Sharing and discussing the outcomes of PEP-AusAID special research initiatives in the Philippines

Manila, Philippines - December 14, 2012

On December 14, 2012, a group of PEP researchers combined efforts with PEP host institution in Asia, the Angelo King Institute (AKI) of De La Salle University, to convene several national policy makers and stakeholders to a special seminar in Manila, Philippines.

The objective of this PEP-funded seminar was to share and discuss, with relevant stakeholders, the work and findings from research conducted in the context of two distinct AusAID-funded PEP special initiatives, which both included, amongst several country studies a component in the Philippines.

Also, in both cases, the methodological approach consisted in combining CGE modeling and simulation techniques, to link the effects of macro changes to potential repercussions on welfare, i.e. at the micro level - as fostered through PEP-supported research (find out more)

First, Dr Angelo Taningco presented the main outcomes from a project led by PEP researcher Erwin Corong, entitled :

  • "Global Economic Crisis and the Philippine Economy: A Quantitative Assessment" - see final research report

This particular study was conducted under the PEP special multi-country initiative to assess the poverty impact of the global financial crisis and appropriate policy responses from a local perspective in developing countries (find out more), which had been co-funded by AusAID, IDRC and UNICEF.

AusAID, in particular, had provided funding for 3 studies to be conducted specifically in Asian countries. Find out more about the outcomes of these country studies through this brief summary, or PEP special report:

In brief, the conclusions ensued from Corong's analysis suggest that the stimulus program implemented by the Filipino government in response to the financial crisis in 2009 had not been sufficient to mitigate its most negative impact on welfare in the country. 
Following his presentation to the seminar's audience, those results were discussed by the Director of the Center for Monetary and Financial Policy of the Philippines' Central Bank, Dr Francisco Dakila Jr, who especially acknowledged the importance and quality of the methodological approach, as one of the project's main contributions. 
The second project, which had been conducted by Angelo Taningco (project leader), Erwin Corong, Lawrence Dacuycuy and Rachel Reyes, was entitled:

This study was led in the context of another AusAID-commissioned initiative, to simulate the distributive impacts of different growth strategies in 3 different countries of Asia. Find out more about the outcomes of this particular project's studies through this brief summarizing PEP report:

In brief, the researchers' conclusions (presented by Ms Rachel Reyes) from their country's study suggest that an increase in public infrastructure investments in the Philippines would not only bring about positive real GDP effects, but also a reduction in poverty and inequality in the country. Their results also show that the magnitude of such positive effects would be greater if the investments were to be financed through foreign aid.

Although surprised by the latter aspects of their findings, the paper's discussant - Dr Ruperto Majuca, Assistant Director-General of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) - insisted on the relevance of the research project in terms of development-related issues in the Philippines, as well as its high scientific rigor and value. He also suggested that work should be pursued in order to further examine the researchers' results. Dr. Majuca is currently the third highest-ranking official at the government's economic planning agency.

In addition to these two high-level discussant, several other government officials and representatives from the Department of Finance, the Department of Budget and Management and the National Statistical Coordination Board, attended the seminar. Both presentations were followed  by a "Question & Answers" period, which most of them participated in, to discuss several issues with the researchers and acknowledge the importance of their work and findings.

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