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  • PB2022-03: An Evaluation of Sin Taxes’ Implementation and Health Expenditure Earmarking
    This paper evaluates the implementation of the sin tax reform during the period 2012 to 2021 using tax and expenditure earmarking indicators provided under the sin tax monitoring framework of the World Bank. During the review period, four tax laws were passed that adjusted the excise taxation on tobacco and alcohol products with objectives to reduce consumption of sin products and generate additional revenues to augment health spending. The findings of the evaluation show that the reform has significantly boosted government revenues during the period, owing to good tax design and regular tax rate adjustments. Consequently, earmarked revenues from sin taxes have increased the budgets of key health programs that expand health insurance coverage, attain the MDG/SDG goals, improve public health facilities, and provide medical assistance to indigents. In the medium term, sin tax revenues are expected to continue to be a sustainable source of health financing based on projections using estimated elasticity of demand of sin products. However, some areas of implementation need close monitoring by the government moving forward, such as revenue leakages due to illicit tobacco trade, the uptick in smoking prevalence, declines in utilization rates of programs funded by sin tax revenues, and transparency of usage of earmarked revenues for tobacco-producing LGUs.  
  • FF2022-40: The Philippines’ Ranking in the 2022 Index of Economic Freedom
    Overall Rank. Scoring 61.1 in the 2022 Index of Economic Freedom (IEF), the Philippines ranked 80th, down eight notches from 73rd and also a three-point drop from its 64.1 score in 2021. Notwithstanding the country’s continued drop in score and ranking, it remained to be classified “moderately free” in the IEF.  
  • FF2022-39: Philippine Performance in the 2021 Digital & Sustainable Trade Facilitation Report
    The Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation Report is a biennial report led and coordinated by the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) of the United Nations (UN). It aims to review the progress of trade facilitation reforms across countries and enable them to take a dynamic approach to trade facilitation, better monitoring, share best practices, and identify emerging capacity-building and technical assistance needs.  
  • FF2022-38: Dimensions in the 2022 Berggruen Governance Index and ASEAN 7 Performance
    The 2022 Berggruen Governance Index (BGI) provides an improved conceptualization of governance which sees public goods provision resulting from the interplay of democratic accountability and state capacity. The BGI sees state capacity as the crucial link mediating between democratic accountability and public goods provision. It analyzes the relationship between the various components that contribute to performance, i.e., mechanisms of accountability, the state’s capacity to generate resources and enlist other actors, and the ability to provide public goods. The 2022 BGI report builds up from the indexes used in prior years which assessed basically on the impact of the qualities of governance, democracy, and life. The 2022 BGI report is limited to dataset for 2000-2019 of 134 countries for which reliable index scores for the three dimensions and their sub-dimensions can be extracted considering the multiyear lag in the data on tax revenue, health, education, public goods indicators on productive capacity, and environmental protection (2022 BGI).  
  • FF2022-37: Performance of the Philippines in the 2022 World Competitiveness Yearbook
    The World Competitiveness Yearbook (WCY) by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) is a comprehensive annual report and worldwide reference point on the competitiveness of countries. It analyzes and ranks countries according to how they manage their competencies to achieve long-term value creation.  
  • BB2022-01: DIMENSIONS OF THE 2022 NATIONAL GOVERNMENT BUDGET (AS ENACTED UNDER RA NO. 11639)
    With last year’s (2021) budget formulated as a primary tool for “reset, rebound and recovery” while the country battles the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the socio-economic challenges in health and economy, the 2022 National Government (NG) Budget is primarily focused on steering towards a strong and genuine recovery. It was crafted based on three guiding pillars as follows: (1) building a resilient social services sector amidst the pandemic; (2) sustaining the momentum towards economic recovery; and, (3) continuing the investments in infrastructure development.  
  • CN2022-01: THE GROWING PHILIPPINE DIGITAL ECONOMY: A Focus on eCommerce and Digital Payments
    The Philippines is dubbed as the fastest growing digital economy among major ASEAN member-states in 2021. Effectively leveraging digital transformation can propel the country’s economic recovery from the losses brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the uneven and digitally-underdeveloped landscape persists stemming from infrastructure insufficiency, low level of internet literacy, and high cost of connectivity. This paper expounds on the value of the digital economy, and describes the country’s prevalent ICT context. It also discusses the emerging trends and challenges, focusing on the two main sectors: e-Commerce and digital payments. Finally, it summarizes the national government plans and strategic directions to accelerate digitalization, and the proposed key legislations that could address the enumerated issues and challenges of the internet economy.  
