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The Movement for Good Governance (MGG) is a coalition of individuals and organizations that
was organized in 2008. Its convergence was sparked by the need to help restore transparency,
accountability, integrity, and honesty in government. Instead of cynicism and indifference, MGG aspired
to provide the spark that will ignite the people’s passion and love of country . MGG believes in
empowering the citizens through objective assessments of candidates running for public office, and
once elected, benchmarking their performance based on their platforms.

MGG started benchmarking the performance of the Aquino administration in 2010 using a
scorecard system to assess the extent to which the administration has implemented the platform of the
President. To help ensure an objective assessment process, scoring is done based on results that are
based on data and not on perceptions. The rating scale that has been used is as follows:

Score Assessment

0 The President has broken his promise.
2.5 There has been very slow or little progress on his promise.
5 Something has been accomplished but is lower than expected.
7.5 The administration is on track and is expected to achieve the target as
10 The target has been achieved as scheduled.

The assessment study is meant not to be a critique but a tool for identifying successes and
alerting government on areas that need strengthening and improvement.

The MGG notes with favor the increasing performance of the Aquino administration in
managing the economy, public finance, and delivery of health services, and in implementing reforms in
governance. No significant improvement has been observed in the development of the agricultural
sector , environmental management, and in the delivery of basic education.

The total score of the performance of the administration is 6.0 which is higher than the score
of 5.77 in 2012.

2010 2011 2012 2013
Economy 4.4 5.66 6.0 6.58
Public Finance 4.93 6.88 5.7 6.03
Health 3.0 3.17 5.5 6.33
Agriculture 5.5 5.5
Environment 4.7 5.2 5.3 5.1
Governance 4.5 6.5 6.62 7.0

The Chairman of the Movement for Good Governance is Prof. Solita Monsod, former Secretary of Planning.
The scorecards of the MGG are found in
Education 5.68 6.10 5.79 5.5
Total 4.69 5.59 5.77 6.00

The MGG lauds the achievement of the targets in the investment to GDP ratio, improving the
global competitiveness of the Philippines particularly in doing business, and the attainment of the peace
agreement with the Bangsamoro. The achievement of the target in employment generation should be
noted with caution since it was attained through a reduction in the target.

MGG notes the progress of the administration in achieving the goals of its infrastructure
program, maintaining macro-stability, provision of universal health care, and attainment of health-
related MDGs.

The programs of the administration in improving governance are sincerely acknowledged. The
government proved its intent to pursue “Tuwid na Daan” through the institution of reforms in budgeting
such as zero-based management, the results based- performance- management system, and providing
the public with broad access to information, especially on how the budget has been disbursed. The
Performance Incentive System that was instituted by Secretary Robredo has been sustained by the DILG
and is in fact being strengthened. Government continues its campaign against corruption through the
filing of cases against those who have alleged to use the PDAF for personal gains. The major criticism
against the administration is its partisanship in carrying the fight against corruption. The fervor in
prosecuting allies has been relatively tame and weak.

MGG notes that efforts are made in achieving the targets in revenue-generation, promoting the
competitiveness of the agricultural sector, provision of post-harvest facilities, and promoting agricultural
development in Mindanao. However, the results of the programs are lower than expected.

Low marks are given on the poverty reduction program, the export to GDP ratio, observance of
the rule of law, control of private armies, the import program on basic commodities like rice, and, bio-
security, i.e. protection of the country from pests, diseases, and toxic substances.

The performance of education was given a lower score of 5.5 compared to 5.79 last year. The
drop in DepED rating in 2014 is due to problems with implementation. The major policy reforms have
been promulgated as law or as DepED directive. It is in the implementation of policy that DepED scored

A lower score was given to the performance of the administration in environmental
management due to the slow pace of reforms in implementing the climate change framework, the poor
post-disaster rehabilitation efforts, reforestation, and provision of safer sources of energy.

MGG emphasizes the need to strengthen the universal health care program of government
noting that 47.6 percent of deaths in the country are unattended by physicians, the low ratio of health
care workers to the population, the high out-of pocket expenses of patients, the high maternal mortality
rate, and the rising cases of AIDS. These are the major challenges that the country faces.

MGG highlights the need for efficient and speedy implementation of the programs of the
administration on environmental management particularly its climate change action program,
reforestation, regulation of investments on mining, and environmental laws.

A. The Economic Scorecard

Introduction. It bears repeating what we said last year: it is to the credit of the Aquino
Administration, that its Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016 is accompanied by the so-called
Results Matrices (RM), which provides measureable targets that will allow monitoring and evaluation of
the progress of the Plan. At the same time, the National Statistical Coordination Board’s “StatDev 2013”
provides a comparison of actual accomplishments with the corresponding targets. This total
transparency makes it much easier for the Movement for Good Governance and all other interested
parties to judge the government’s progress in fulfilling the “Social Contract” of the President with the
Filipino people, on which the PDP is based.

In April 2014, the NEDA released the PDP 2011-2016 Midterm Update, a document which it had
been working on for a year, together with its accompanying RM. The updated plan’s major structural
change was the recognition that the Divide-by-N mentality was not responsive to development
challenges, and that taking spatial in addition to sectoral considerations into account was necessary.

As a result of the updating, at least 41 targeted values in the original RM were changed, 23 of
which were increased and 19 were decreased. Additionally, yearly targets, instead of only end-of-period
targets, were assigned to several indicators.

Among the increased targets were GDP growth rates, from 7%to 8%to 7.5%to 8.5%; poverty
incidence of the population, from 16.6%(the MDG target) to 18%to 20%. A new target is also
introduced: a national savings rate which is targeted at more than 30%. It is noteworthy that the
increase in GDP growth rates is expected to come from industry and services, as shown by the increase
in the growth rate targets for gross value added in these sectors.

Among the major target values which decreased in the update are the following: 1) the
unemployment rate, which was originally targeted 6.8 %to 7.2%and now is amended to 6.5%to 6.7%;
2) the number of employment generated, which was initially at 1,000,000 a year, but reduced to
664,000 to 753,000; and, 3) the inflation rate, targeted at 3%to 5% in the original Results Matrix, and
amended to a lower 2%to 4%. A new employment target is introduced: underemployment, which is
targeted at 17%from the current 19%to 20%. Also reduced were the targets for agriculture and fishery
gross value added (at constant 2000 Prices), the targeted yield of palay (from 4.89 to 4.53 metric tons
per hectare) and sugar, and the volume of fisheries production, both commercial and inland municipal.

From these amended targets, unfortunately, an anomaly becomes immediately obvious. The
PDP 2011-2016 overall aim is “inclusive growth” which is defined as high growth that is sustained, that
massively creates jobs and reduces poverty. The updated Plan has higher growth, but it also allows for
higher poverty incidence and lower employment generated than the original. And this is not just an
oversight, because other updated plan targets are consistent with those outcomes: for example, the
target for agriculture and fishery gross value added has been reduced, which is consistent with the
target of higher population poverty incidence. The higher targeted poverty incidence of at least 1.4
percentage points to 3.4 percentage points translates to 1.4 to 3.4 million additional poor. Thus, instead
of inclusive growth, the updated plan seems to allow jobless growth with increased poverty.

1. GDP Growth for the first three quarters of President Aquino’s 4
Year in office
July 2013 to March 2014). Real GDP grew at 6.9%, 6.3%and 5.7%respectively, with an average growth
rate of 6.3%for the period. Compare this with the performance of the economy for the corresponding
periods in his first (6.4%), second (4.46%) and third (7.4%) year in office.
In last year’s Economic Scorecard, MGG assumed that the economy’s performance followed the typical
J-shaped learning curve, with the PDP growth target of 7-8%being achieved in the third year. And
therefore, the MGG expected that it would be sustained, and even overtaken, following the J-shaped
curve, on his fourth year.

This did not happen, obviously. The growth rate fell from7.4%in the third year to 6.3%in the
fourth year, and has continuous declined quarter by quarter. Thus, sustained high growth has not

GDP by industrial origin. There are sectoral growth rate targets listed in the PDP RM, and
targets for the industry and service sector were increased in the updated version. They are now,
respectively, 9.3%to 10.3%(from 8.1%to 9.0%) and 7.2%to 8.1%(from 7.0%to 7.9%). Agriculture
growth targets, however, have been reduced and are now 2.5%to 3.5%(from 4.6%to 5.7%). What has
the performance been?

