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PIDS Updates


IN FOCUS: Easing Port Congestion and Other Transport and Logistics Issues

In February 2014, the City Government of Manila imposed a cargo truck ban at certain hours of the day in order to free Manila streets from the traffic congestion brought about by huge trucks and container vans moving to and from the Port of Manila every day. At first, this seemed to be a workable solution to the perennial traffic congestion faced by Manila residents and commuters. However, the unintended consequence of this seemingly rational local ordinance soon led to complaints and a clamor of other stakeholders for a better approach to city traffic management. The truck ban led to even more congestion in the city streets and the port area, as truck drivers intending to enter the city formed long queues while waiting for their designated window of time to ply the city streets. With reduced hours to use public roads, delivery of goods got delayed. Containers also accumulated at the port, slowing down the logistics chain and increasing trucking and port costs. This situation provided the springboard for a system-wide study of the logistics industry in the Greater Capital Region. The study looks at the bigger picture—the need to (1) understand the other important issues, not just the cargo truck ban, that affect transport and logistics, and (2) to formulate appropriate policy responses.



Know what other PIDS studies have to say about transport and logistics. Visit the SocioEconomic Research Portal for the Philippines. Simply type “infrastructure”, “transportation", "communications”, and other related keywords in the Search box.


December 8, 2016
PIDS-CPBRD Forum on the Results of the Assessment of the Utilization and Impacts of the Motor Vehicle User's Charge (MVUC) in the Philippines
Venue: Office of the Speaker Social Hall, House of Representatives, Quezon City

December 6, 2016
PIDS-CPBRD Forum on the Evaluation of the Impact of the PCIC's Agricultural Insurance Programs
Venue: Office of the Speaker Social Hall, House of Representatives, Quezon City

November 23, 2016
PIDS-CPBRD Forum on the Review and Assessment of the Students Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation
Venue: Office of the Speaker Social Hall, House of Representatives, Quezon City



The Socioeconomic Research Portal for the Philippines (SERP-P) is an online knowledge resource that contains socioeconomic studies and materials produced by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) and other government, academic, and research institutions. Its establishment is in line with PIDS’ mandates of providing a common link between the government and research institutions, and of establishing a repository of socioeconomic research information.

SERP-P is the country’s first electronic repository of policy research and information that capitalizes on research networking, where users can access socioeconomic materials in various formats—journal articles, books, working papers, policy notes, research papers, newsletters—from multiple sources.

Visit the new SERP-P website here.



The third issue of the Development Research News (DRN) in 2016 drives home several insights gathered from the celebration of the 14th Development Policy Research Month (DPRM) this September. The DPRM celebration, which centered on building resilient communities, is aimed at educating policymakers and the public on the complex risk landscape confronting the Philippines. It also underscores the role of appropriate policy interventions in building the country's resilience to various economic, environmental, technological, political, and societal risks and stresses. Ergo, this DRN issue (1) deepens the discussion on resilience building in the agriculture, health, macroeconomic, and urban sectors and (2) brings to the fore critical policy issues that could affect the country's capacity to mitigate compounding threats and shocks, such as natural hazards, food and financial crises, and energy price volatility. The role played by the micro, small, and medium enterprises in building a resilient Philippines is also discussed in this issue, as well as the vital lessons that can be learned from the experiences of major Philippine cities in overcoming their vulnerabilities. Click here for the full article.



In 2017, the special treatment in rice granted to the Philippines that allows the country to maintain its import monopoly will expire. This lifting is expected to result in massive fall in domestic prices, which will reduce farmers' income. This Policy Note assesses the agricultural support options for rice farmers upon the expiration of the special treatment. It identifies decoupled payment, a form of assistance to farmers in their transition to a free market, combined with a 35-percent tariff equivalent as a possible support. Assessment shows that this compensatory transfer scheme can operate at a feasible cost, with 35-percent tariff rate applied. It also finds earmarked rice tariff revenue as a feasible funding strategy to pay for the compensation scheme. Click here for the full article.

This study assessed the performance and internal efficiency of the basic education sector through the Department of Education's Enhanced Basic Education Information System and the Philippine Statistics Authority's Annual Poverty Indicators Survey. Both the administrative system and the survey revealed improvements in school participation as a result of the investments made by the Aquino administration to the education sector, as well as the implementation of universal kindergarten and the conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs. However, it is apparent that some children are still being left behind in the provision of opportunities to attain their rights to basic education. In light of these findings, this Policy Note urges the current administration to continue the support for basic education. A reexamination of the CCT and school feeding programs, among others, is also being recommended. Click here for the full article.


