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PIDS Updates


Gender and Development

Gender equality is essential to achieve inclusive and sustainable development. Women and men play important roles in society. Thus, both should have the same access to education, health, and other social services; can freely participate in the political processes; and have equal economic opportunities.

In the 2016 Gender Gap Report of the World Economic Forum, the Philippines again joins the top 10 countries that have managed to reduce gender-based disparities in the economic, education, health, and political aspects. Ranking seventh among 144 countries, it maintains the position of highest performer in East Asia and the Pacific. The 2016 report reveals that since 2006, “the Philippines has fully closed its gender gap on the health and survival sub-index and has also managed to fully reclose its educational attainment gender gap after a reopening for the first time in 2015.” For 2016, however, the Philippines obtains a lower score in the economic participation and opportunity sub-index given its fewer female legislators and senior officials and managers.

A closer look, however, would reveal that critical issues remain. Maternal health remains a challenge in the Philippines as revealed by its accomplishment in meeting the Millennium Development Goals. The Philippine Statistics Authority’s MDGWatch report in September 2015 reveals that the country fell short in reducing maternal mortality, providing universal access to reproductive health, and reducing adolescent pregnancies. PIDS research has found evidence of inequality in maternal and child health services utilization across economic classes and across regions, which requires government intervention. Moreover, gender issues are prevalent among certain marginalized sectors such as persons with disabilities (PWDs). Data show that among them, more women are unable to complete any grade in school, and the disparity is wider in the rural areas. Women PWDs are also left out in terms of employment.

Furthermore, while the Philippines has the second highest percentage of entrepreneurially active females next to Peru, based on data from the Department of Trade and Industry, the vast majority of enterprises owned by Filipino women are small and informal. Most of these enterprises are also engaged in low value-added activities like retail trade, food stalls, and personal services. Women in the informal economy and those operating micro and small enterprises usually have limited access to financial services, production networks,  marketing information, and global value chains. These limit their socioeconomic advancement and full participation in the development process.

You may access PIDS studies on women and gender and development using the SocioEconomic Research Portal for the Philippines. Simply type the relevant keywords in our Search box.


March 30, 2017, 9AM-5PM
Roundtable on "The Future of the ASEAN Community:
Unlocking ASEAN's Next Chapter"

Venue: Shangri-La Makati, Makati Business District, Makati City

March 16, 2017, 10-11:30 AM
Seminar on "Asia and the Philippines—Approaching the End of the Export-Led Growth Story?"
Venue: PIDS Conference Room, 18th Floor Three Cyberpod Centris - North Tower, EDSA cor. Quezon Ave., Quezon City

March 16, 2017, 2-4PM
Dissemination Forum on “Poverty Alleviation of Women and Children with Disabilities”
Venue: PIDS Conference Room, 18th Floor Three Cyberpod Centris - North Tower, EDSA cor. Quezon Ave., Quezon City



PIDS attains Maturity Level II in three personnel mechanisms

On March 8, 2017, state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) was awarded a Certificate of Recognition for attaining Human Resource Maturity Level II in three personnel mechanisms, namely, performance management, learning and development, and rewards and recognition.

The award is part of the Civil Service Commission’s “Program to Institutionalize Meritocracy and Excellence in Human Resource Management (PRIME-HRM)”, which primarily aims to assess the maturity level of government agencies based on several human resource indicators. PRIME-HRM also aims to determine agencies’ strengths and opportunities in terms of identified personnel mechanisms, empower agencies to perform human resource management functions, and promote and reward excellent management practices.

On March 7, 2016, PIDS was awarded with Human Resource Maturity Level II for the recruitment, selection, and placement mechanism.



  • PN 2017-06: Why Differences in Household Expenditure Estimates Matter
    by Jose Ramon G. Albert, Ronina D. Asis, and Jana Flor V. Vizmanos

    Government estimates obtained from sample surveys, such as the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES), and national accounts have wide discrepancies across time, with their divergence generally growing. Such discrepancies have consequences to policy. For instance, poverty can be overestimated if survey-based estimates are biased downward. This Policy Note finds that this discrepancy is partly conceptual. In terms of coverage, FIES only includes individual households while the household final consumption expenditure, a typical estimate from national accounts, also covers institutional households. More so, taxes are considered part of household expenditure in FIES, but not in national accounts. The study also identifies undercoverage of wealthy households and other measurement errors as factors behind the inaccuracies. It calls for the provision of an acceptable protocol for triangulating information from both estimates of national accounts and the survey. It also encourages the Philippine Statistics Authority to recognize other data collection protocols, including special surveys for tracking and monitoring income and expenditure patterns of the missing wealthy. Click here for the full article.