The Industry sector turned in a growth rate averaging 7.1%, lower than the targeted 9.3%
minimum for the period, and much lower than the annual target of 9.8%for 2014. Worse, it is lower
than last year’s growth performance.

The Services sector grew by 6.9%, also lower than either the original or the updated targets,
and marginally lower than the 7.1 growth rate turned in last year (for the comparable period). But it is
at the upper end of the 2014 annual target of (6.0-6.9%). Agriculture’s growth rate for the period was
0.77%-- a dismal performance compared to the original and updated targets. But wait: it is way above
the annual target for 2014, which is placed at (0.9)-0.1%. This means that the administration targeted a
contraction of the agricultural sector (growth of negative 0.9%) up to a growth rate of one-tenth of one
percent. It must be emphasized that such a low target for agriculture, impacts on poverty because most
of our poor come from farmers and fisherfolk. Also, agriculture accounts for about 30%of total

Score: 7.0

2. Investment Ratio. The real investment (Real Fixed Capital Formation/GDP) ratio for the three
quarters of year IV of the Aquino’s administration averaged 22.3%(Q3 2013 at 21.3%, Q4 2013 at 21.4,
and Q1 2014 at 24.3%). The target is unchanged at 22.0%by 2016. Thus the target seems to have been
achieved. The past performance is as follows: Year I, 22.9; Year II, 20.9; Year III, 20.8.

The updated plan has a new target, a national savings ratio: it is set at greater than 30%by
2016. However, it is not included in the revalidated RM on macroeconomic policy. It is brought up only
because with a target investment ratio of 22%, a savings ratio of 30%means that the Philippines will be
investing abroad to the tune of 8%of GDP. Another inconsistency?

Score: 10

3. Export/GDP Ratio. This is targeted to reach 64.3%by 2016. What this means is roughly
increasing exports by $9.8 billion a year, or $3.3 billion a quarter (see MGG’s assessment in 2013). The
actual value for the first three quarters of the fourth year of the administration was an average of
45.9%. The comparable figure for the administration’s third year was 44.5%, and 46.7%for the second
year of his administration. Thus, the country is further from the target than it was two years ago. There
doesn’t seem to be any hope for achieving the target.

Score: 2.0

4. Employment Generation. One would have expected that with the increased targeted growth
rates in the Updated plan, the targets for employment generation would increase commensurately, or
at the very least, remain the same. Instead, as mentioned in the Introduction, employment generation
targets decreased from 1.0 million a year to a minimum of 664 thousand, and a maximum of 753
thousand. However, at the same time, the targeted unemployment rate was reduced (the targeted
employment rate was increased) by 0.3 to 0.5%. It is going to be difficult to reconcile these seemingly
inconsistent figures.

The reduction in the employment generation target makes it easier to achieve. Thus, 856
thousand new jobs created in the fourth year of the Aquino administration (July to March). The
updated target has been more than met. And so has the annual 2014 target. Also, the unemployment
target for 2014 was met, with the unemployment for Year IV averaging 6.8. Wage and salaried
employment (an indication of quality) remained steady at an average of 57.5 %of total employment.

The new underemployment target of 17%by 2016 looks achievable, given that the
administration’s performance in Year IV in this regard is 18.7%. The performance in Year III for the
comparable three-quarter period was 20.4%. And more importantly, the target for 2014 is 19.0%.

Given the lower targets, there is no question that they were achieved.

Score: 10.0

5. Income Poverty Reduction: The next set of official statistics on Philippine poverty will not be
released until after the term of the administration. But the decrease in poverty incidence for both
family and population, between 2006-2012, or between 2009-2012 can only be described as very slow,
which the Updated Plan recognizes. The Plan sets --- as necessary but not sufficient conditions for a
meaningful reduction in poverty – sustained periods of high growth (at least ten years), and credible and
effective institutions (good governance). What else are needed? Access to opportunities, which aside
from spatial considerations, includes lowering mobility costs for goods and people, and investments in
education and health that build capabilities regardless of the location of people. What is interesting in
the updated plan is the admission that the Philippines will not meet the first target of the Millennium
Development Goals, which is to half poverty from its 1990 level by 2015. It has increased the targeted
poverty incidence levels from 16.6%to 18-20%. At a population reaching 100 million, this means, as
mentioned earlier, that the Aquino administration is willing to accept anywhere from 1.4 million to 3.4
million more poor than it originally intended.

This is shameful. But it is, unfortunately, only to be expected, with the lower employment
targets and the deliberate reduction of agriculture and fishery targets. All the other attempts at making
growth inclusive will just be band-aid solutions.

Another example of how agriculture is relegated to third class status is shown by the dismal
performance of the Land Acquisition and Distribution (LAD) program under agrarian reform. For 2013,
the target was 160,000 hectares, but only 123,000 hectares were distributed. Worse, only half of this
was private land – which is known to have the most redistributive impact. The target for 2014 is
187,864 hectares, but as of end-June 2014, less than 30%(55,763ha.) had been accomplished.

The only bright light in the poverty situation is the Conditional Cash Transfer Program, which
now serves 4,200,000 families and has extended educational benefits up to the end of high school, at
the expense of over P60 billion pesos. This does not lift the poor out of poverty now, but its effects in
improving health and education capital of the poor will be felt after the Aquino administration. In this
regard, the President’s statesmanship – taking the longer view- must be acknowledged.

Score: 5.0

6. Infrastructure. The updated plan shows the importance of infrastructure development by the
amounts that are being devoted to infrastructure. From a very shaky start in 2011 (where only 52%of
infrastructure outlays were spent while DPWH was tightening its controls to reduce corruption), 2012
saw an increase in infrastructure budget to 2.2%of GDP. The plan targets increases in this percentage
up to 2016, where its aim is to hit 5.1%of GDP.

The bad news is that the annual target for 2014 in the plan is 3.5%of GDP. But the President, in
his budget message only set aside 3%, from 2013’s 2.5%. So target was not met.

The Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) was supposed to supplement this amount. Starting from a
very slow pace – 1 project out of a list of 22 was implemented in Year I of the Aquino administration and
two more were implemented in Year II. As of this year, 7 projects have already been awarded (total
estimated cost: P62.60 B), another 10 already have NEDA Board approval, and the list of projects has
increased to 30.

Score 6

7. Macroeconomic Stability. Two indicators are key here. The fiscal deficit (ratio to GDP) and

The fiscal deficit/GDP ratio is envisioned to be 2.0%of GDP by 2016. Since it was already 2.0%
of GDP in 2011 (from 3.5%in 2010), there doesn’t seem to be too much effort required. In any case, the
ratio for year 2 was 2.3 percent and 1.4 percent in years 4. As of April 2014, it was reported in the
StatDev to be 2.9%.

Since the deficit is the difference between government revenues and expenditures, care should
be taken that the administration does not achieve its deficit targets by expenditure constriction. It
should ensure that revenue targets are met. The original plan target was to increase tax effort to reach
15.6%in 2016, from 12.1%in 2010, or an annual average increase in tax effort of 0.6%of GDP a year.
The annual targets were never met in the first half of the plan, due wholly to the failure of BOC to come
up to speed. In the first quarter of 2014, however, the BOC improved its tax effort to 3.2%, from its
normally dismal levels of 2.6%. The BIR seems to be struggling to keep pace. In spite of this failure to
meet the original tax effort target, the updated plan raised it to 16.1%for 2016. This, according to the
plan, will be met by plugging leakages from individual income tax collections, particularly from the self-
employed. Leakages from VAT, corporate income tax and estate tax hopefully will also be plugged. In
2014, the update target is 14.65%. From all indications, it will not be met.

Much too ambitious, even though a 16%tax effort ratio is the average for selected ASEAN

Score 5

Inflation. The original inflation target was 3-5%, and this has been met. But the updated plan
has changed the target to 2-4%for 2015 and 2016, and achieving that may be problematical,
considering that for the first quarter of 2014, the country’s inflation rate was 4.5%.Score 10

Overall Macro-stability Score: 7.5

8. Governance: The Philippines Compared With Other Countries. The updated, as well as the
original Plan, includes targets of either improving the rank of the Philippines in a world list, or improving
its scores as evaluated by international agencies.

