The Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) welcomed its seventh president.

Dr. Aniceto C. Orbeta Jr. took his oath of office before Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua, director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and chairperson of the PIDS Board of Trustees (BOT), in a virtual oathtaking ceremony on August 2, 2021. Orbeta succeeded Dr. Celia M. Reyes, who served as PIDS president from March 1, 2018 to July 31, 2021.

The oathtaking was attended by members of the PIDS BOT, namely, Atty. Raphael M. Lotilla, Dr. Gilberto M. Llanto, and Dr. Maria Cynthia Rose B. Bautista. The PIDS management committee consisting of Vice President Marife M. Ballesteros, Director Andrea S. Agcaoili, Director Sheila V. Siar, and Director Renee C. Ajayi also witnessed the memorable event.

Main thrusts, directions for PIDS

Orbeta’s seven-point agenda describes his main thrusts and directions for the Institute—all in support of its vision to be the country’s foremost think tank and a globally recognized policy research organization by 2025.

His agenda includes strengthening the link between evidence and policy, having more proactive engagement with stakeholders, communicating policy narratives better, continuing the collaboration with policy research institutions with greater emphasis on domestic institutions, completing the policy narratives on emerging areas where the Institute is starting to contribute, infusing new ideas into legacy policy areas, and making further improvements in the internal processes of PIDS.

Professional portfolio, contributions to policy research

Orbeta has a PhD in Economics from the University of the Philippines (UP) School of Economics and did postdoctoral studies at Harvard University.

Before he was appointed as PIDS president, Orbeta was a senior research fellow for 29 years. Prior to joining PIDS in 1992, he served as Officer-in-Charge and Deputy Executive Director for Policy Development and Planning of the Agricultural Credit Policy Council and Deputy Executive Director of the Policy Development Foundation, Inc.

Orbeta specializes in applied economic modelling, impact evaluation, social sector issues, demographic economics, and information technologies. He has published numerous papers on these areas.

He is considered one of the country’s pioneers in impact evaluation research. He has an extensive experience in designing, conducting, and teaching impact evaluation of programs and policies in education, social protection, judicial reforms, community-driven development, water services, agriculture, and agricultural finance.

Orbeta has designed rigorous impact evaluations for PIDS. His expertise in impact evaluation has also been widely sought by various international organizations, including the Asian Development Bank, Australian Agency for International Development, Innovations for Poverty Action, International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), Millennium Challenge Corporation, United States Agency for International Development, and World Bank.

Orbeta is also an expert in developing macroeconometric models as well as models of household decisions on fertility, schooling, labor supply, health and nutrition, and savings.

At PIDS, Orbeta led the education and labor policy research team that studied key policy recommendations and reforms, including the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, Sustainable Livelihood Program, Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act or the Free Tuition Law, Enhanced Basic Education Act, and Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education Program, among others.

He also designed and taught a graduate course on program evaluation at the UP School of Economics and short-term training courses on impact evaluation for 3ie, NEDA, Department of Budget and Management, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Education, and De La Salle University. ###

For photos of the virtual oathtaking, visit this link:

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