  • DP2022-01: Estimating the Price Elasticity of Demand for Cigarettes and Alcohol Products in the Philippines
    The study estimated the total price elasticity of demand for cigarette and select alcohol products in the Philippines as an important input for tax policy aimed at reducing alcohol and cigarette consumption and raising much needed government revenues. The estimation was conducted by applying autoregressive error regression on the quarterly time series data of the volume of removals and retail prices of cigarettes and alcohol products in the Philippines over the period 2012 to 2021. The study supports the findings of earlier studies that cigarette consumption is price inelastic. Price elasticity of demand for cigarettes is about -0.83, meaning that a 1% price increase could lead to a 0.83% decrease in consumption. Results for price elasticity of demand for beers is elastic at 1.48, meaning that a 1% increase in the price of beer would produce a 1.48% decrease in consumption. Furthermore, it was found that price elasticity of demand for distilled spirits appears to be unit elastic while wine is highly elastic at 1.03 and 8.51, respectively. The models developed in this study are free from problems on specifications such as serial correlation and heteroscedasticity. Policymakers may consider these results in view of future excise tax reforms.
  • FF2022-36: National Government Financing: 2021 Update
    The National Government (NG) finances its operations and investments from three (3) fund sources, namely, revenues from tax and non-tax sources, borrowings, and withdrawals from available cash balances. Although most of the resources required for public spending are raised each year through taxation, the NG raises additional resources by borrowing from domestic and foreign sources.
  • FF2022-35: First Quarter 2022 NG Expenditure Performance
    The National Government (NG) posted a total expenditure of P1.1 trillion during the first quarter of 2022. This is about P83.3 billion or 8.2% higher than the same period last year (Table 1). Growth rate in spending, however, is slower in 2022 compared with that of 2021 at 19.9%. The decrease in growth rate can be attributed to election spending ban towards the end of the first quarter which slowed down public construction. First quarter expenditures in 2022 is 22.3% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the period.
  • FF2022-34: First Quarter 2022 Philippine Economic Performance
    The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 8.3% in the first quarter of 2022 from a contraction of 3.8% in the same period in 2021, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) (Figure 1). The real GDP (at constant 2018 prices) in the first quarter of 2022 valued at P4.62 trillion has already exceeded the pre-pandemic GDP level of P4.46 trillion in the same period in 2019. The recorded GDP rate is well within the government’s full year growth target of 7 to 9 percent..
  • FF2022-33: Revenue Impact of TRAIN Laws on BIR Tax Collections, 2020-2021
    The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Reports on Tax Collections due to TRAIN Law in 2020 and 2021 provide information on the revenue impact of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program reform packages on the BIR tax collections. The said revenue impact is derived by getting the difference between the estimated tax collections under the TRAIN Law and the estimated collections without the TRAIN Law.
  • FF2022-32: The Cost of Learning Loss from the Covid-19 Pandemic
    School closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic caused unprecedented disruption to learning and the future earning capacities of the more than 1.6 billion affected learners, according to the 2021 estimates of the World Bank, UNESCO, and UNICEF. The economic cost of learning loss of this generation of students is also estimated to reach $17 trillion in lifetime earnings (in present value), or about 14% of today’s global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This new projection reveals that the impact is more severe than previously thought, and far exceeds the $10 trillion estimate initially released in 2020 by the World Bank.
  • FF2022-31: 2021 Gross Regional Domestic Product
    The Philippine gross domestic product or GDP expanded by 5.7% year-on-year (YoY) in 2021. This is translated at the regional level as the gross regional domestic products (GRDP) of the country’s 17 regions, which all posted growth likewise in the same period based on a recently-released report of the Philippine Statistics Authority.
  • FF2022-30: NG Disbursement Performance, FY 2021
    National Government (NG) disbursement for 2021 amounted to P4,675.7 billion—10.6% (P448.3 billion) higher than the previous year. Compared to 2020, actual disbursements for current operating expenditures (COE) in 2021 grew by P167.5 billion while capital outlays (CO) increased by P285 billion. Compared to pre-pandemic (2019) levels, the 2021 COE was substantially higher by P753.1 billion while actual CO only increased by P124.2 billion. Overall, total disbursements in 2021 grew by 23.1% (P878.1 billion) from 2019.
  • FF2022-29: 2021 Broadband Affordability Drivers Index of the Philippines
    The Affordability Drivers Index (ADI) evaluates how well a country’s policy, regulatory and overall supply-side environment is working towards lowering industry costs and, ultimately, making broadband connection more affordable. While the Index does not measure the actual broadband prices nor the affordability of broadband in a given country, it does identify the key barriers to affordable access and helps devise tailored solutions to drive down broadband prices.
