PB2016-10: A Second Look at International and Domestic Oil Price Movements
Consistent with its statutory mandate to protect the public, the Department of Energy (DOE), through the Oil Industry Management Bureau, is tasked to closely monitor and evaluate actual oil price movements, both in the international and domestic markets to prevent unreasonable adjustments and abuses. However, the lack of transparency in the current practice of the DOE in using the rather “confidential” Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) data as the basis of retail prices of oil in the country, has even left stakeholders less equipped in analyzing the cost structure of domestic pump prices. This more than ever highlights the need for the DOE to at least reveal the indicative percentage share of each cost component of domestic pump prices so that third party verification is possible for the sake of transparency and consumer protection, rather than reasoning out that prices of domestic petroleum products tend to be sticky downward.
CN2017-01: Sustaining the Growth Momentum
The country sustained its growth momentum in 2016 as gross domestic product (GDP) accelerated to 6.8 percent from 5.9 percent in 2015, further improving on the 6.2 percent average growth rate recorded during the previous administration. While this is lower than the 7.0 percent to 8.0 percent target identified in the MTPDP 2011-2016, it is the highest seven-year average growth recorded by the country. On the other hand, gross national income (GNI) which takes into account net primary income recorded an average growth of 6.2 percent for the same period.
DP2017-03: Health and Federalism: Prospects for the Philippines
With the debate on the shift to a federal form of government, many significant issues are at hand and those on health are among the most important. The Philippine health system has a devolved design, following the Local Government Code of 1991. Health service delivery, disease prevention and control, and public health programs are under the domain of local governments. Arguing on whether or not to push for federalism depends largely on the impact of devolution including the delivery of health services. Does the present setup respond to local needs? Is devolution sufficient in delivering responsive health care to people? Can a federal health care system that assigns health functions to subnational governments do the job better? This paper discusses the Philippine experience with devolution insofar as health is concerned. It also presents inter-regional health inputs. Experiences of some federal countries are surfaced to see if effective practices apply. This paper concludes by highlighting six basic ideas in view of reform, namely, the level of government to manage health service delivery, the system of financing, resolving inter-regional inequities, health insurance, cost-containment, and intergovernmental relations.
BB2017-01: Dimensions of the 2017 National Government Budget (Updated Based on the GAA)
In his Budget Message for FY 2017, the President wrote that this year’s budget will be used as a “tool for equitable progress”. It will finance programs and projects that would ensure decent living conditions and better access to economic opportunities especially of the poorest and the marginalized in society. The 2017 budget should be instrumental in achieving the administration’s 10-point socio-economic development agenda which includes clear investment priorities such as infrastructure, agricultural and rural enterprise productivity and rural tourism, human capital development, social protection, and peace and order through a professional police and military force.
FF2017-09: Philippine Performance in the 2017 Index of Economic Freedom
Overall Score and Ranking. The Philippines improved its overall score in the 2017 Index of Economic Freedom (IEF) to 65.6 from 63.1 as reported in the 2016 IEF publication. The IEF is a report published by the Heritage Foundation which measures a country’s economic freedom or the “fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labor and property.” The overall score is determined using twelve, from previously ten, components or “freedoms” which are further grouped into four categories: rule of law, limited government, regulatory efficiency, and open markets.
CSP-07: A Legislator's Guide in Analyzing the National Budget
The government budget serves multiple objectives. It can be used to stabilize the economy, redistribute wealth, create growth centers in less-developed areas, and provide social safety nets to vulnerable sectors of society. Other than a development tool, the budget is also an instrument for public accountability. A good budgeting system allows tracking of the use of the money collected from the people.