Authors: C. Sy, K. Aviso, C. Cayamanda, A Chiu, R.I. Lucas, M.A. Promentilla, L. Razon, R. Tan, J. Tapia, A. Torneo, A. Ubando,and D.E. Yu
Future approved COVID-19 drugs will be short in supply until global production capacity is built up to meet demand. It is necessary for health administrators to exercise sound judgement in allocating a very scarce resource.
Authors: Krista Danielle Yu; Kathleen Aviso, and Raymond Girard Tan
This Angelo King Institute of Economic and Business Studies' policy recommends some ways to temper the negative economic impact brought about by the government-imposed enhanced community quarantine.
Authors: Tereso Tullao Jr., John Paolo Rivera, and Cynthia Cudia
In light of the risks posed by COVID-19 on Filipino health care professionals, this Angelo King Institute of Economic and Business Studies policy brief recommends short-term solutions that may support in containing the outbreak and at the same time mitigate the risks.
Authors: Caesar Cororaton, Marites Tiongco, and Arlene Inocencio
The authors recommend providing direct income support and targeting the support to vulnerable labor groups in critical sectors. This may be channeled through the government’s 4Ps. Furthermore, they recommend that if the lockdown is extended to three months, an additional support of PHP 70 billion is considered to reverse the change in all poverty indicators prioritizing the worst-hit sectors such as agriculture, textile and garments, and construction.
Authors: Paul John M. Peña, Dickson A. Lim
The authors provide a rational view of the issue of online learning in the time of coronavirus and cite necessary conditions that must be considered to make remote learning optimal, inclusive, and engaging for students and faculty. Featuring a model of human capital accumulation with network externalities, the policy brief maintains that "...in the time of coronavirus, learning need not be quarantined too."
Authors: Eloisa T. Glindro, Hazel C. Parcon-Santos, Faith Christian Q. Cacnio, Marites B. Oliva, and Laura L. Ignacio
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented adverse economic impact as both the domestic and global economies have ground to a virtual standstill. Recognizing the adverse economic effects of the pandemic, authorities have implemented policies to soften its impact. On its part, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has immediately deployed measures to ease the macroeconomic fallout and to ensure that no disruptive imbalances emerge in financial markets. Taking off from the government’s 4-pillar strategy and the IATF-TWG-AFP COVID-19 framework, this policy paper identifies four phases for the Philippines’ macroeconomic policy response to the pandemic. It highlights the policy inroads that have been collectively achieved and puts forward policy options in navigating the recession and in adapting to the new economy. It also identifies the principles for the unwinding of policy support measures. The COVID-19 crisis has exposed vulnerabilities and gaps in existing processes and systems that need to be swiftly dealt with in order to regain momentum. It also offers rich lessons on crisis preparedness and adaptability towards a more sustainable and equitable growth path.
Authors: Eloisa T. Glindro, Hazel C. Parcon-Santos,Faith Christian Q. Cacnio, and Marites B. Oliva
Across the globe, containment and mitigation measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 health crisis led to immediate decline in economic activities and temporary disruptions in financial markets. This wasevident in the experience of the Philippines. To support the immediate needs of the real economy and preserve market confidence during the pandemic-induced economic crisis, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) simultaneously deployed its conventional and unconventional monetary policy tools to complement the efforts of the National Government (NG). Being the regulator/supervisor of banks and quasi-banks, the BSP also implemented a comprehensive set of regulatory and forbearance measures.
In deploying crisis-response measures, prudence requires that certain principles be observed, and specific limits be recognized. First, price stability, complemented by financial stability, is a key consideration when undertaking market interventions during periods of crises. Second, it is crucial to maintain central bank independence. Third, central bank policies must be implemented with limiting moral hazard in mind. Finally, the central bank should not compromise its policies in the short run. Exercising flexibility is essential, but consideration of the central bank’s credibility, scope for conventional policies, and the financial system’s long run stability should put a limit on how extraordinary the responses can be. Consistent with these principles, the BSP has been circumspect not to undermine the stability of the financial system and the BSP’s hard-earned credibility and independence. Moving forward, the BSP remains attentive to challenges and evolving developments. It stands ready to deploy additional policy measures, supported by evidence-based assessment of overall economic conditions.