Doing Business. The Plan’s goal is for the Philippines to rank among the top third of the
countries. That means that by 2016, the country will be ranked as 63
out of 189 countries, from being
148 out of 183 in 2010-2011. Progress here has been phenomenal. The 2013-2014 data show the
Philippines ranking 108 out of 189. At this rate, the probability of hitting the target is very good.

Score: 10

Global Competitiveness Index. The Plan’s goal for this index is by 2016 the Philippines will be
ranked 49th out of 148 countries. The country started out at 85 out of 139 in 2010-2011, and it has
reached 59 out of 148 in 2013-2014.

Score: 10

Worldwide Governance Indicators. The updated plan raised the bar on Philippine performance
on three of the six indicators, and lowered it on one. From a target of a 30%improvement from the
baseline rank for all six, the updated target is that the country will be in the 60th percentile or above in
control of corruption and rule of law; in at least the 70th percentile with regard to regulatory quality and
government effectiveness; in the 74th percentile with regard to political stability; and at least the 50th
percentile as regards voice and democracy. The NSCB StatDev opines that the only target we have a
probability of achieving is that of political stability, since as of 2012, we were past the 14th percentile.

Score: 2

Millennium Challenge Scorecard. The Plan’s target for 2016 is to score above the median score
of the countries being evaluated—the reason being that for a country to be eligible for a “compact” (aid
grant) with the Millennium Development Corporation, it must perform above the median or absolute
threshold on at least half of the 20 indicators it lists (Pass Half Overall). It must also score above the
median on the Control of Corruption Indicator, and above the threshold on either the Civil Liberties or
Political Rights indicators (Democratic Rights).

Last year, the Philippines was above the median score in 11 out of the 20 indicators; below the
median in control of corruption, and above the median in democratic rights. This year, the country was
above the median in 10 out of the twenty; below the median in control of corruption, and above the
median in democratic rights. In other words, we deteriorated, although we met the criteria (except for
control of corruption).

Score: 8

World Justice Project Rule of Law Index. The Plan’s target for 2016 is to move from the
bottom- half to the top- half of the regional (East Asia and the Pacific) country rankings. There are 9
factors: limited government powers, absence of corruption, clear publicized and stable laws, order and
security, fundamental rights, open government, regulatory enforcement, access to civil justice, and
effective `criminal justice. Since the base period in 2010, there has been hardly any movement. The
country is still safely ensconced in the bottom- half in all factors. We are 14 out of 15 countries in order
and security, 13 out of 15 in effective criminal justice, and 12 out of 15 in access to civil justice. The
average score for all factors was 0.549 in 2011, 0,495 in 2012, and 5.0 in 2014.

Score: 4

One cannot fail to see the poor performance of the country in overall governance and
combating corruption (the first two indicators more properly belong to business) – at least in the eyes of
the international community. And yet, these are the overarching themes of the Aquino administration

Overall Governance Score: 6.8

9. Others. Among the campaign promises of the President are the following: 1) the DBM Review
and Plan to Reduce Overhead Costs; 2) Department of Agriculture Review of All Programs; 3) Modernize
the Agriculture Sector. They are still awaiting implementation.

Score: 3.

The Peace Agreement (Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro) is a giant step forward,
with potential positive effects on the economy.

Score: 10.

Private armies (PAGs and other threat groups) are still very much alive: 83 in 2010; 81 in 2013
and target number in 2016m 43.

Score: 2

Overall Score for Others - 5

Summary of Economic Scorecard IV, 2014

Real GDP growth rate 7.0
Investment Ratio 10.0
Export/GDP 2.0
Employment Generation 10.0
Poverty Reduction (Income) 5.0
Infrastructure 6.0
Macro-stability 7.5
Governance 6.8
Others 5.0
59.3 /9 =6.58

B. The Public Finance Scorecard

The social contract of the President made little mention of how revenues will be raised and how
expenditures will be managed. The campaign of the Aquino government was no new taxes and no to
increased tax rates. Instead, the government would raise revenues from “curbing and punishing tax
evasion and curbing smuggling”. It had also high hopes from financing infrastructure projects through
Public-Private sector partnerships. The Movement for Good Governance (MGG) benchmarks the
performance of the administration in public finance using its scorecard on governance.

1. Is the Program Effective? The efforts of the President and his economic team are recognized
in the successive upgrades in the investment rating of the country. Credit rating agencies lauded the
declining debt burden, the spending efficiency, the modest gains in revenue generation, low inflation,
strong external liquidity, and the government’s effective monetary framework. The deficit of the
national government was brought down from P242.8 billion to P238.03 billion or 2.0 percent of GDP.
The total deficit of the public sector, i.e. including Bangko Sentral, government financial institutions, and
local governments, is even lower, at P83.5 billion, or 0.7 percent of GDP. These positive developments
have eased the pressure on government to go into debt financing. Net financing, or new borrowings
less amortization payments in 2013 went down significantly to P299.8 billion compared to P468.13
billion in 2012. A score of 10 is given to the Aquino administration in the fiscal stability that it has
brought to government.

The MGG toasts the President for having broken his promise---that his administration will not
raise any new revenue measure. The President demonstrated his responsiveness to the need for
restructuring the excise tax system primarily for health reasons, and to improve its efficiency and
productivity. The restructuring of the taxes on cigarettes, fermented liquor and distilled spirits owes
significantly to the support of the Department of Finance, Department of Health, and Civil Society
Organizations. It is estimated that the “sin tax” added P33.96 billion to the revenues of government in
and has contributed to the increase in the tax effort of government from 12.9 percent in 2012 to
13.5 percent. A score of 10 is given with respect to this accomplishment.

Revenue Program of Government, 2012-2014
To assess the efficiency in tax enforcement, the MGG nets out or subtracts the revenues that
came from the passage of the sin taxes as well as the expected growth in collection owing to the
increase in income (7.2 percent) and prices (3.0 percent). The latter is described as the elasticity of tax
revenues or the automatic increase in collection due to increase in income and prices. Without these
factors, the increase in tax collection would only have been 1.59 percent.

While the BIR has gone to a large extent in going after evaders, the filing of evasion cases has
not yielded significant results. A total of 160 cases have been filed, but “no one has been put in jail
except for one conviction where the person involved is now a fugitive”
The failure in prosecution
reflects the weakness of the justice system in government. Eighty-six percent of the cases (138) are in
various stages of prosecution by DOJ. Twenty cases are pending before various courts while two have
been dismissed by the DOJ because of mistaken identity and the demise of the subject of the complaint.

The other collecting agency of government, the Bureau of Customs (BOC), continues to meet
challenges in effective revenue collection. Its 2013 collection grew by 5.2 percent over last year’s but its
tax effort ratio, or tax to GDP ratio fell from 2.7 to 2.6. The BOC missed its 2013 collection target by
P35.1 billion. The BIR also missed its revenue target by P37.04 billion.

Enforcement of customs laws by BIR continues to be hounded by problems of smuggling and
corruption. The BOC got the worst score in the 2013 SWS survey on the anti-corruption efforts of
government. The 951 executives who were polled across the country downgraded the rating of the BOC
from “bad” to “very bad”. The respondents gave BIR a poor rating.

The MGG rates the effectiveness of BIR as 6 which means something has been accomplished but
is lower than expected. BOC is given a rating of 3.0 which means progress has been quite slow.

Overall, the rating on effectiveness is 5.4. Weights were given to BIR and BOC in accordance
with their contribution to tax collection, 80 percent and 20 percent respectively.

2. Is the Program Empowering? The bottom-up-budgeting of DBM has opened the process of
allocating resources to the participation of local governments and civil society organizations.
Representatives from 1,225 local governments went through the process of identifying and defending
their budgetary priorities. About P20.1 billion in the 2014 budget were allocated based on direct
consultation with communities.

The DBM intensified performance-informed budgeting where performance targets of each
agency are listed in the budget document. Although the targets are still stated in terms of inputs, e.g.
the number of students, instead of outcomes, the program is a major step in developing accountability
of government agencies in terms of the services that they should deliver. In certain cases, the time
within which the services should be delivered, is even specified.