This paper is one of the few studies that systematically analyze housework in the Philippines. It seeks to understand how wage and attitudes to work and family life affect the time devoted to housework. Based on different specifications and estimators, findings indicate the respondent's own wage is not a significant predictor of housework hours, but it is a significant predictor of the spouse's time devoted to nonmarket production. We find that the husband's housework hours are positively affected by the female respondent's wage, while the wife's housework hours are negatively affected by the male respondent's wage. We turn to the Philippine context to explain these results and find the combination of egalitarian society and gender inequality in the labor market as plausible explanations. Results also show that both wage and attitudes have direct effects on the wife's housework time but that some of the effects of wage are mediated by the respondent's attitudes toward gender roles. Click here for the full article.


This paper examines how Filipino-based business process outsourcing centers have been developing services, including offshore "staff leasing" and "comanaged services" arrangements, that are helping to overcome traditional small and medium enterprise (SME) resource constraints. These "micro-offshoring" models greatly reduce transaction costs for Australian SMEs seeking to outsource/offshore former in-house work and appear to be supporting a rapid increase in the number of Australian-based SMEs offshoring professional services to the Philippines. Micro-offshoring further provides job opportunities for Filipino tertiary graduates and entrepreneurial opportunities for local Filipino SMEs looking to enter and tap this market. This research also suggests that it may encourage Australian SMEs to shift to more long-term offshoring models over time, such as local incorporation, and therefore foster foreign direct investment. Click here for the full article.


Using fixed effects estimators to remove unobserved heterogeneity and instrumental variable technique to address the endogeneity of income, this paper analyzes the effect of weather events on welfare in the Philippines. It finds that, one, treating income as an exogenous variable underestimates the effect of income on the household's resource allocation. Two, there are more expenditure shares for which income is endogenous using the tropical cyclone data than those using the heat index deviation data as instruments. Three, households choose cheaper foods but just as nutritious when they are frequently hit by tropical cyclones. Four, presence of children affects most of the food items, and it has the biggest effect on nonalcoholic beverages, such as juice and coffee, while the presence of the elderly affects only a few expenditure items, such as education and medical care. The study points to the desirability of greater forms of investment in resilience against weather events and climate change. At the household level, poverty is a binding constraint to good investment in resilience against weather events, and the government has to continue its efforts toward poverty reduction. The government should ensure that the Department of Social Welfare and Development internal and external convergence strategy is successfully implemented. Click here for the full article.



3PIDS calls for refinement in design and implementation of scholarship grants for children of Pantawid beneficiaries

State think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) has outlined several recommendations to improve the design and implementation of the college scholarship grants for the children of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) beneficiaries.

In a forum organized by PIDS and the Congressional Planning and Budget Research Department (CPBRD) of the House of Representatives, PIDS Senior Research Fellow Aniceto Orbeta Jr. presented the findings of a PIDS study that evaluated the operational issues and impacts of the Students Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (SGP-PA).

The SGP-PA, which was introduced in 2012, was expanded in 2014 to become the Expanded SGP-PA or the ESGP-PA. It aims to alleviate poverty by increasing the number of college graduates among poor households and eventually getting them employed in high value-added occupations. READ MORE


Expert proposes alternative way to track economic performance

The health of business activities in the country could be used as an indicator in assessing the country's economic performance.

In his lecture at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Dr. Nick Fontanilla, president of i-Metrics Asia-Pacific Corporation, proposed the use of the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) as a leading economic and business indicator, as well as a narrowcasting tool.

The PMI reflects purchasing managers' acquisition of goods and services each month as compared to the previous month. It is based on a survey conducted monthly among a random sample of top corporations engaged in manufacturing, retail and wholesale, and services. The PMI is determined by a national technical working group composed of statisticians, academicians, and the leaders from the country's top supply chains. In 2002, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas asked the major companies and industries to participate in PMI surveillance, and they officially began consolidating the indicators in 2008. READ MORE




The GDP grew by 6.9 percent in the first quarter of 2016, the highest since the second quarter of 2013. Based on Philippine Statistics Authority's (PSA) report, this was driven by the growth in the industry and services sectors, which grew by 8.7 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, GNI posted a growth rate of 7.6 percent. To view the time-series data on GDP and GNI, please click this link: http://econdb.pids.gov.ph/tablelists/table/405.

Source of data: Philippine Statistics Authority




The Philippine peso further weakens against the US dollar as shown by the increasing exchange rate from PHP 48.35 to USD 1.00 in October to PHP 49.16 to USD 1.00 in November. This is also higher compared to PHP47.01 to USD 1.00 in the same period last year. To downlad the time-series data on monthly average peso-dollar exchange rate, please click this link: http://econdb.pids.gov.ph/tablelists/table/905.

Source of data: Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas




The country's year-on-year headline inflation rate went up to 2.3 percent in September from 1.8 percent in August. This is the highest rate registered since January of this year. Likewise, core inflation rate went up to 2.3 percent in September from 2.0 percent in the previous month. To view the time-series data on year-on-year inflation rate, please click this link: http://econdb.pids.gov.ph/tablelists/table/876.

Source of data: Philippine Statistics Authority



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