This issue's cover features Dr. Raul V. Destura, the man behind the Filipino-made COVID-19 testing kit. In addition to news articles about Civil Service Commission's (CSC) issuances, the issue also features stories of innovations from CSC Regional Office V and from the Philippine Society for Talent Development. It also contains insights on the emerging HR practices and trends in the new normal. Public service frontliners who died in the service of the Filipino people in the nation's battle against COVID-19 were also recognized.
Author: Romulo Emmanuel M. Miral, Jr.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, most countries, including the Philippines, opted to enforce various forms of social distancing measures to curb the spread of the virus. A full month into the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) or lockdown, however, Filipinos are feeling the burdens of being required to stay at home over a prolonged period, such as loss of livelihood and income and discontinued education and social activities. Hence, questions on the duration of ECQ and the manner by which it will be lifted have surfaced. This paper provides some conceptual considerations that can feed into short-term policy responses to these questions. It is necessary to link the extent of social distancing measures with the resulting decline in COVID-19 incidence and the concomitant economic and social costs. While more drastic social distancing measures result in greater decline in COVID-19 incidence, the concomitant economic and social costs are also bigger. By balancing concerns of COVID-19 incidence and economic and social costs, the extent of social distancing measure warranted can be determined. Questions on duration and manner of lifting can subsequently be tackled. Meanwhile, over the short-term when COVID-19 incidence continues to rise, thereby threatening to overwhelm the national health care system and policymakers are back to the drawing boards, there are strategic directions that can be pursued to flatten the so-called epidemiological curve while coping with concomitant economic and social costs. These are mass testing, increasing the capacity of the national health care system, and reducing the economic and social costs of social distancing through, among others, alternative work arrangements and direct material/financial assistance.
Authors: SA Quimbo, CT Latinazo, JW Peabody, and Mario B. Lamberte
COVID-19 risk assessment is multifaceted. The highly infectious nature of the virus in a naïve population, the high case fatality rate, and health system overburdening each need to be considered in developing a strategy to control the spread of the virus and mitigate its health and economic consequences. This note provides a framework for classifying local government units (LGUs) by degree of risk and identifies policy options for each risk scenario. It urges the Department of Health (DOH) to: (1) reassess risk levels of LGUs, (2) undertake a 100-percent identification of place of residence of all COVID-19 confirmed cases and 100-percent reporting of number of isolation beds and ventilators by all hospitals, and (3) develop and immediately implement a COVID-specific disease surveillance protocol, including mass testing, contact tracing, and quarantine. Careful and diligent implementation of these protocols will allow a gradual yet cautious and informed re-opening of the economy.
This paper examines the results of the COVID-19 measures of the government as mandated under the Bayanihan Act (Republic Act 11469). It identifies the key factors affecting the results of the law’s implementation and provides key recommendations that the government may use as inputs for improving the design and implementation of its COVID-19 measures.
Author: Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department, House of Representatives
The COVID-19 crisis is unprecedented. It is a crisis like no other. As a quick response, Congress enacted Republic Act (RA) 11469 otherwise known as Bayanihan to Heal As One Act to provide emergency tax reliefs for the most vulnerable sectors. However, these kinds of assistance do not increase the productive capacity of the economy, hence, are not expected to increase economic growth in the long run, but at best, made only to minimize the economic contraction or flatten the socioeconomic cost curve.
On the other hand, structural tax reforms are those that promote more efficient resource allocation and potential long-term economic growth since they broaden the tax bases and reduce tax rates which reduce distortions and dead weight losses. Note that before COVID-19 raised unprecedented threats to the country’s public health care system and the entire economy, there are already existing House-approved tax policy measures that are undergoing deliberation at the Senate.
This paper intends to contribute to public discussion by examining tax policy options, at different phases of the pandemic from the virus outbreak up to post-pandemic period, drawn from a review of international and local economic recovery programs. Specifically, the paper delves on differentiating between temporary tax reliefs and structural reforms (or those policy measures that would affect the economy in the short and long run).
Author: Pamela Diaz-Manalo
Republic Act (RA) 11469, otherwise known as the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, provides the legal basis for the President to exercise temporary budgetary measures to mobilize public funds more quickly in response to the crisis brought about by COVID-19. While ideally no public funds will be spent other than what the General Appropriation Act provides for, RA 11469 in a way gives the President the discretion to "reformulate" the national budget—making it responsive to the urgent needs of managing the health crisis. The preparation of the Fiscal Year 2020 National Expenditure Program (2019) has not taken into account any potential occurrence of a pandemic.