BIR’s collection in 2013 is P121.66 which grew by 15 percent over its 2012 collection of P1, 057.92 billion.
By netting out the revenues from sin taxes, the growth in collection would have been only 11.79 percent. By
subtracting the 10.2 increase due to the 7.2 percent economic growth and 3 percent increase in prices from
11.79 percent gives a residual of 1.59 percent.
Interview of BIR Commissioner Kim Henares in “160 cases filed, not one tax evader in jail but BIR drive is
working”, http:/ / 116743/ 160-cases-filed-not-one-tax evader
The MGG continuously lauds the DBM in terms of its openness with respect to information and
data. The DBM website is a valuable resource in terms of data and information. Policies, statistics,
including releases of funds to agencies and government entities, are publicly posted and are regularly
updated. The same cannot be said for DOF and its agencies. Even details basic data on revenue
collection are not posted on web and are unavailable to the public. The lack of information makes
external assessment difficult.

The MGG notes very little improvement in terms of participatory governance at DOF and its
collecting agencies. Consultations and participation of taxpayers on policies, programs, and regulations
that would affect them are limited.

The MGG rates empowerment at DBM at 10 and maintains a score of 5 to DOF. With equal
weights, the score of the administration on empowerment is 7.5.

3. Is it Fair? The MGG looks with favour on the intention of the Aquino administration to
distribute the tax burden more equitably by its programs to ensure that the self-employed, like the
professionals should pay in accordance with their ability to pay. The MGG notes however, that the
approach taken by government is to revise rules and regulations with little regard for the antagonism
and uncertainty that the practice creates. The classic examples are the collection of VAT on association
dues, the filing of information on passive income, and submission of an affidavit by professionals that
indicate the rates, manner of billings, and the factors they consider in setting their service fees. Lawyers
were required to issue a BIR-registered receipt showing a 100 percent discount to pro-bono clients.
Aside from the horrendous compliance and administrative costs, these regulations were perceived to be
amendments of the law, which can only be made by Congress. As a result, the BIR is taken to court by
taxpayers, and both government and taxpayers spend time and resources that have more productive
uses. The ensuing battle between taxpayers and the BIR have introduced confusion and uncertainty
with respect to tax compliance. The Court of Tax Appeals ruled that condominium dues are not subject
to income tax “since they are merely held in trust and used solely for administrative expenses to protect
the welfare of the owners, lessees and occupants…”
The Supreme Court issued a TRO against the BIR
Revenue Regulation that orders doctors to submit detailed documents on their professional fees.
BIR made the filing of the annual information return which asks for information on the taxpayer’s
incomes optional in 2014. The Makati Regional Trial Court declared the Revenue memorandum Circular
of BIR no. 65-2012 that subjected condominium corporation to VAT and income tax as invalid.
Taxpayers have been asking: “Ano ba talaga?” The confusion and lack of certainty open opportunities
for the use of discretion by both taxpayers and tax officials. The result is an unfair application of tax

Fairness is noted in the pro-poor expenditure program of government. The major share of the
2013 budget, 31.0 percent went to the provision of social services. Education got the lion’s share of
almost 15 percent with the objective of hiring more teachers, addressing the classroom shortage and
providing adequate instructional materials to students. The administration broadened the reach of the
Cash Conditional Transfer to broaden the chances of the poor to obtain secondary education.

The MGG rates fairness of the administration of tax laws as 5, and the fairness of the budget as
7.5 with a total of 6.25.

Zinnia Dela Pena, The Philippines Star, June 23,2014
Camille Diola, The Philippine Star, June 3, 2014

4. Is it Ethical? The MGG recognizes the expressed intent of the Aquino Administration in using
a Disbursement Acceleration Program in pump-priming the economy, in supporting the needy, and in
improving the delivery of health and education services. While saying this, we note the ruling of the
Supreme Court that declares part of the DAP as unconstitutional:
 The withdrawal of unobligated allotments from the implementing agencies and the declaration
of the withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings prior to the
end of the fiscal year and without complying with the statutory definition of savings contained
in the General Appropriations Act
 Cross-border transfers of savings of the executive department to offices outside the executive
 Funding of projects, activities, programs not covered by appropriations in the General
Appropriations Act
The MGG has strong biases for the respect for the rule of law as well as the need to strengthen
institutions not only for ethical reasons, but to promote stability and governance.

MGG gives the administration a score of 5 on the management of expenditures.

Public Finance Scorecard

Is it effective? 5.4
Is it empowering? 7.5
Is it Fair? 6.25
Is it ethical 5
Total 6.04

C. Scorecard on Health

In the last four years under President Aquino’s leadership, we have seen the health sector
improve slowly but surely each year. Since the start of its implementation, the Universal Health Care
(UHC) or Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (KP) program has worked towards achieving three main goals: better
health outcomes, a more responsive health system, and more equitable healthcare financing.

Led by the Department of Health, the Aquino administration has strived to curtail the rising
costs of healthcare by increasing the number of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth)
enrollees, improving the delivery of benefits, and streamlining the government’s efforts to ensure that
every Filipino receives affordable, accessible, and adequate quality health service, limiting the out-of-
pocket spending and expanding financial risk protection.

However, even with record-setting budgets and a collective outpouring of financial resources
into the health sector, its absorptive capacity remains a significant issue. The "poverty thinking"
paradigm still persists in our culture and in the higher echelons of decision-making. Health managers,
both in the private sector and in government, continue to operate mostly with a reactive, instead of a
proactive, mindset and consequently, have not shifted their strategies with a resource-rich environment
for health in mind. Last year, we mentioned that the Aquino government had made significant strides at
the midway mark of the current administration, but these efforts remain a long way from achieving
“health for all.”

This is the fourth installment in a series of annual evaluations on the health sector by members
of the Movement for Good Governance (MGG) during the incumbency of President Aquino where we
provide a truthful, impartial, and inclusive assessment of the achievements of the Aquino administration
based on his electoral promise to his “bosses”, the Filipino people, and as set forth in the Aquino Health
Agenda (AHA).

1. Rapid expansion in National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) enrollment and benefit delivery
using national subsidies for the poorest families

The 57.9%increase in the budget of the Department of Health (DOH) from P53-billion in 2013 to
P83.7-billionin 2014 shows the commitment of the Aquino government to increase public health
spending. It is proof that the Aquino government is committed to providing Filipinos with substantial
health benefits and better services through existing and planned priority health programs. This record-
setting budget increase is easily attributed to significant increase in the excise tax collection during the
first year of implementation of the Republic Act 10351 or the Sin Tax Law. The revenues generated are
being used to fund PhilHealth premiums for all Filipinos, upgrade health facilities and government
hospitals, expand immunization programs, and hire health workers to support widespread delivery of
health services. Within the overall DOH budget, health spending for non-communicable disease
prevention and control has increased to P586-million, while P35.3-billion has been allotted for funding
PhilHealth premiums of 14.7 million indigent families. All of these point to a prioritization of the health
care needs of the underprivileged, sick, elderly, persons with disabilities (PWDs), women, and children.

In the first quarter of 2014, President Aquino led the launch of the Alaga Ka para sa Maayos na
Buhay (AlagaKa) advocacy program. This is a campaign to ensure that the poorest of the poor become
aware of how to avail health services in rural health units and local health centers. It was also designed
to provide micronutrient supplements, maternal and neonatal care packages, family planning services,
and tuberculosis treatment packages. In addition, the Primary Care Benefit program called Tamang
Serbisyo para sa Kalusugan ng Pamilya (TSeKaP) allows Filipinos to avail of preventive and promotive
service packages that include blood pressure monitoring, breastfeeding and lifestyle modification
counseling, breast and cervical cancer screening services, and digital rectal exams, which are all aimed to
keep everyone healthy and to help detect illnesses earlier. However, despite the incremental progress
since President Aquino assumed office in 2010, there are still a number of challenges in achieving
universal health care in the Philippines.

Top DOH officials have expressed confidence that PhilHealth enrollment will increase to 90%by
the end of 2014 (projected to be at 95%by 2016 based on PhilHealth’s medium-term plan), but this only
represents a 5%increase since May 2012. Private hospitals continue to experience major delays in
receiving payments from PhilHealth. It takes at least six months to process claims from health facilities,
instead of the maximum 60 days. Moreover, based on the global health expenditure database of the
World Health Organization (WHO), the Philippines continues to have an extremely high out-of-pocket
expenditure rate of 52%(as a percentage of total health expenditure). The case-based payment scheme
currently being implemented by PhilHealth suggests that strategies are in place to move in the right
direction, ideally towards a situation where all Filipinos will have zero co-payments, no balance billing,
and being able to avail of primary care benefits at a consistent basis.