  • FF2022-28: BOC Collection Performance
    Collection Trend. From 2019-2021, collections from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) averaged about 22% of total tax revenues. Collections from this source declined from P630.3 billion in 2019 to P537.8 billion in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic slowed down international trade. In 2021, BOC revenues reached P643.6 billion, which was 19.7% higher than the 2020 level.
  • FF2022-27: Status of NDRRMF (As of 31 December 2021)
    The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (NDRRMF) appropriated under the FY 2021 General Appropriations Act was intended for disaster risk reduction, mitigation, prevention, and preparedness activities in connection with natural or human-induced calamities.
  • FF2022-26: Performance of ASEAN Member States in the Women Peace and Security Index
    The Women Peace and Security (WPS) Index offers insights on the advances on women empowerment across the globe. The Index so far released thrice (2017/18, 2019/20, 2021/22) is a joint initiative of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) Centre on Gender, Peace and Security.
  • FF2022-25: Performance of ASEAN 6 in the Covid Resilience Ranking, February 2022 Update
    The COVID Resilience Ranking captures how the world’s 53 biggest economies (valued at more than $200 billion prior to the pandemic) are responding to the COVID 19 virus. The February 2022 update draws on 11 data indicators (from previous 12 indicators) spanning virus containment, quality of healthcare, vaccination coverage, overall mortality, and progress toward restarting international travel. The 12th indicator Positive Test Rate is excluded in this update because more countries now shift to treating the virus on a similar level to influenza, thus, in an era of high vaccination and normalization, it is no longer the red flag that it used to be (Bloomberg).
  • FF2022-24: Performance of the Philippine Services Sector in 2021
    According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the gross value added (GVA) generated from the services sector in the Philippines managed to grow by 5.3% in 2021 to P11.2 trillion from P10.6 trillion in 2020 when the output of the sector fell by 9.2%. Note that due to the impact of the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent nationwide lockdowns on the economy, almost all the components of the services sector suffered massively in 2020. The subsectors that registered the largest contractions in 2020 are the following: accommodation and food service activities (AFS) with -45.4% (P232.4 billion in 2020 from P425.7 billion in 2019); other services which include the activities of membership organizations, repair of computers and personal and household goods and variety of personal service activities with -41.1% (P258.5 billion from P438.7 billion), and transportation and storage with -30.9% (P512.8 billion from P742.3 billion).
  • FF2022-23: Global Crude Oil Prices
    Crude oil prices worldwide have once again breached the $100 per barrel (/b) mark driven largely by the geopolitical tension between Russia and Ukraine, and the rising consumer demand due to prospects of global economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis. Since 2013, the prices of crude oil worldwide last rose above $100/b in late 2014.
  • FF2022-22: Global Gender Gap Index 2021
    Gender gap is the difference between women and men as reflected in social, political, intellectual, cultural, or economic attainments or attitudes, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF). The WEF links healthy, educated women to healthier and more educated children, creating a virtuous cycle of development. It further noted a strong correlation between a country’s progress in closing the gender gap—particularly in education and the labor force—and its economic competitiveness.
  • FF2022-21: NG Cash Expenditure Performance, FY 2021
    National Government (NG) cash spending for 2021 totaled P4.7 trillion, a 10.6% increase from 2020. NG spending had consistently grown faster than revenue since 2019 with a double-digit growth year-on-year. Higher NG spending raised the expenditure-GDP ratio to 25.3% from 24.1% in 2020 and 19.5% in 2019. With revenue increasing by 5.2% as expenditure growth waned, deficit growth slowed down to 21.8% from 107.7% in 2020. However, in spite of slower deficit growth, deficit-to-GDP at 9.0% in 2021 is the highest recorded since 1986.
  • FF2022-20: Demographic Profile of Poor Households in the Philippines
    The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) regularly reports the state of poverty in the country using the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES). In the latest available full-year FIES data for 2018, the proportion of households with income below the poverty threshold is about 12.1%. This translates to about three million households living in poverty.
  • FF2022-19: NG Revenue Performance for FY 2021
    The national government (NG) yielded higher-than-expected revenues for full-year 2021 amounting to P3,005.5 billion. This is 4.3% or P124.0 billion higher than target or program of P2,881.5 billion for 2021 (BESF, 2022). Actual tax revenue sources stood at P2,742.7 billion, surpassing its program level by 1.0% or P27.9 billion. Meanwhile, sources derived from non-tax revenues reached P262.8 billion, an improvement of 57.6% or P96.1 billion from its program level of P166.7 billion. The difference may be attributed to higher-than-target collection by Bureau of the Treasury (BTr).