  • PN 2017-05: Who Benefits from the Government Health Insurance for the Poor?
    by Michael R. Cabalfin

    In 1995, the Philippine government, through the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), instituted the National Health Insurance Program. To ensure the enrollment of poor Filipinos in the program, the national government created a health insurance subsidy financed by sin taxes to fund their premium contribution. This Policy Note analyzes the said subsidy and discovers leakages that benefit other groups and institutions, such as the nonpoor sector and even the PhilHealth itself. It also finds the incommensurate benefits the informal sector is receiving relative to its contributions, which can actually destabilize the National Health Insurance Fund. It thus calls for the national government to ensure the integrity of the identification of the poor. It likewise recommends the expansion of the sponsored program to include the informal sector, particularly the disadvantaged. Click here for the full article.

  • DP 2017-05: Value Chain Analysis of the Wood Processing Industry in the Philippines
    by Danilo C. Israel and David Feliks M. Bunao

    Wood processing is an important downstream activity of the Philippine forestry sector because it adds economic value to logs, diversifies its products, and increases the incomes and employment of involved communities. Despite its many economic contributions, however, the wood processing industry has been on the decline for many years now. This study analyzes the wood processing industry focusing on its value chain and the major issues and problems it is facing, and recommends actions to address these problems and issues. Among others, the study finds that the wood processing industry is constrained by various technical, financial, economic, marketing, environmental, institutional, and research-related problems and issues. To address these individually, specific recommendations are forwarded. In terms of research, the study suggests the gathering of more detailed and complete data and information on the wood processing sector by relevant government agencies, and the conduct of relevant studies not just on the whole processing sector but also on specific wood processing activities. Click here for the full paper.



3Imposition of total log ban led to corruption—PIDS study

The implementation of Executive Order (EO) 23 on total log ban has led to corruption, according to a study released by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies.

EO 23, an across-the-board ban on logging signed by former President Benigno Aquino, has failed not only to achieve its objectives of reversing the trend of deforestation in the country. It has also caused “damaging unintended economic and social consequences”, including the disruption of wood processing enterprises and the increase in corruption activities in the wood industry. READ MORE

3Expert proposes new way to track poverty, inequality

It is more effective to monitor poverty and inequality by looking into the conditions of target social groups instead of specific individuals, according to a poverty and inequality expert.

In a recent forum organized by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Dr. Nanak Kakwani, former professor of economics at the University of New South Wales in Australia, presented a methodology that makes use of social welfare functions to derive development indicators that are related to social specific objectives such as reduction in equality and poverty. READ MORE

PH government's food self-sufficiency approach drove up food prices—PIDS study

A recent study on food security released by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) said the government's policy on rice self-sufficiency led to the unintended consequence of raising the price of rice.

Author Roehlano Briones, a senior research fellow of PIDS, explained that the policy, which is being "implemented in the name of food security, pushed up the price of rice to the detriment of the poor". READ MORE

3PIDS expert urges greater strengthening of statistical system

The Philippine Statistical System (PSS), though performing well according to international and local assessments, needs serious beefing up. Jose Ramon Albert, senior research fellow of state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), emphasized this in a policy note released by PIDS recently.

According to Albert, several important features of Republic Act 10625 have yet to be implemented, many of which are critical to the improvement of the PSS. READ MORE


Australian firms favor PH as BPO destination—PIDS study

Most Australian firms prefer the Philippines in terms of offshoring opportunities, as opposed to other rival potential business process outsourcing destinations in the region, such as India, according to a study released by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS).

Favorable geographical time zone, highly literate workforce, and competitive labor rates are among the reasons Australian firms are attracted to the Philippines for their offshoring needs, according to former PIDS visiting research fellow Peter K. Ross and businessman Mike O'Hagan. READ MORE


Economic managers support PIDS recommendation to fully fund the UNIFAST

In a position paper submitted to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, the country's economic managers argued against a proposed policy to provide free tuition to all undergraduates enrolled in state universities and colleges. Secretaries Ernesto Pernia, Carlos Dominguez, and Benjamin Diokno noted that a wiser approach would be to fully finance the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education law. This alternative, they emphasized, is aligned with the position of senior researchers of state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies. READ MORE


The Philippines faces bright growth prospects amid uncertainty

The world faces great uncertainties ahead, with global trends in leadership shifting away from cooperation to protectionism. Despite the dubious times, global analyst and CEO of Difference Group, Dr. Dan Steinbock, believes the Philippines is on the right path to continue and capitalize on its positive growth.

At a seminar organized by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies, Steinbock detailed a foreboding outlook of the future. READ MORE


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