Author: Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department, House of Representatives
After the ruthless and virulent 1918 flu pandemic, the world is once again confronted with a devastating scourge that is changing the course of history. In just a couple of months, COVID-19, which is a respiratory illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, upended the existing world order wreaking death and havoc across the globe. The raging pandemic not only spawned a worldwide health crisis that continues to overwhelm the health systems of affected countries. The International Monetary Fund deems it “a crisis like no other” and already emerging numbers have started to paint a bleak picture of a wide swath of the global economy, which is expected to plunge into a dire recession—“the deepest ... in decades” states the World Bank and possibly “the steepest decline since World War II, notwithstanding unprecedented policy action” avers Capital Economics.
Author: Romulo Neri
Unlike previous global crises, this pandemic crisis is much more damaging in its effects, more complex to analyze, and more difficult to resolve due to its simultaneous economic impact on supply, demand, and financing. Hence the term “triple shock”.
Author: Novel V. Bangsal
An effective disaster risk financing and insurance (DRFI) strategy can help increase the country’s fiscal resilience against natural disasters, as part of a broader disaster risk management agenda. Past experiences have shown that if adequate and timely funding arrangements are not in place, the adverse socioeconomic impact of a disaster can be exacerbated both at the macroeconomic and household levels. This study has shown that existing DRFI strategy continues to rely mainly on budget appropriations to finance recovery and reconstruction efforts. But the uncertainties of annual budget allocations can be disruptive as budgets for programmed social or economic expenditures are realign to meet short-term post-disaster reconstruction. As such, following the experience of Mexico in DRFI management, the study has suggested a natural disaster trust fund to secure advance financing of disaster costs, in particular reconstruction operations. If the financial management and governance procedures of these funds are not carefully designed, natural disaster funds can undermine fiscal discipline and transparency.
Author: Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department, House of Representatives
The management of water resources is indeed a challenging task noting its indispensable role in almost all human activities. As such, various laws have been enacted, and regulations and executive issuances promulgated by the government over the past few decades to provide a governing framework for these activities and mandate various departments and agencies with specific powers and functions on water. However, the sheer number of agencies presently involved has resulted in institutional fragmentation in water resources management over the years.
Recognizing this, the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan underscored the importance of effecting institutional reforms on water most notably the creation of an apex body for water as a solution to the fragmented management of the country’s water resources. This reform proposal is also seen to fast-track the country’s progress in attaining the targets set under the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
In the 18th Congress, there are over 30 major bills on water filed seeking to introduce sweeping reforms in the country’s water sector and covering policy areas mostly on the creation of a Department of Water. There are also several bills on the establishment of a separate regulatory body, establishment of a framework similar to EPIRA for the power sector, and a single bill on amending the 43-year old Water Code.
This paper surfaces the current institutional setup and legal mechanisms governing the management of the country’s water sector. It also briefly discusses governance models in water resources management particularly the concept of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM). Various country cases and experiences are also presented. Finally, the paper identifies considerations for legislation that can hopefully address institutional weaknesses and improve the overall management of the country’s water sector.
The centralized governance system of the environment and natural resources sector has largely contributed to the weak management of forest resources in the Philippines. Despite decentralization reforms in forest management, the management of resources in the Philippines is still highly centralized and most of the power is retained at the central government.
In 2016, the President urged for a shift in government system, from unitary to a federal form of government. His proposal towards a federal form of government will give sub-national units more autonomy and power to pursue local development including the sustainable use of its natural resources. The territorial management of forests under a federal government can be instrumental in reducing conflicts over the use of forest resources, and the allocation of resulting benefits and costs among institutions and local people.
Functions and responsibilities for forest governance in the country are both assigned at national and local levels of government. While the LGC devolved certain forestry functions to the LGUs, the central government through the DENR still holds much of the powers in the development and management of forest resources.
DENR and local government units are mandated to carry out forestry management functions under various ENR laws and the LGC. However, the presence of multiple actors and stakeholders involved in forest administration has contributed to the overlapping of functions and conflicting positions with and within the levels of government. These issues hinder the effective delivery of forestry functions from the national and local governments. Hence, institutional reforms are needed to address these challenges to improve forest governance in the country.
