Tank Index Report released by Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the University of Pennsylvania, PIDS ranked 38th among the 100 top think tanks in Southeast Asia and the Pacific. It has also retained its rank as number one social policy think tank in Southeast Asia and 37th among the top 100 in the world under this category.

PIDS also performed well in five other categories. It maintained its rankings as among the top international development think tanks (70th among the top 130) and among the top education policy think tanks (33rd among the top 65). PIDS also made it to the list of best government-affiliated think tanks and think tanks with the best external relations/public engagement program. The East Asian Development Network (EADN) Secretariat, which PIDS managed from 2010 to 2016, also ranked as among the best think tank networks. The EADN is a network of institutes and centers in developing countries of East Asia. It sponsors research and capacity-building activities.

The 2016 Go To Think Tank Index Report marks the 10th anniversary of the report. A total of 6,846 think tanks, including 21 from the Philippines, were assessed in this round. Meanwhile, over 4,750 journalists, policymakers, public and private donors, and functional and regional area specialists from all over the world participated in the ranking process.

TTCSP defines think tanks as public-policy research analysis and engagement organizations that generate policy-oriented research, analysis, and advice on domestic and international issues, thereby enabling policymakers and the public to make informed decisions about public policy.

The Go To Think Tank Index is a comprehensive ranking of the world's top think tanks and has been described as the premier database and measure of world think tanks. It aims to increase the profile, performance, and impact of think tanks, and to create a transnational and interdisciplinary network of centers of public policy excellence.

The full report may be accessed here ###