Category: Academic Papers

Philippine Fiscal Incentives: A Note on Design, Administration, and Context

The main idea of this paper on Philippine Fiscal Incentives written by Cristina Morales-Alikpala, is that while fiscal incentives, in their current design, administration, and context, may have proven to be of little value when it comes to encouraging investments, the notion of providing effective subsidies to worthy investors should not altogether be abandoned.

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Undermining abundance

Technology and law are increasingly used to undermine processes of abundance intrinsic to nature, agriculture and the information sector. A number of examples are reviewed here. Such counterproductive use of technology and law is traced to corporate profitseeking. The relationships between the phenomenon of abundance and the related concepts of scarcity and commons are explored. Finally, approaches are proposed that harness abundance for the human good.

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Migration and remittances have positive impact on gender equality in the Philippines

The study “Gender, Remittances and Local Rural Development: The case of Filipino migration to Italy”, assesses the impact of remittances sent by Filipino migrants in Italy for promoting gender-sensitive local rural community development in the Philippines and supports capacity-building activities with migrant associations to improve the living conditions of Filipino migrants in Italy. (Download the study here).

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The Peso Appreciation and the Sustainability of Philippine Growth: Need We Worry?

The Philippines missed the tsunami of Japanese direct foreign investment in the second half of the 1980s because we could not get our political act together. The monumental collapse of the Marcos project in the early 80s was preceded by a flood of borrowed petrodollars for which we inherited nary but a slew of white elephants and bankrupt state banks. The ready availability of forest and extractive resources allowed the perpetuation of the increasingly unviable beauty parlor industries in the 50s and 60s. We have not yet stopped counting the cost to the nation of the NAIA Terminal 3 fiasco! It is scary how as a nation, we have managed to transform the opportunities imbedded in available resources into a litany of “miseries.” This it seems is bigger than Dutch Disease.

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A Tale of Two Concessionaires: A Natural Experiment of Water Privatisation in Metro Manila

In February 1997, Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and the Manila Water Company, Inc. were awarded concession contracts from Manila’s Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and split between them the service areas in Metro Manila. In the years thereafter, the paths taken by the two concessionaires diverged dramatically: Maynilad became bankrupt and was turned over to MWSS, whereas Manila Water has prospered and is now a listed company in the Philippine Stock Exchange. The co-existence of two concessionaires in the same city offers a rare opportunity to study the role of internal factors in the privatisation of urban water systems because the effects of many important external factors, such as political support, regulatory structure and unforeseen events, are effectively controlled. The findings suggest that corporate governance, financial management and operations management of privatised water utilities are among the most important internal factors that determine success of water privatisation in developing countries.

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Lacking a backbone: The controversy over the “Nat’l Broadband Network” & Cyber-education project

It is unsettling that so soon after the mid-term elections (the conduct of which is another issue altogether), the administration should again be embroiled in a mess of its own making. The wonders and mysteries surrounding the government’s most recent initiatives on information and communications technology (ICT) are quickly threatening to abort the administration’s attempts to resurrect its credibility, not to speak of “establishing a legacy”. Two projects in particular have quickly become controversial: the first is the government’s project to build its own digital communications “backbone” called the “national broadband network” (NBN); the second is the proposal to link public schools via a satellite-supported network to enable pupils and teachers to access the internet and other resources.

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Maximizing Complementarities, Mitigating Competition in ASEAN-China Trade and Investments

(Maximizing Complementarities, Mitigating Competition in ASEAN-China Trade and Investments: A Philippine Perspective)

This paper examines the adverse and beneficial effects of China’s meteoric rise on the economies of Southeast Asia. The analysis then looks at how the adverse effects can be mitigated and how the gains can be maximized, with focus on the Philippines.

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The Filipino Sari-Sari Store

The pervasiveness of the neighborhood sari-sari (variety or general) store in low-income residential communities in the Philippines remains an unexplained neoclassical puzzle. How can such micro-enterprises continue to operate despite shrinking market shares from excess competition? What explains the continuous flow of new entrants? Using an agent-based rational choice approach, this paper analyzes the sari-sari store as an organizational innovation that allows the household to combine production and consumption objectives and overcome constraints. The predominance of women as sari-sari store proprietors is attributed to the relatively low opportunity cost of women’s time, and gender norms that assign domestic responsibilities to women.

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