Federalism promotes clear assignment of functions to different levels of government. Federalism also emphasizes greater local autonomy and territorial development. Forest administration under territorial development approach is likely seen to improve governance in the forestry sector. In this context, the experience of federal countries in administering forest resources is particularly valuable in drawing up an indicative structure for forest governance in the Philippines under a federal system.
However, the transition towards a federal system of government does not guarantee the efficient management of forest resources in the Philippines. Enabling conditions are also critical in establishing a strong governance framework for the forestry sector.
Author: Congressional Policy and Budget Research Department, House of Representatives
Disasters lead to significant losses and damages to properties. The government as an institution is certainly not immune to losses and damages in public infrastructures such as government centers, school buildings and facilities, roads, bridges, ports, and airports. In November 2013, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) made an initial estimate of PHP 57.1 billion worth of damages in the government sector due to Typhoon Yolanda. Just recently, super typhoon Ompong left a total damage to public infrastructure amounting to PHP 3.7 billion in the provinces of Cagayan, Pangasinan, and Zamboanga.
In the 2018 World Risk Report, the United Nations Institute for Environment and Human Security placed the Philippines among the top three countries with very high disaster risk index at 25.14 percent. The two nations that scored higher are Vanuatu (50.28%) and Tonga (29.42%). Other Asian countries with high disaster risk indices include Brunei Darussalam (18.82%), Cambodia (16.07%), Timor-Leste (16.05%), Japan (11.08%), and Indonesia (10.36%). The Philippines is both exposed to natural and man-made disasters. Due to its geographical location, it is highly exposed to natural disasters such as tropical cyclones, storms, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. Meanwhile, man-made disasters may include transport accidents, industrial accidents and terrorism.
House Bill 2807 or the “Budget Reform Bill” (BRB) filed in the 18th Congress aims to institutionalize fiscal responsibility principles (Section 14) to guide fiscal policymaking in the Philippines. Among these principles are macroeconomic stabilization and inclusive economic development. The BRB also requires a set of reports from the executive branch to regularly inform Congress about the goals, targets, and conduct of fiscal policy.
The inclusion of macroeconomic stability, fiscal sustainability, and inclusive economic development in the BRB’s principles is consistent with a holistic view of fiscal responsibility. The principles go beyond deficit and debt targets as ultimate measures of fiscal responsibility and makes macroeconomic stabilization as just one of several fiscal policy objectives. By identifying inclusive economic development as a principle, the BRB ensures that the quality of expenditures, and not just its level, is given emphasis.
The BRB adopts a principles-based approach towards fiscal responsibility, in which it outlines a set of ideals in the conduct of fiscal policy. It does not set numerical thresholds or fiscal rules. Thus, it may be said that the BRB espouses a principles-based but not a rules-based approach.
Reportorial requirements under Sections 15 to 20 of the BRB is an accountability mechanism to strengthen the power of Congress to hold the President to account for the conduct of fiscal policy. Section 17 on the Mid-year and Annual Fiscal Reports, and Section 19 on the report explaining deviations from the target are two important clauses that provide clear guidance on the information that the President needs to disclose to Congress. Section 19 is particularly significant because it mandates the President to report to Congress any deviation from the target and the means to address fiscal issues. In effect, the President is directly subjected to Congressional scrutiny for actions that result in deviations from the target.
The coco levy was imposed on coconut farmers to help accelerate the growth and the development of the coconut industry, and alleviate farmers out of poverty. However, in recent decades, the objectives of this policy were never really materialized. Despite the contributions of the sector in the economy, there have been no significant gains in the overall development in the industry. Coconut farmers continue to be one of the poorest sectors in society. In terms of farm productivity, the country lag behind its ASEAN neighbors. The COVID-19 pandemic also affected many coconut farmers and their families.