2. Improved access to quality hospitals and healthcare facilities through accelerated upgrading
of public health facilities

In December 2013, the DOH was awarded the ISO 9001:2008 certification by the Certification
International Philippines, Inc. and received the distinction as the first government agency in the
executive branch to have met the international standards for Quality Management System. This means
that the DOH currently uses an integrated and seamless network of processes to ensure that the
management system operates effectively in achieving performance goals. Being ISO certified is a
remarkable accomplishment for the DOH and confirms the government’s commitment to working
towards universal health care for all Filipinos. Additionally, for calendar year 2014, the government has
allocated more than P9.0 billion as part of the health facilities enhancement program to upgrade the
infrastructure and equipment in 1,527 barangay health stations, 1,009 rural health units, and 383 local
government hospitals in 17 regions of the country. While these are impressive, an examination of the
2012 Philippine Health Service Delivery profile shows that only 4 of the 17 regions have an acceptable
hospital bed to population ratio. Also, less than 18,000 barangays (around 42%) of the total of 42,028 in
the Philippines have existing health centers.

Together with the lack of necessary medicine, medical supplies, and emergency equipment,
improving access to quality healthcare facilities with effective management of health human resources
remains a pipe dream. Although the government has tried to address the need for improvements in
health facilities and equipment to deliver accessible and affordable services, there can essentially be no
access to health care if there are no healthcare workers to provide services. To achieve equity in health
care, health care professionals must first be available (at least one midwife or nurse per barangay) and
then services must be accessible (through PhilHealth outpatient care benefits). With about 47.6%of
deaths among Filipinos unattended by a medical doctor or any healthcare provider, improvements in
health human resource management must be swiftly prioritized.

Lack of healthcare personnel continues to persist with midwives only able to visit their barangay
health center posts three times a week at the most. The current set-up of the Nurses Deployment
Project of 2014 (NDP) ( which replaces the Registered Nurses for Health Enhancement and Local Service
(RNHeals) program) after its four-year implementation, and the Doctors to the Barrios (DTTB) program
only temporarily addresses the lack of health personnel especially in geographically isolated and
disadvantaged areas. Moreover, only 11,000 items have been created under the 2014 DOH budget
versus the desired 24,000 items needed to fill the gap of having one nurse or midwife per barangay.

The Coalition for Primary Care, a group comprised of former health secretaries, members of the
Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), civil service organizations, and different health care groups,
recently delivered a “State of the Nation’s Health Address” and has declared a health human resources
crisis. The government’s inability to build on the country’s healthcare workforce continues to be a major
barrier to attaining its targets for the MDGs. At the core of achieving universal healthcare are people --
Filipinos caring for their fellow countrymen, -- and it starts with primary care. Of the total number of
healthcare professionals actively practicing and registered with the Professional Regulation Commission
(PRC), only about 4.5%of the 66,000 physicians, 1% of the 500,000 nurses, and 22.9%of the 74,000
midwives in the country are working in a public health facility as of 2013. This translates to less than
three healthcare workers attending to the needs of a population of 10,000, which is 10 times less than
the 24 healthcare workers per 10,000 population recommended by the WHO. International healthcare
worker migration, causing brain drain, as well as urban healthcare worker migration are still prevalent
with the Philippines continuing to supply around 25%of the need for nurses abroad. It has been
estimated that at least 70%of Filipino nursing graduates are working overseas.

Recommended solutions include the following: formation of a separate National Commission on
Health Human Resources Development to review, update, and make medium-term and long-term
recommendations based on National Health Human Resources Policy and Development Plan; formation
of high-level multi-lateral agreements between the Philippines and other countries on health human
resource management; creation of a national as well as a local government-based registry of all PRC-
registered health professionals, including current place of practice; implementation of a health sciences
education reforms program; creation of a national council for health professionals to act as an oversight
body for the implementation of laws, rules, and regulations concerning health sciences education and
continuing professional education; updating the Health Human Resource Master Plan for 2005-2030.

3. Attainment of the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by applying
additional effort and resources in localities with high concentration of families who are unable
to receive critical public health services

Sadly, the Philippines will most likely not meet all of its MDG commitments by next year,
especially in reducing maternal mortality and addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

According to the WHO, the Philippines has one of the worst maternal mortality rates in Asia with
120 mothers dying per 100,000 live births. Granted that this number is lower than the 221 deaths per
100,000 births recorded in 2011, this is still way off the 2015 MDG target number of less than 55
maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births. Furthermore, teen pregnancy has been observed to be on
the rise with 9.5%of women, between the ages of 15 to 19 years old, either pregnant or having already
given birth according to the 2011 Family Health Survey. This is problematic since adolescent mothers are
found to be four times more likely to die from complications during labor than adult pregnant women.

Results of the 2013 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) also showed the
existence of a geographical disparity: women in urban areas generally have their first prenatal
visit earlier than women in rural areas. Only 62%of women who had given birth in the five years
preceding the survey were able to follow the recommended timing of the first prenatal visit. Although
10 of the 17 regions in the country posted significant increases in the percentage of facility-based
deliveries, ranging from 18%to 28%, only three regions showed remarkable increases in the percentage
of births with skilled attendants, namely, Eastern Visayas, SOCCSKSARGEN, and Cordillera Administrative
Region (CAR). The percentage of deliveries by health professionals is also higher in urban areas (83%)
than in rural areas (64%) with deliveries in ARMM, MIMAROPA, Zamboanga Peninsula, and
SOCCSKSARGEN still the least likely to be assisted by a health professional and the least likely regions
where deliveries take place in a health facility.

Hence, the upholding of the Republic Act No. 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and
Reproductive Health Act of 2012 earlier this year by the Supreme Court represents a significant first step
in reducing the number of mothers dying annually. Studies have shown that births attended by at least
a skilled birth attendant (SBA) are crucial in reducing maternal mortality. Finding an enduring solution
to the lack of healthcare personnel at the barangay level may help the country reach its 2015 MDG

For child mortality, the Philippines has made significant progress in reducing infant mortality
and has a good chance of reachingits target numbers for MDG 4. Along with breastfeeding campaigns,
infant and young child feeding, and integrated management of childhood illnesses being implemented
by the DOH, the Philippines is hoping to reduce child mortality by 67%by 2015 from its 1990 level. The
2013 NDHS infant mortality estimate of 23 deaths per 1,000 live births and under-five mortality
estimate of 31 deaths per 1,000 live births show that the Philippines is close to its MDG 4 targets of
having an infant mortality rate of 19 deaths per 1,000 live births and under-five mortality rate of 27
deaths per 1,000 live births by 2015. However, using time-distance measurements, the country is about
3 months behind our target for under-five mortality rate and at least 1 year behind our target for infant
mortality rate.

Last year, the DOH launched the DOHbol time Laban saPulmonya campaign to address the
alarming number of infant deaths caused by pneumonia each year. Under the program, some 2.4 million
infants will be given free vaccinations as part of the Expanded Program on Immunization, which has a
P2.4-billion budget allocation. President Aquino signed Republic Act 10152 or the Mandatory Infants and
Children Health Immunization Act into law, which provides free vaccinations for children 5 years old and
below.But efforts should be intensified especially for child vaccinations because the 2013 NDHS results
showed that children in ARMM are less likely to receive all vaccinations compared to children in other
regions (29%in ARMM vs. 47%-84%in other regions).

In relation to reaching the targets set for MDG 6, the Philippines might not be able to achieve
these as it continues to experience an HIV/AIDS epidemic. In 2013, the total number of HIV cases was
4,814 including 179 deaths, with 28% of deaths occurring in the 25- to 29-year old age group. This
represents a 52.7%increase from 2012 (3,152).

Comparing the milestones reached and the progress made in the health sector vis-à-vis the
implementation gaps, here are our scores:

1. Universal Health Care Roadmap through a refocused
PhilHealth program
2. Improved access to quality hospitals and health care
3. Attainment of health-related MDGs 4,5,6 7
Total Score 19
Average Score 6.33

The current rating indicates that the targets set by President Aquino at the four-year mark of his six-year
administration for Kalusugan Pangkalahatan have not been fully achieved. Although most of the
achievements in Year 4 can be traced back to the groundwork laid by the passage and first-year
implementation of the RPRH and Sin Tax laws, there has been minimal progress in the past year
compared to previous years. With only two years left, the government needs to come up with
innovative strategies to help President Aquino fulfill his 2010 promise to his “bosses”, the Filipino

D. The Scorecard on Agricultural Development

Overview. The Philippine agriculture and fishery accounted for 11.2 percent of gross domestic
product in 2013 (current terms). Farm lands occupy about 12 million hectares (ha),
of which palay,
coconut and corn accounted for about 80 percent. Agriculture labor force stood at 11.87 million on
April 1, 2014, or about 31 percent of total labor force. Exports from the agricultural sector comprised
about 10 percent of total merchandise exports.

