IN FOCUS: Improving economic productivity through innovation



Long-term national development relies on innovation. Progress in science and technology (S&T) infused with innovation is necessary to achieve sustained economic growth. Innovation improves firm competitiveness and enables access to global markets. Simultaneously, innovation helps expand job opportunities and introduce new industries to the economy.

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Although the Philippines has recorded a high-growth path in the past years, many analysts contend that the country could achieve more if it can improve its innovation capacity, which, inarguably, remains wanting. In the 2016 Global Innovation Index (GII) Report, co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization, the Philippines ranked 74th among 128 countries. Compared with its Southeast Asian neighbors, it is trailing behind Singapore (6th), Malaysia (35th), Thailand (52nd), and Viet Nam (59th). Indonesia and Cambodia ranked 88th and 95th, respectively. || Read more >>

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Highlights

PIDS ranked among world's best think tanks for fifth consecutive year

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.

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Featured Publications

HOW DO OFFICIAL STATISTICS IN THE PHILIPPINES FARE?

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While other Philippine government agencies are producing their own sectoral statistics, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) produces the country's official statistics, covering substantial set of socioeconomic statistics and other measures of economic performance. This Policy Note discusses international and local assessments of the national statistical system based on various frameworks. It found, among others, that PSA has yet to fully achieve the improvements envisioned in the Philippine Statistical Act of 2013, such as increase in its budget and strengthened human resource. It calls on the national government to continue investing in ... || Read more >>


WHO BENEFITS AND LOSES FROM AN UNTARGETED TUITION SUBSIDY FOR STUDENTS IN SUCS?

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The proposed policy to provide free tuition for students enrolled in state universities and colleges (SUCs) looks appealing. The question, however, is whether it can better implement the constitutional mandate of the state to protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education compared to other alternatives. This Policy Note finds that free tuition in SUCs can do more harm than good for a number of reasons. Among others, it is antipoor. Because free tuition involves only partial financing and tuition fee is just a fraction of the ... || Read more >>


AUSTRALIAN SME MICRO-OFFSHORING IN THE PHILIPPINES: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES

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An increasing number of Philippine-based business process outsourcing (BPO) centers are targeting Australian small and medium enterprises by offering micro-offshoring services that reduce their costs. This Policy Note examines the sector and considers the potential economic and social gains of this expanding market. While the Philippine BPO sector has competitive advantages for Australian firms, this study found it still has to address several challenges, such as government red tape, poor infrastructure and traffic management, and biased adjudication of labor cases before the National Labor Relations Commission. It calls on the ... || Read more >>


IS THE AGRICULTURAL INSURANCE PROGRAM OF THE PHILIPPINES SERVING THE POOR?

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The need for an effective insurance program for the Philippine agricultural sector cannot be overemphasized enough given the effects of calamities and other perils. This Policy Note seeks to assess the coverage, product lines, and premium structure of the current Agricultural Insurance Program (AIP), a government-managed insurance that provides protection to various agricultural producers against production losses. Among other results, the study found the penetration rate of the AIP to be low. It likewise noted several instances that raise question on the capacity of the program to prioritize the needs ... || Read more >>


DIVING INTO THE BLUE ECONOMY

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This Economic Issue of the Day provides an overview of the concept of the blue economy and explores how different groups view and apply it to their sustainable development efforts and businesses. There is still no widely accepted definition of blue economy despite the growing interest in it. The article thus calls for the international community to work together in developing a common understanding of the concept and in laying down a set of clear policies and framework for creating a sustainable blue economy. || Read more >>


DOES INNOVATION MEDIATE GOOD FIRM PERFORMANCE?

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Aside from physical capital and human resource, private firms are also advised to invest in innovations to be more productive and profitable. However, it is important to ensure such investment is well-spent. This study found that product and process innovations do lead to increase in sales and profits, and improve labor productivity. It also showed that firm size, age, and foreign equity are important factors leading firms to innovate. || Read more >>


THE POTENTIALS OF AGRICULTURAL INSURANCE AS A POVERTY REDUCTION TOOL

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This final issue of the Development Research News (DRN) in 2016 highlights social protection measures like the governments Agricultural Insurance Program that seeks to mitigate the negative impact of disasters on agriculture and help small farmers and fishermen recover from shocks. The multisite impact evaluation study conducted by PIDS shows the program fell short of its objective. Reasons include the low uptake of the program attributable to its limited presence at the grassroots, the insufficient amount of insurance coverage, and the inefficient settlement of claims. Calls for program enhancement also ... || Read more >>