In 2012, the Supreme Court finally settled the ownership row of the coco levy fund (CLF). However, the absence of definite measures on how the government should manage and utilize the fund remains a challenge. In past Congresses, bills were filed to give clear guidelines on the management and utilization of the fund. However, those bills were never approved or were vetoed by the President. This 18th Congress, a total of 16 bills were filed with measures containing provisions that can address issues in the vetoed bills. Hence, the passage of this priority measure must be strongly pursued to protect the interest of coconut farmers and to boost development in the sector. While the government is battling the COVID-19 pandemic with limited fiscal resources, the fund is the most practical source of financing in helping farmers in this health crisis.
The paper intends to: 1) assess/determine whether the proposed legislative measures provide legal anchor/framework that addresses a number of critical constraints enunciated in the coconut industry roadmap; and, 2) determine if the current/latest versions of the proposed measures have provided clarity to the vetoed provisions of SB 1976/HB 8552, titled “An Act to Further Strengthen the Philippine Coconut Authority, Amending Presidential Decree 1468.
This paper is subdivided into three major discussion areas focusing on the: 1) performance of the coconut industry; 2) history of the CLF including policies and legal decisions; and 3) provisions of the coco levy bills filed in the 18th Congress.
Author: Jovito Jose P. Katigbak
Given the increasing recognition of e-commerce as a significant tool in globalizing MSMEs, it is important to note key points in the country’s push toward deeper involvement of Philippine firms in the global marketplace via the online platform. Tapping the B2B e-commerce, as exemplified by China’s Alibaba, and developing a robust local online ecosystem present great potential in further integrating MSMEs into the global economy
Author: Technical Working Group for Anticipatory and Forward Planning
The Report contains recommendations to rebuild confidence and adjust to the emerging new normal as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Author: National Tax Research Center
The study looks into the development of electronic commerce (e-commerce) in the Philippines, identifies the problems associated with the taxation of e-commerce transactions, and the impact of e-commerce on indirect taxes (VAT). The widespread use of the Internet in the Philippines and the enactment of RA 8792 (Electronic Commerce Act) have resulted in an increase in e-commerce transactions such as banking, shopping, travel booking, entertainment, research, etc. Moreover, e-commerce is also being used in the government for the conduct of various services. For example, in the Department of Finance, there have been a number of online facilities such as the Claim Tracking System in DOF proper, Electronics Filing and Payment System, e-Submission, e-Tax Identification Number System, e-Broadcasting in the BIR; and the Express Cargo Facility in the BOC. Notwithstanding the advantages of e-commerce in taxation, it also brings complex taxation issues. Among these issues is the applicability of the VAT on goods purchased from foreign online businesses where it is difficult to determine the tax jurisdiction and the taxes applicable. Considering the myriad of taxation issues brought by e-commerce, there is a need for clear and consistent rules for e-commerce transactions both at the international and local levels so as not to disrupt business in the e-commerce market with unforeseen tax liabilities and disputes. In this regard, broad international cooperation and consensus on taxation policies and principles among countries is important. On the part of the Philippine government, it should take steps toward creating an environment that stimulates the growth of e-commerce in the country. As the technology in the country is still emerging, it needs first to develop systems to increase internet use in the country until the technology has taken roots and prospered. It should draw a lesson from the well-advanced experience of foreign economies in this field.
Authors: Michael R.M. Abrigo, Jhanna Uy, Nel Jason Haw, Valerie Gilbert T. Ulep, and Kris Francisco-Abrigo
The novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic that has infected at least 1.2 million people and caused more than 67,000 deaths worldwide. The Philippines has recorded 3,764 confirmed cases and 177 deaths as of April 7, 2020 and has implemented an enhanced Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from March 17 to April 30 in attempts to limit population movement and curb the spread of the epidemic.
Based on the disease transmission model, it is projected that aggressive efforts in the post-ECQ period to isolate at least 70 percent of infectious cases through better contact tracing, social distancing, individual or household isolation, and reduced delays in time to seek care for symptomatic cases are necessary to suppress the outbreak. Otherwise, lifting the ECQ but maintaining current conditions of delayed time to seek care for symptomatic cases merely delays the progression of the outbreak but still results in around 8 percent of the population infected.
For all scenarios that do not successfully isolate at least 70 percent of infectious individuals, demands for healthcare resources at the peak of the outbreak, i.e., by August 2020, far exceed available supply in the health sector.