The Philippine poverty rate was about 25 percent in 2013. The rate is highest among peers in
Southeast Asia. Various studies indicate that nearly 70 percent of the poor reside in the rural areas, and
most of them are directly and indirectly dependent on agriculture and fishery. Among the poorest are
coconut farmers, fisherfolks, upland dwellers and landless workers.

The sector was saddled by general weaknesses in productivity and crop diversification. Agri-
processing that creates non-farm jobs are saddled by lack of raw materials. These are decades-old
problems, and the Aquino government has realized the impact of sound projects on inclusive growth.
Rural infrastructure and delivery of credit continue to be barriers. There are initiatives that address
these concerns, e.g. tree crop development and agriculture research. Their impact has long a gestation

Box 1. Helping small farmers

Raising smallholder productivity is a strategic necessity, but attempts to raise productivity will be
limited if access by smallholder linkages to markets are not strengthened simultaneously. Similarly,
strengthening market linkages will have little benefit with existing low levels of productivity
improvement. Improving smallholder productivity is not only about moving the technology frontier
outward. It is also about closing the gap between the frontier and what smallholder producers actually
achieve in practice.

Reducing poverty and enhancing food security require greater smallholder integration into
markets and more inclusive value chains since, without these, adoption of new technologies and
productivity growth will be limited.

However, markets and value chains are not static. They are also changing with the growing
importance of the formal sector. Higher quality standards, higher value products, traceability and
contracts are all becoming part of the even more demanding environment that smallholders need to
adapt to, even in their local markets. (Arias et al, 2013, FAO)

MGG assesses the performance of the agriculture sector from three perspectives: its overall
growth and the accomplishments under the President’s action plan; and the programs for Mindanao.

World Bank Atlas

1. Sector Growth. Agriculture
grew by only 1.1 percent in 2013 compared to 2.8 percent in
2012. Palay, poultry and livestock boosted the sector’s growth. On the other hand, coconut, sugarcane
and banana marred the performance.

The first quarter 2014 growth was only 0.9 percent. The UA&P Center for Food and Agri
Business forecasts only 1.5 to 2.5 percent growth for 2014.

Table 1. Growth in Agriculture Value Added (in real terms), per year
Country 2001-2010
2011 2012 2013
Philippines 2.9 2.6 2.8 1.1
Indonesia 3.5 3.4 4.0 3.5
Malaysia 3.0 5.9 0.8 2.4
Thailand 2.2 4.1 3.8 1.4
Vietnam 3.6 4.0 2.7 2.7
Myanmar 8.3 -0.7 2.0 …
Cambodia 5.1 3.1 4.3 4.0e
Source: ADB, World Bank

Score: 5.0. The growth of 1.1 percent was lower than past record and heavily trails ASEAN

1.2. Sector Employment. In the process of economic growth, agriculture employment is
expected to decline as surplus workers migrate to the urban centers to take on industrial and services

In an April 2014 survey, agriculture employment rose by 2.8 percent to 11.87 million in 2014 from
11.55 million in 2013. The January survey showed an increase of 1.2 percent, 10.93 million from 10.80
million. However, underemployment rose to 67.7 percent of agriculture workforce in April 2014 from
64.2 percent in April 2013.

Table 2. Agriculture Employment, 2013 and 2014
January 2013 April 2013 January 2014 April 2014
Agriculture, million 10.80 11.55 10.93 11.87
%of Total

Working less than 40 hours a
week (%)
64.2 67.7
Working 40 hours or more (%) 34.1 30.5

Score: No score. In development experience, employment in agriculture should decline in
absolute terms due to rural-urban migration. If the Government addresses investments in
manufacturing and services (e.g. tourism), the employment problem can be adequately addressed. Farm

Agriculture, fishery and forestry
employment can only absorb part of the expansion in rural labor force. Rural-based manufacturing
which is linked to agriculture is one focus area.

The rise of under employment is worrisome.

1.3. Benchmarking Sector Competitiveness--(Agriculture’s long term problem)

The Philippines dismally lags behind ASEAN peers in agri-food exports. This is a result of many
decades of limited support for crop diversification by various administrations. This was exacerbated by
the lack of vision of past presidents (from Marcos to Aquino) who paid lip service on the role of crop
diversification and exports in poverty reduction. Today, three crops –rice, corn and coconut - account
for over 80 percent of farmlands. The Philippines is a notable laggard in absolute and relative measures.
Below is the comparative statistics with peer countries. The country lags behind all its peer countries in
export intensity.

Table 3. Agri-Food Export and Per Capita Measures, 2013



Land (‘000
Export per
capita, US$
Export per
Philippines 3.1 6.1 98.4 11,986 62 509
Indonesia 22.0 40.5 249.9 54,528 162 743
Malaysia 18.5 32.4 29.7 7,885 1,090 4,110
Thailand 23.6 47.8 67.0 21,508 713 2,220
Vietnam 10.9 24.1 89.7 10,759 269 2,240
Note: Includes natural rubber and products
Source: UN Trademap, World Bank

Since crop diversification is a long term process, the Aquino administration must lay the
groundwork towards the achievement of significant strides in the future.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) is trying to do its share. But the intent is not supported by
financial wherewithal. First, the shift to food staples sufficiency plan from rice self-sufficiency will help
diversify production and exports. Food staples include rice, white corn, banana, cassava, camote and
gabi. The said staples other than rice are less water-intensive and have better nutritive value than rice.
They also have high multiplier effects. Banana can be processed into chips for exports. Cassava can be
used as food and feed or starch.

Second, there is greater appreciation now of tree crops (coconut, cacao, coffee and rubber). Tree
crops are anchors in agriculture development and rural poverty reduction in Southeast Asia. The DA has
funded benchmarking studies in coffee and rubber. It is considering studies on other commodities so
that value chain improvements and competitiveness will be the basis for budget support and results-
based monitoring. The key is to translate vision into action.

A far greater challenge is the weak municipal LGU institutions that are supposed to deliver extension
services to farmers and fishers. Reliance on town mayors to address agri- development is severely
flawed. In Vietnam, the center for extension services is the province where scale economies are
possible in terms of expertise, professional career, and program management.

Another area is agriculture research. There are only two good public institutions in the country: the
Philippine Rice Research Institute and the Philippine Carabao Center. In the ASEAN, major export crops
have world-class research institutes: rubber research (Malaysia, India, Indonesia and Thailand), coffee
research (Vietnam and Indonesia), and cacao (Indonesia). The Philippines has none yet for coconut,
coffee and rubber.

Score: 5.0.Lack of support for tree crops development, weak agriculture extension and
research systems are decades-old problems that require long-term solutions. The Aquino government
would not be able to address these fully by 2016.

1.4. Organization. The DA has been saddled with changes in leadership every six years. This has
affected strategic directions and program continuity. It must transform itself into a meritocratic
organization. Perhaps, a most urgent task is the implementation of the rationalization plan (RatPlan)
which has been shelved by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo since 2004. Today, over 50 percent of DA
staffs are “job order,” that is, they are hired like “contractuals” but can be terminated anytime. In one
program, only the Director is permanent; the rest are job orders. The system does not attract talents;
there are no benefits and no career paths.

Score: No score. The RatPlan has yet to be implemented.

Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agriculture Modernization. The appointments of
professionals with good track records –rather than political connections- to the National Food Authority,
the National Irrigation Administration and the Philippine Coconut Authority - are excellent steps in the
right direction.

NFA Administrator Arthur Juan was president of San Miguel Foods. Engr. Florencio Padernal was
former BCDA chair and World Bank consultant. Mr. Romeo Arancon was former Executive Director of
Asia Pacific Coconut Community in Jakarta.