PHILIPPINE JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENT 2014-2015

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This volume is significant for two reasons. First, it introduces the new Editorial Board members who will be providing direction and guidance to the Philippine Journal of Development (PJD) in the next five years. Second, it also introduces some changes in format. We redesigned the cover, adjusted the journals dimensions, and improved the layout. All of these are meant to make the PJD more user friendly to its readers. This combined volume, which consists of eight articles, includes topics on Pacific Alliance for the Free Trade Area of the ... || Read more >>


NONGOVERNMENT REFORESTATION IN THE PHILIPPINES: WAYS FORWARD

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This study reviews and assesses nongovernment reforestation in the Philippines vis--vis government and total reforestation using primary and secondary data. The objective is to identify issues and problems related to nongovernment reforestation and recommend actions that can be undertaken to address them. This study finds that government reforestation dominates total reforestation, while nongovernment reforestation only has a relatively small contribution in recent years. It asserts that private reforestation has been the main driver of nongovernment reforestation at present. However, its full development as an industry has been hindered by ... || Read more >>


MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS: DO THEY HINDER COMPETITION?

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This Economic Issue of the Day discusses the basic concepts of mergers and acquisitions as well as their advantages and disadvantages to the economy, in general. While mergers do not necessarily harm market competition, this paper calls for firms to abide by fair competition laws and regulations, particularly the new Philippine Competition Act, which provides the guidelines on competition-related activities. It likewise argues that these business activities can be good or bad depending on the extent to which they are likely to create substantial changes in the market structure and ... || Read more >>


EASING PORT CONGESTION AND OTHER TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS ISSUES

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In February 2014, the City of Manila imposed a cargo truck ban at certain hours of the day 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 led to complaints and clamor of other stakeholders for a better approach to city traffic management. The ... || Read more >>



Press Releases

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AUSTRALIAN FIRMS FAVOR PH AS BPO DESTINATION--PIDS STUDY

Most Australian firms prefer the Philippines to explore offshoring opportunities, as opposed to other rival potential business process outsourcing (BPO) destinations in the region, such as India, according to a study by government think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies. 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. The time zone in the Philippines favors Australian firms. It ... || Read more >>


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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 (SUCs). 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 (UNFAST) law. This alternative, they emphasized, is aligned with the position of senior researchers of state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS). In a recent policy note released ... || Read more >>


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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 (PIDS), Steinbock detailed a foreboding outlook of the future. The radical polarization in the European Union over issues of immigration and unity, Beijing getting ready for the next Politburo, the ... || Read more >>


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SOCIAL ENTERPRISES NEED ENABLING BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT TO THRIVE--PIDS STUDY

The Philippines needs to develop an enabling "ecosystem" of policies and institutions to scale up social enterprises. In a recent study released by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), authors Marife Ballesteros and Gilberto Llanto remarked that social enterprises can be an important force in addressing the gaps between the country's paradoxical experience of positive growth and persistent poverty. Ballesteros and Llanto, PIDS acting vice president and president, respectively, noted that the current policy environment has failed to capture the needs of social enterprises which in turn ... || Read more >>


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PIDS STUDY SEES POSITIVE IMPACT OF GREENING PROGRAM ON ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT

If properly implemented, the government's National Greening Program (NGP) can help in reducing poverty and preserving the environment. In a policy note released by state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), Senior Research Fellow Danilo Israel said there is high probability the expected outcomes of the NGP will be attained, if it is implemented efficiently and effectively and as planned. The NGP was a priority program of the Aquino administration aimed at poverty reduction, food security, environmental stability and biodiversity conservation, and enhancement of climate change mitigation and ... || Read more >>



EVENTS CALENDAR


Livestreaming Event



March 30, 2017 09:00 AM
Roundtable on 'The Future of the ASEAN Community: Unlocking ASEANS Next Chapter'

Shangri-La Hotel, Makati Business District, Makati City


February 28, 2017 02:00 PM
PIDS-CPBRD Forum on Expiration of of the Waiver for Quantitative Restrictions on Rice Importation by June 2017: Options for Food Policy

House of Representatives, Batasan Complex, Quezon City




Watch Dr. Gilbert Llanto’s guesting on NET 25’s Aprub Program


DATABASE UPDATES


January 2017
The annual employment rate for 2016 was reported at 94.5 percent, while the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, based on the 2016 Labor Force Surveys.

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December 2016
The peso further weakens against the US dollar as shown by the increasing exchange rate from 48.35 in October to 49.16 in November.

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October 2016
The countrys year-on-year headline inflation rate went up to 2.3 percent in September, from 1.8 percent in August.

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