The COVID-19 epidemic is expected to affect not only the country’s health system but also the economy. Projections based on a Leontief input-output model suggest that the Philippine economy may lose between 276.3 billion (best case) and PHP 2.5 trillion (worse case) due to COVID-19. The transport, storage, and communication sector, among others, is expected to suffer substantial losses because of expected declines in tourism (PHP 11.7-124.3 billion). Extending the ECQ by one more month may potentially cost the Philippine economy at least PHP 150 billion due to possible declines in household consumption as workers remain unemployed for longer periods.
Author: Philippine Institute for Development Studies
This quarter’s Development Research News (DRN) focuses on some socioeconomic issues confronting the Philippine healthcare system. The banner story highlights the importance of a strategic response to contain the coronavirus disease pandemic and to mitigate its adverse impacts on the Philippine economy. The DRN also features articles on the country’s lack of healthcare workers and the challenges confronting our social health insurance programs for the vulnerable sector, particularly the poor households, the elderly, and women. Articles on some of the factors affecting the effective implementation of public health programs at the city/municipal level are also included in this quarter’s DRN. Completing this issue is an article about the data gaps in the agriculture sector and an infographic on the Philippine services sector.
Authors: Jose Ramon G. Albert, Michael Ralph M. Abrigo, Francis Mark A. Quimba, and Jana Flor V. Vizmanos
Poverty vulnerability has been particularly recognized in the wake of the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that is likely to yield declines in incomes because of reduced economic activities. In this study, an updated profile of the poor in the Philippines, as well as various segments of the income distribution, based on the 2018 Family Income and Expenditure Survey is provided. The study also follows the typology of the low-, middle-, and high-income classes proposed in previous research reports and simulate the likely effects of contractions in per capita income on poverty and the entire income distribution amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the unavailability of required data to estimate the impact of COVID-19 on poverty and income distribution, simulation scenarios and assumptions were used. The study finds that in a medium case scenario of declines of incomes by 10 percent across the entire income distribution, the number of poor Filipinos can increase by 5.5 million, but with the emergency financial subsidies (i.e., the social amelioration program and the small business wage subsidy in place) that targeted 90 percent of households, the worsening of poverty conditions has been managed so that only 1.5 million would fall into poverty, i.e., 4 million less than expected number of Filipinos falling into poverty. Further, low-income classes would, on average, transition only a quarter year more than the baseline of 21.25 years for this medium-case scenario if, after the pandemic (and an assumed V-shaped economic recovery), their incomes would have a constant annual growth of 2.5 percent. However, under tougher conditions of income contractions of 20 percent, simulation shows that the average time for low income Filipinos to move up into middle income class would increase by three years from baseline figures. This is assuming that social protection cash assistance is also provided. These results, though relying on simulation scenarios and simplistic assumptions, illustrates the importance of providing social protection not only for the poor but also for segments of the income distribution that could likely to fall into poverty due to reduced economic activities during this COVID-19 pandemic. Among others, the study urged the Philippine Statistics Authority to start reviewing its official poverty measurement system, including the current use of income over expenditure as the poverty metric, as well as its poverty line setting methodology given the changes in income and expenditure patterns in the past decade (prior to the onset of COVID-19) that improved living conditions.
Author: Philippine Institute for Development Studies
This issue of the Development Research News features the highlights of the fifth Annual Public Policy Conference (APPC), zeroing in on the challenges related to the emerging New Globalization, also known as Globalization 4.0. The banner article specifically captures one of the key messages of the APPC, that is, the Philippines, together with the rest of middle-income countries, is under threat due to poor investments in global health. Also included are PIDS studies on housing, rice tariffication, small and medium enterprises, and senior citizens. Completing this issue is an article on smart cities, which can be a potent tool to address the issues arising with the advent of the New Globalization.
Authors: Francis Mark A. Quimba and Sylwyn C. Calizo Jr.