  • FF2022-18: 2021 Foreign Direct Investments
    Net inflows of foreign direct investments (FDI) amounting to US$10.5 billion in 2021 represent a 54.2% year-on-year (YoY) growth from 2020. This is a new record level high for the country as it surpassed the US$10.3 billion net inflows in 2017, reflecting investors’ optimistic outlook on the Philippines’ recovery from the pandemic.
  • FF2022-17: Profile of Philippine External Debt
    External debt as defined by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) refers to all types of borrowings by Philippine residents from non-residents, following the residency criterion for international statistics. It covers debt owed to non-residents, with classification by borrower based on primary obligor per covering loan/rescheduling agreement/ document. The reporting framework used by the BSP is in line with the international standards under the latest External Debt Statistics Guide and the International Monetary Fund's Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (6th edition).
  • FF2022-16: PH Job Displacement Under the Pandemic
    The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through its Online Establishment Reporting System (ERS) and the submissions of their Regional Offices, monitors the level and nature of job displacements nationwide. The DOLE has observed a marked increase in joblessness during the pandemic as the necessary containment measures led to disruptions in work and business operations.
  • FF2022-15: Child Health Services Provision in 2020
    Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, infants and children below five years of age received vital health services that protect them from early childhood diseases and malnutrition. The Field Health Service Information System showed that rural health units (RHUs), urban health centers, districts, and provincial/city hospitals still provided children with vaccination, nutrition supplementation, and basic oral health care. Coverage of some services was lower than the targets, and regional disparities continue.
  • FF2022-14: Ph Debt Portfolio: 2021 Update
    Total national government (NG) debt reached P11.7 trillion in 2021. This is a P1.9 trillion increase from P9.8 trillion in 2020. Total debt growth was faster in 2021 at 19.7% and in 2020 at 26.7% than in 2019 and 2018 when growth rates were below 10%. Of the additional P1.9 trillion debt in 2021, P1.5 trillion is from increase in domestic debt and P457.8 billion is accounted for by external debt. Domestic debt has consistently grown much faster than external debt through the years due to the domestic borrowing program that aims to mitigate foreign exchange risk and support local market development.
  • PB2022-02: Institutionalizing the Philippine Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI)
    The implementation of Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) in the Philippines by virtue of Executive Orders 79, s. 2012 and 147, s. 2013 is gaining ground. However, it is hampered by a number of issues and challenges relating to: (1) participation of extractive companies, (2) disclosures of tax information by extractive companies, (3) confidentiality of beneficial ownership, (4) accuracy and data quality, (5) budget and manpower support to multi-stakeholder group (MSG), (6) distribution of shares in national wealth and delay in releases, and (7) monitoring of social development and management program (SDMP).
  • FF2022-13: Excise Tax on Petroleum Products in the Philippines
    The implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law (RA 10963) increased the excise tax rates on all petroleum products including oil and fuel in three (3) tranches beginning January 1, 2018 to January 1, 2020.
  • FF2022-12: ASEAN 10 Performance in the Henley Passport Index
    There is a widening gap between the global north and the global south when it comes to travel freedoms. The deepening divide in international mobility between wealthier countries and poorer ones was brought into focus late last year (2021) with the onset of the COVID-19 Omicron variant which was met with a raft of punitive restrictions. Travel barriers have been introduced which have resulted in the widest global mobility gap.
  • FF2022-11: Employment Situation Update 2020-2021
    Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, the country registered annual unemployment rates of 10.3% in 2020 and 7.8% in 2021. From 2017 to 2019 or three years prior to the global health crisis, the average unemployment rate was at 5.4%. In terms of the number of unemployed persons 15 years and older, the average was 2.3 million from 2017 to 2019 and 4.1 million from 2020 to 2021, reflecting an increase of 1.8 million.
  • FF2022-10: The Philippines and ASEAN Performance in the Chandler Good Government Index, 2021
    The Chandler Good Government Index (CGGI) is produced by the Chandler Institute of Governance (CIG). It measures the effectiveness and capabilities of 104 governments worldwide. It is made up of 34 indicators which are organized into a framework of seven pillars (Tables 2-8). The CGGI 2021 (first edition in annual series) reports that around the world, citizens’ expectations of their national government are often not met. This could be due to corruption; low state capacity and resources; and lack of planning and implementation skills which hinder regulatory enforcement and public service delivery. The CGGI believed that good national governance and national prosperity are deeply connected and are characterized by three principles: capabilities, opportunities, and public trust.
