Category: Yellow Paper II

Reinventing and Strengthening Institutions of State, Market and Civil Society

This paper analyzes the crisis besetting the Philippines as a
culmination of unresolved vicious cycles that have perennially
dominated society and government. The ascendancy and failure of the
Estrada administration, it asserts, mirrors the ongoing struggle
between reality and want, vested interests and public virtue, and
democracy’s form and substance.

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Welfare, Inequality and Poverty: How the Country Fared during Erap’s Term as President

Using data drawn from the Annual Poverty Indicators Survey (APIS) of 1998 and 1999, this paper generates estimates of welfare, inequality, and poverty measures to assess how the country fared during President Joseph (Ejercito) Estrada’s term. The results indicate that while the national average living standard improved slightly, no measurable gains were achieved in inequality and poverty.

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The MTPDP 1999 – 2004: How Not to Implement a Development Plan

This paper reviews the targets set forth by the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (a.k.a. Angat Pinoy 2004) and compares it to the actual performance of the economy during the two and a half years of the Estrada Administration. It argues that while Angat Pinoy is good on
paper, a deficiency in good implementation led to poor economic
performance, with the country returning to its previous place near the rear of the pack among the East Asian Tigers.

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What Drives Monetary Policy?

This study is an attempt to understand how monetary policy is conducted today, if and how it differs from the manner it was conducted in the past, whether monetary authorities are faithful to the tenets of the
theories they say underlie their framework, and whether any lessons
have been learned at least since the onset of the Asian financial
crisis in July 1997.

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Behest Loans, Non-performing Assets, Low Growth – Deja Vu

The economic crisis that ended with the ouster of Ferdinand E. Marcos in the 1980s and that which led to the resignation of Estrada were both largely caused by the financial abuses that resulted in largescale wastes of investment resources. After a brief overview of the two crises, bad banking practices that led to the insolvency and high non-performing loan ratios of troubled financial institutions are described. They reveal the vulnerability of the financial system to political pressure and personalized banking, and cases of abuse of political power. The dismal national savings rate of the country is
likewise discussed. Policy directions are suggested to correct such malpractices and proscribe their comeback.

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Jobless Growth, Trade and Globalization

Looking at the fact that increased economic growth in recent years has not led to a rise in employment, this paper provides an explanation to the observed loss of jobs despite the economic growth. After a survey of conventional approaches in explaining this phenomenon and their lack of empirical support, the possible roles of Philippine trade liberalization and globalization in this issue is discusses. It is argued that despite discriminatory trade policies, the country is still affected by increasing market integration mainly because of the increased mobility of capital. This situation ultimately leads to greater capital intensification and ultimately reduces employment. Policy directions are then provided to address these problems.

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Infrastructure and Regulatory Reform

Infrastructure has remained a perpetual bottleneck in the country’s development. Businessmen, both foreign and local, complain of poor infrastructure, which contributes to higher costs of doing business: overhead costs, transaction costs etc. Foreign investors have pointed to the country’s poor infrastructure as the culprit for their decision to move elsewhere. It is perhaps already a well-worn cliché that to develop, the country needs to develop first its infrastructure.

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Governance and Corruption in the Philippines

This paper is an exhaustive inquiry into key governance issues both at the level of national and local government as well. It views corruption in the Philippines as being systemic, as a historical and on-going phenomenon that incessantly ravages our country of valuable and scarce resources. Finally, it proposes new ways of thinking and acting to
de-institutionalize corruption in the Philippines.

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The President’s Budget for 2001: Depleted Economic Choices

For government to be able to function and fulfill the role assigned to
it, it must collect sufficient resources and allocate and use those
resources efficiently and effectively. In this regard, any assessment
of the government budget cannot proceed without an implicit recognition of the integral relationship between revenue and expenditures, the two principal elements of fiscal policy. Thus, the analysis of this paper assesses not only expenditure program but also the revenue program of the President’s Budget for 2001.

In particular, the President’s budget proposal is evaluated in terms of two principal objectives of a good public expenditure management: fiscal discipline and strategic allocation of resources.

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Strategic Actions to Rapidly Ensure Food Security and Rural Growth in the Philippines

Outlined in this paper is a strategy whose successful implementation
promises to secure not only adequate, cheaper food supplies, increased
rural employment and incomes and reduced poverty for all, but also
rapid and sustainable advances in urban and economy-wide growth. Food security means ensuring that food is affordable for all households
particularly the poor urban and rural households – that household incomes are sufficient to purchase adequate food at reasonable prices.

Read full text (.pdf, 381kb, 40pp.)

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Beyond EDSA: Regaining the Reform Initiative

The nation and its leadership find ourselves in a precarious situation. Short-term threats and exigencies (e.g. Abu Sayyaf, destabilization efforts, natural calamities) continually preoccupy the government that is at the same time faced with the threat of an unraveling coalition that as, from the beginning, been the foundation of its support base. The seeming comeback of traditional politics of accommodation and re-building of political bases likewise endanger the current administration’s “new politics” stance. Meanwhile, our recovery from the East Asian crisis remains deficient and glaringly lagging behind our neighbors in the region. With the external environment remaining to be unpromising and with major trade and investment partners facing major problems of their own, business and investor confidence are incessantly dampened.

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