Since the late 1990s, the internet has developed as a major force in transforming how companies do their business, which led to the rapid expansion of electronic commerce, or e-commerce. In 2016, the Department of Trade and Industry adopted the Philippine E-Commerce Roadmap in recognition of the potential of e-commerce in expanding Philippine businesses. In support to the Philippine E-Commerce Roadmap's first success criteria--having 100,000 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) doing e-commerce, this study investigates the determinants of e-commerce adoption using the Philippine Statistics Authority's Survey of Information and Communications Technology as well as the Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry. The study finds that internal factors, such as firm size, availability of computers, access to the internet, and firm use of information and communications technology (ICT) in other aspects of firm operations, primarily determine e-commerce adoption in the Philippines. Further, external factors, such as the growth rate of the industry in which the firm belongs, as well as the market share of the firm have no statistically significant effects on e-commerce adoption. Given these results, this study recommends that bottlenecks caused by uncertainty and security concerns should be addressed. Government agencies also need to support MSMEs' e-commerce adoption, as well as assist firms in adopting ICT. The government can also help provide access to finance to firms intending to adopt e-commerce. Reducing the cost and improving the quality of internet services should be pursued.
Authors: Ramonette B. Serafica and Jose Ramon G. Albert
From trade in goods then trade in services, we now have digital trade. While there is no universally accepted definition, digital trade is generally understood to cover all cross-border resident/nonresident transactions that are either digitally ordered, online platform enabled, and/or digitally delivered. Since it is a new and still evolving form of trade, the conceptual and measurement issues remain challenging, and will continue to be so, with innovations in technologies and business applications. Nonetheless, there are a number of strategies, policies, and activities that the Philippines can pursue to keep up with technological advances and take advantage of the opportunities associated with digital trade. The country should also continue to exploit its strength in information and communications technologies (ICT) and ICT-enabled services and, at the same time, develop new sources of export growth, particularly in digital products. To ensure that the benefits of e-commerce and digital trade are more widely enjoyed, constraints in terms of e-trade readiness should be addressed. The inhibiting factors are not limited to connectivity although it is perhaps the most critical problem for the Philippines at this stage. Policy and regulatory restrictions should be reviewed to help create the enabling environment for digital trade.
Author: Sheila V. Siar
The application of information and communications technology for improving governance by enhancing government's role in service delivery, public administration, and promotion of participatory democracy has been gaining momentum in many parts of the world. In Philippine local government, this has been witnessed lately in the significant rise in web presence of many cities. To what extent have local governments in the Philippines implemented e-governance using websites as their medium? This study attempted to answer this question by looking into the resources and services that city governments provide to citizens and other groups in society through their websites. An assessment of the content of their websites indicated, however, the minimal adoption of e-governance as well as the underutilization of websites as e-governance tools.
Author: Gabrielle Iglesias
This study intends to provide a snapshot of the city government (in a developing country) as it uses information and communications technology (ICT) to transform its public service delivery and promote good urban governance. The volume of work related to services provided by local governments could be made more efficient, effective, transparent, accountable, and equitable using relevant technologies. In the Philippines, a Government Information Systems Plan (GISP) was approved and adopted as framework for all computerization efforts of key services and operations. This study used as case study samples four city governments (Caloocan, Muntinlupa, Antipolo, and Tagaytay) known to actively use ICT applications to determine: (1) the level of use of ICT and (2) how their computerization efforts facilitate good urban governance. The e-governance framework used for this study has a phased ICT utilization wherein a government agency must first use ICT to improve its internal operations (e-administration), then its public service delivery (e-government), before finally being able to use ICT to improve its relationship with its constituents (e-governance).
Authors: Sonny N. Domingo and Arvie Joy A. Manejar
The study looks into the disaster risk resilience of provincial governments in the Philippines using World Bank (WB) socioeconomic resiliency estimates and cross-sectional data generated by the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Philippine Statistics Authority. Treating provincial governments as decisionmaking units (DMUs) with bureaucratic sub-units at the provincial and city/municipal levels, composite efficiency scores were generated using an integrated Data Envelopment Approach. A WB-generated socioeconomic resiliency scorecard at the provincial level provided comparative output references for the model. Results show that disaster risk reduction and management inputs at the provincial and sub-province levels greatly contribute to improving socioeconomic capacity and decreasing asset risk. However, DMU efficiency scores varied across the different sub-regional domains. A majority of provincial subDMUs also got higher efficiency ratings compared to their municipal/community subDMU counterparts, implying the need to rebalance support and disaster resilience-related initiatives at the sub-provincial levels.