  • FF2022-09: Inflation of the Bottom 30% Income Households in January 2022
    The headline inflation rate* of the country’s bottom 30% income households (HH) in January 2022 continued easing down to 3.2% from the prior month’s 3.3% (using 2012 prices) according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). It is also lower compared to the 4.9% rate of the same month in January 2021. This is the lowest rate since August 2021 when an uptick in the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages was experienced because of another nationwide lockdown due to the upsurge in COVID-19 cases.
  • FF2022-08: Performance of ASEAN Member States in the Global Food Security Index 2021
    The Global Food Security Index (GFSI) 2021 offers a benchmarking model to assess the level of food security in four dimensions in 113 countries. Food security, as defined in the 1996 World Food Summit, is the state in which people at all times have physical, social and economic access to sufficient and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs for a healthy and active life.
  • PB2022-01: Institutionalizing Digital Health to Promote Universal Health Care
    The Universal Health Care (UHC) Act in February 2019 introduced reforms improving service delivery, ensuring people’s access to quality health services while protecting them from financial and economic difficulty. In some countries promoting UHC, the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in health or eHealth helped cut costs and improved the quality and safety in the provision of health services. eHealth can benefit and enhance the Philippines’ health system by delivering services to the people in novel ways.
  • FF2022-07: Poverty Statistics Update First Semester 2021
    Poverty incidence among Filipinos in the first semester of 2021 increased by 2.6 percentage points to 23.7% from 21.1% in the first semester of 2018 based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data. This was based on a poverty threshold in 2021 of P14,498 for half a year or P2,416.33 per month which represents the amount a Filipino needs, on the average, to meet his basic food and non-food requirements.
  • FF2022-06: Disposition of National Internal Revenue, 2019-2022
    The disposition and allotment of national internal revenue is provided under Title XI of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC). It specifies the deductions from the total collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to determine the amount which is allocable to the national government (NG) and the local government units (LGUs).
  • FF2022-05: The Philippines and ASEAN’s Performance in the Corruption Perception INDEX, 2021
    The 2021 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) reveals that all regions worldwide are at a standstill when it comes to fighting public sector corruption. Many highscoring countries with relatively “clean” public sectors continue to allow transnational corruption (Transparency International, 2021). In the current health crisis, the Transparency International (TI) report stated that the global COVID-19 pandemic has been used in many countries as an excuse to curtail basic freedoms and side-step important checks and balances. To curtail this, TI highlighted the importance of accountability alongside the rollout of economic recovery plans.
  • FF2022-04: 2021 Philippine Trade in Goods
    In 2021, the total trade in goods of the Philippines amounted to US$192.4 billion, a significant 24.1% year-on-year (YoY) growth from 2020. Further, this represents a 5.4% YoY growth compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
  • FF2022-03: 2021 Philippine Economic Performance
    The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded by 7.7% in the fourth quarter of 2021 from a contraction of 8.3% in the same period of 2020, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). Meanwhile, the whole year of 2021 posted 5.6% GDP growth (Figure 1), recovering from the record-breaking 9.6% contraction in 2020. This exceeded the government’s annual growth target of 5.5%, as revised in December 2021. While GDP for year 2021 valued at P18.51 trillion (at constant 2018 prices) is P981.2 billion higher than the 2020 GDP, it is still 4.5% lower compared with its 2019 pre-pandemic level of P19.38 trillion.
  • FF2022-02: The Philippines’ Performance in the 2021 Network Readiness Index
    The Network Readiness Report (2021) features the major redesigned Network Readiness Index (NRI) framework adopted by the Portulans Institute in 2019. The NRI framework provides a holistic view of how countries can leverage the power of digital technologies while building sustainable and inclusive futures. Out of 130 countries, the Philippines’ ranking declined from 74th in 2020 to 83rd in 2021.
  • FF2022-01: Revenue Performance of Property Taxes in Selected ASEAN Countries
    Taxes on property generally cover all types of recurrent and non-recurrent taxes and levies on the use of ownership, and transfer of property. These include (a) recurrent taxes on immovable property, (b) recurrent taxes on net wealth, (c) taxes on estates, inheritances, and gifts, (d) taxes on financial and capital transactions (e.g., stamp, registry fees, property transfer taxes), and (e) non-recurrent and recurrent taxes on property (e.g., betterment levies to capture land value increases) (OECD, 2021: ADB, 2020).

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