Score: 9. The actions of Sec. Francis Pangilinan are highly commendable. He trusted the Search
Committee comprising former NEDA Sec. Habito, former DA Sec. Bacani and former PDWH Sec. Fiorello

1.5. Delayed Imports. The low inventory of rice at the start of 2014 should have triggered
higher imports but this did not happen. Also, palay prices surpassed P20 per kilo, which means that rice
could only be sold at least P40 per kilo to make some margins. This is because the conversion of palay to
rice is only 60%. Thus, the raw material cost alone is already P33.30 per kilo.

The poor supply-demand analytics of garlic caused very high prices. Smuggling has always been
a way of life for garlic. In 2013, official data from China showed it exported 68,000 tons of garlic. Official
(NSO) data showed the Philippines imported only 2,500 tons! Smuggling and recycling of import permits
occurred. These did not cause high prices. Landed cost of garlic in 2013 was about P38 per kilo. It went
down to about P30 in 2014. Why garlic was sold at a high price was a result of the low level of import
permits granted, the very high “illegal” customs fees, and the need to cover the risk of getting caught
smuggling. According to a source, the “lagay” reached about P 1 million per 25 foot container of P40 per

Score: 2.5. Things could be better.

Bio-Security. The global standard is that food imports into the country are subjected to pre-
inspection by the Quarantine inspector before the goods are inspected by the Bureau of Customs.
This is to secure the country from pest, diseases and toxic substances.

Score. 2.5. Despite incessant requests by the DA for years, the Bureau of Customs has refused
to institute this measure.

2. Assessment of the Action Plan of the President: From the Inaugural Address in mid-2010

2.1. Address infrastructure gaps in farm to market roads (FMRs), irrigation and post harvest

Farm-to-market roads (FMRs). The DA budget has increased to P12 billion in 2014 from
PhP8.285 billion in 2013. However, execution is delayed due to lack of basic analytics of inter-
connectivity. Meanwhile, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has included in the
General Appropriations Act (GAA) the provisions in Box 2. Farm roads must inter-connect with roads to
the markets or ports. This is a good provision in order to minimize congressional “persuasions” on road
alignments that do not make sound economic sense. Network plans for FMRs are reportedly underway
in coordination with LGUs.

Box 2. Implementation of Farm-to-Market Road Projects

The appropriations provided intended for the repair, rehabilitation and construction of farm-to-market
roads (FMRs) shall be released upon submission by the DA to DBM of a network plan for FMRs: PROVIDED,
That the DA shall prepare the network plan for FMRs, in coordination with the LGUs and resident-farmers
and fisherfolks taking into account the number of farmers and fisherfolks and their families who shall
benefit there from and the amount, kind and importance of agricultural and fisheries products produced in
the area: PROVIDED, FURTHER, That the DA shall prioritize (i) the areas where the majority of small
farmers registered under the Small Farmers Registry System are located; (ii) the locations where there are
a large number of subsistence fisherfolks as determined by the DA; and (iii) the provinces or regions where
the absolute number of poor farmers and/ or fisherfolks and the incidence of poverty are high as identified
in the latest official poverty statistics of the NSCB: PROVIDED, FURTHERMORE, That the implementation of
FMRs shall be based on the appropriate construction design prepared by the DA: PROVIDED, FINALLY, That
for the construction of FMRs, the LGUs shall provide a counterpart of not less than ten percent (10%) of the
project cost, subject to their IRA level pursuant to Section 52 of R.A. No. 8435.

The Secretary of Agriculture shall be responsible for ensuring that the network plan for FMRs, FMRs
to be constructed for the year with the corresponding budgetary allocation, community of farmer and
fisherfolk beneficiaries, status of implementation, and project evaluation and/ or assessment reports are
posted on the official website of the DA.

Source: DBM. 2012 GAA

Irrigation. Total irrigated areas increased by 3.2 percent or 52,088 hectares to 1,678,595
hectares in 2013 as compared to 1,626,507 hectares in 2012. The budget for irrigation increased to
PhP27, 329 million in 2013 from PhP24, 605 million in 2012, up by 11.0 percent. About 80 percent of the
budget went to locally funded projects. In 2012, total irrigated area increased by about 55,600 hectares.
The increase was highest in the Visayas. Mindanao had lower irrigation development.

The DBM guidelines (Box 3) could not be fully implemented due to uncompleted Small Farmers’
Registry. There must be good geographic tagging and implementation monitoring of locally funded
irrigation to minimize undue“influences” from the powers-that-be.

Table4. Irrigation Development, 2012 and 2013
In hectares



%Increase %Irrigation Dev’t
Luzon 1,044,854 1,066,978 22,124 2.1 60.5
Visayas 211,885 220,785 8,900 4.2 69.0
Mindanao 369,770 390,832 21,062 5.7 41.7
Total 1,626,507 1,678,595 52,088 3.2 55.6
Source: National Irrigation Administration. Please refer to Annex for details

Box 3. Implementation of Irrigation Projects

The budget shall be released directly to the NIA implementing units upon submission of the list of priority
production areas where the irrigation projects are to be implemented and shall be used directly and
exclusively for the restoration, rehabilitation and construction of irrigation projects: PROVIDED, That, in
no case shall said amount be used for engineering or administrative overhead expenses nor be realigned
to augment any PS or MOOE requirements.

In the identification of priority production areas, the NIA shall include the following: (i) areas
where the majority of small farmers registered under the Small Farmers Registry System are located; and
(ii) provinces or regions where the absolute number of poor farmers and the incidence of poverty are high
as identified in the latest official poverty statistics of the NSCB: PROVIDED, That irrigation projects shall,
as much as possible, be implemented by qualified irrigator’s associations which have the capacity to
undertake irrigation projects: PROVIDED, FURTHER, That in the hiring of workers for the implementation
of irrigation projects, priority shall be given to the foregoing indigent small farmers. Moreover, the NIA
shall formulate a strategy to ensure the timely implementation of irrigation projects during the planting
and harvest season such as, but not limited to, the clustering of irrigation projects for cost efficiency in the
procurement thereof and effective management and implementation of said projects.

The Administrator of NIA shall be responsible for ensuring that the list of irrigation projects to be
constructed with the corresponding budgetary allocation, community of farmer beneficiaries, status of
implementation, and project evaluation and/ or assessment reports are posted on the official website of
the NIA.

Source: DBM. 2012 GAA

Score: 8.0.The construction of FMRs was reportedly assigned to DPWH. Expansion of
irrigated areas was sustained.

Post-harvest facilities (PHF). The master plan is being formulated but prioritization
cannot be made as the Farmers’ Registry is not yet ready (Box 4). Data on PHF could not be
readily compiled as various agencies are engaged with their specific programs.

Box 4.Implementation of Post-harvest Development Services and Facilities

The DA shall prepare a master plan for the post-harvest development services and facilities in
coordination with the LGUs and resident-farmers and fisherfolks and taking into account the types of
crops harvested and fish species, the facilities needed to preserve the quality of crops and fish species and
reduce post-harvest loses, and such other factors affecting optimum level of crop production and fish
preservation: PROVIDED, That the DA shall prioritize (i) the areas where the majority of small farmers
registered under the Small Farmers Registry System are located; (ii) the locations where there are a large
number of subsistence fisherfolks as determined by the DA; and (iii) the provinces or regions where the
absolute number of poor farmers and/ or fisherfolks and the incidence of poverty are high as identified in
the latest official poverty statistics of the NSCB. The amounts appropriated herein for the National
Program for Rice, for Corn, for High Value Commercial Crops, and for Livestock shall be released only upon
submission by the DA to the DBM of the foregoing master plan.

Source: DBM. 2012 GAA

The impact could be medium to long term. Investments in the countryside are saddled by infrastructure
constraints, weak governance by LGUs, peace and order, and land access.

Score: 5.0

2.2. Provide post-harvest facilities to coconut and rice farmers and make available processing
facilities to coastal fishers and aquaculturists.

This is highly challenging. This target is too general and poorly defined.

Score: 4.0

2.3. Every 1,000 hectares of corn land will be serviced by at least one corn drier.

To date, the Government (DA) through the National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR) has
built several corn centrals that are good for about 20,000 ha. There are 16 operating corn centrals and
three are under construction by NABCOR. There is a long way to go as there are 2.6 million hectares of
harvested corn areas. To expand coverage, the government should encourage private investments
under public-private partnerships (PPP).
Score: 2.5. The President over-committed on this target. This is not a walk in the park. Total
corn harvested areas may require over 2,000 large shelling-cum-drying plants.