Authors: Marife M. Ballesteros and Jenica A. Ancheta
This study examines the effectiveness of the Local Housing Board (LHB) as a platform for participatory governance in the delivery of public housing in an urban setting. It looks into the conduct and outcomes of participation in the LHB using the case study approach. Results show that participatory governance, through the Local Housing Board, is still evolving. Many cities that institutionalized their LHBs have used the Board as a legal tool to carry out eviction and demolition. However, in cases when citizens’ participation is effectively implemented as the case of the Quezon City Housing Board, the solutions can lead to more acceptable socialized housing. For the LHB to enable the process, the decision-making process within the Board has to be strengthened with greater representation of peoples' organization; community participation in the selection of their representatives to the Board; and transparency in the discussion of issues and decisions of the Board.
Authors: Glenn B. Gregorio and Rico C. Ancog
How will the COVID-19 pandemic affect the agriculture sector in Southeast Asia? Clearly, any disruptions in the agricultural food systems would create supply and demand shocks that would impact on the agriculture sector's immediate and long-term economic performance and food security contribution. Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic during the first quarter of year 2020 is estimated to result in 3.11-percent (17.03 million tons) reduction in aggregate volume of agricultural production in Southeast Asia due to decline in agricultural farm labor affecting 100.77 million individuals. This crisis could translate to 1.4-percent decrease in GDP of the Southeast Asian region, which is equivalent to USD 3.76 billion. Ensuring a systemic transformation of the agricultural systems into resilient, sustainable, productive, and inclusive food systems would be crucial for the future of Southeast Asia.
Authors: Rico C. Ancog, Glenn B. Gregorio, Arlene B. Arcillas, Erlinda C. Creencia, Victorino E. Aquitania, Gerald Glenn F. Panganiban, and Garry A. Hidalgo
What policy interventions are necessary to promote urban agriculture (UA) as a way of life? The likes of COVID-19 pandemic do not just spur interest in implementing a household-level urban agriculture set-up. It also clearly highlights an ongoing phenomenon where people would want to grow their own food, to have ensured access to enough safe and nutritious food, and to rediscover the joy of planting as a way of life. To institutionalize urban agriculture, the local government units in the Philippines must take active leadership in mainstreaming urban agriculture by integrating it in the formulation of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) and Local Climate Change Adaptation Plan (LCCAP) and complementing existing programs of the Philippine Department of Agriculture.
Authors: Glenn B. Gregorio and Rico C. Ancog
How will the COVID-19 pandemic affect the agriculture sector in Southeast Asia? Clearly, any disruptions in the agricultural food systems would create supply and demand shocks that would redound to the agriculture sector's immediate and long-term economic performance and food security contribution. Overall, the COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to result in 3.11-percent reduction in aggregate volume of agricultural production (29.58 million tons) in Southeast Asia due to decline in agricultural farm labor affecting 100.77 million individuals. Overall, this could translate to 1.4-percent decrease in GDP (USD 3.76 billion) of the Southeast Asian region. Ensuring a systemic transformation of the agricultural systems into resilient, sustainable, productive, and inclusive food systems would be critical for the future of Southeast Asia.
Author: Marites A.Khanser
This book is intended to be a basic reference material on e-learning, an emerging phenomenon in the Philippines. The author was one of the pioneering online professors of the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU) as well as in the country. She had handled UPOU's online course on electronic commerce from 2000 to 2004. Her classes were conducted in cyberspace.
Author: Marites A.Khanser
This book is for Filipino entrepreneurs desiring to go online with their business. It takes the strategic approach on how Philippine firms can compete on the internet by implementing effective electronic commerce strategies. It focuses on the fundamentals of electronic commerce and on how to prepare an effective e-commerce strategic plan for the business.
Author: George A. Villasis (UST-Research Cluster on Culture, Education and Social Issues)
In response to the issue of how open e-marketplaces have enabled small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to leverage e-commerce, the study analyzed the development of a B2B (business-to-business) e-marketplace used by its Metro Manila-based members. In particular, it analyzed the development stage of its services and use, and from its shadow, defined the exploratory path of evolvement. As a demonstrative case, the ultimate objective of the study is to bring SMEs to the e-marketplace platform as phased by evolving user needs and practicability. The study used survey and interview instruments for a close look at sample users against the general realities of online business provided by secondary information. The paper mainly discusses the drivers and obstacles to web migration and the consequential foreshadowing of e-marketplace development. Finally, the conclusion of the study identifies more exploratory options for development and their requisites.
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