3.1. Transform Mindanao into a modern agricultural center and the nation’s food basket.

Every administration has included as a priority program. This is an extremely subjective target.
There are no metrics yet. Metrics must be defined for this strategic goal. Transformation requires
sustained increases in infrastructure investments, more private investments in farms and processing,
and better business climate. Mindanao is nowhere there yet.

Score: 5.0

3.1. Expand irrigation facilities to service at least one-half of 700,000 hectares of farms in
Mindanao that need to be irrigated.

Mindanao had a total irrigated area of 390,823 hectares as of end-2013. This represented 41.7
percent of the total irrigable area of 937,613 hectares. This was 5.7 percent higher than 2012. The
remaining potential is 546,790 hectares. Scientifically, this hectarage must be subjected to water

In the context of inclusive growth and poverty reduction among the Lumads, Muslims and
Christians in Mindanao, the trade-off of building new systems versus planting more tree crops and fruit
trees in Mindanao must be seriously reviewed. What option has a stronger poverty impact?

Score: 7.5

3.2. Establish state enterprises that will partner with potential private investors or extend
guarantees to them to spread the risks.

This goal is difficult to measure. First, why establish new state enterprises to extend guarantees? There
is the Small Business Corporation under the Department of Trade and Industry that guarantees loans to
small and medium enterprises; the Agriculture Guarantee Loan Fund lodged with the Land Bank; and en,
the bankrupt Quedan Guarantee and Finance Corporation. Second, the private sector is not receptive to
more state enterprises.

No score.


On the basis of the foregoing assessment, the overall score for agricultures 5.5.

Way Forward

There have been significant developments in the sector over the past three years. First, the DA
budget has dramatically increased. Second, the decline in irrigated areas has been reversed, and there
has been expansion. Third, there is refocusing to food staples (rice, corn, banana, camote, cassava and
gabi) sufficiency from rice self-sufficiency. Fourth, there is growing appreciation of crop diversification,
especially tree crops.

The problems of the agriculture sector are not only a problem within the DA. They also span the
challenges of rural development agencies in roads, extension services (under municipalities), research,
smuggling, bio-security, land access, credit delivery and others.

The Government must act with dispatch against smuggling and the resistance by the Bureau of
Customs regarding import pre-inspection by Quarantine officers that will safeguard the country’s bio-

Much remains to be done if agriculture would contribute to inclusive growth. There is need to:
invest more in infrastructure and tree crops; strengthen agriculture research and development; address
the DA rationalization plan; center the extension service at the provincial level rather than the municipal
levels; and rebuild the DA bureaucracy, among others.

E. Scorecard on Environmental Management

A. Introduction. President Aquino has made at least five (5) campaign promises related to the
environment, to wit:
1. Caring for the Environment. From allowing environmental blight to spoil our cities, where both
the rich and the poor bear with congestion and urban decay to planning alternative, inclusive of
urban development where people of varying income levels are integrated in productive, healthy,
and safe communities.

2. Sustainable Resources. From a government obsessed with exploiting the country for immediate
gains to a government that will encourage sustainable use of resources to benefit the present
and future generations.
During the campaign, President Aquino made 24 additional and more specific promises
3. Strictly enforce environmental laws. In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, 2010, the
President vowed to make disaster preparedness and the strict enforcement of environmental
laws as key objectives of his administration.

4. Safer sources of renewable energy. President Aquino stated that he “would rather exhaust
other means than resort to nuclear power. We have other perceivably safer sources of
renewable energy. Nuclear energy has reemerged as an option to satiate the world’s present
and future electricity needs. However, it continues to face “social acceptability”problems

The Promises of Benigno C. Aquino III.www.blogwatch.tvlast accessed 15 July 2013
because of fears about the safety of its use. There are other sources of energy that have less
chances of endangering the lives of people In the case of the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant, it has
a large amount of documented safety hazards and may pose a threat to the safety and/or well-
being of the residents around it.”

5. Population management via responsible parenthood. The President promised that his
“administration will fully support the crafting of a firm policy that will address the serious
problem on population. It will be based on the idea of responsible parenthood: imposing on
parents that they should play a key role in ensuring that each and every child they bring into this
world has the opportunity to lead a good life, and educating them about the means with which
to plan their families so they can create families based on their ability to sustain their needs. In
the process of providing a range of options and information to couples, both natural family
planning and modern methods shall be presented.”

A. Assessment of Performance
1. Caring for the Environment. President Aquino has approved the framework developed by
the Climate Change Commission including the National Framework Strategy on Climate Change (NFSCC),
National Climate Change Action Plan (NCCAP) and guidelines for Local Climate Change Action Plan
(LCCAP). These plans cover programs from 2011 up to 2028 as the impact of climate change would
require an economic and societal transformation. Some of the green goals identified include: food
security; water sufficiency; human security; and environmental and ecological stability. President Aquino
likewise signed the People’s Survival Fund (PSF) into law, which provides a Php1.0 billion fund annually
for projects to mitigate the effects of climate change in the country. The law complements Climate
Change Act of 2009 that was passed under the Arroyo administration. Funding and capacity building
programs are underway. In May, the Climate Change Commission disclosed that the Aquino
administration allocated P13 billion in 2014 for Climate Change mitigation and adaptation. In June, the
Climate Change Commission signed a MOA with University of the Philippines toward capacity building
programs implementation of this framework.

While the frameworks are in place, implementation efforts need to be coordinated, and
monitored to secure and sustain their mitigation and adaptation effects. For example, the Aquino
administration has not moved toward physical and sustainable resettlement programs for vulnerable
settlers due to Climate Change, particularly informal settlers along waterways. Continued inaction will
exacerbate the adaptation and mitigation of vulnerable communities.
Another drawback has been the poor climate adaptation measures by the administration as
reflected in the poor post- disaster relief response from Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda, with politicking and
poor coordination among cabinet, donor agencies, local governments and civic sector groups which
resulted problems in early warning systems, evacuation, and a massive toll of over 6000 citizens in the
, and the disaster plan was only in place 6 months after the devastation.
1.2. Reforestation Program. President Aquino issued EO 26 on February 24, 2011 establishing
the National Greening Program (NGP), a 6-year reforestation program to green some 1.5 million

http:/ / 585905/ yolanda-death-toll-continues-to-rise-4-months-after-disaster

hectares of degraded forest lands. It was personally launched by the President with an inter-agency
team to develop a sustainable forest resource base and rejuvenate rural economies. Its ultimate goal is
to provide livelihood opportunities for some six million families in the upland areas across the country
within six years. The President issued Proclamation 125, declaring 2011 as the National Year of Forests
in the Philippines, in support of the UN declaration.
Recent reports and Congressional testimony by the DENR have indicated that 392,000 trees
have been planted
, a 26%percent target attainment. With only 2 years to go, the administration will
need to accelerate efforts, while submitting to 3
party verification given reports that continued slash
and burn activities occur in areas already planted so residents may secure more funds to replant while
benefitting from incomes from wood sales of felled trees.

2. Sustainable Resources. Under Aquino's term, mining investments are expected to be made
by 2016. The administration has repeatedly issued statements in support of mining liberalization.
Aquino's appointment of the former Executive Director of Philippine Mining Development Council
(PMDC) as DENR Secretary and Presidential Adviser on Mining further indicates his adherence to the
previous administration’s path towards mining liberalization. Much remains to be seen if law
enforcement will mitigate the ecological footprint from increased mining activities.
On July 9, 2012, Malacanang issued EO 79 which details the government’s new policy on mining.
The EO seeks to increase the government’s share from mining activities, impose a moratorium on the
grant of licenses to new mining activities (pending Congressional action on royalties), and attempts to
align national policy with local regulations. The administration has been recognized by academics,
activists and the mining industry for consulting and reflecting stakeholder inputs in the formulation of
EO 79. It remains to be seen how such a policy will be enforced in the midst of an increase in mining
activities, and how the Administration will support the passage of Mining Act amendments in the
coming Congress given its stronger control on both Houses.

The President’s issuance of Executive Order 23was a welcome relief from massive deforestation
and a lack of a decisive policy in this regard. EO 23 imposed an indefinite and comprehensive restriction
on logging all over the country despite opposition from wood producers. A nationwide logging
moratorium on Philippine national and residual forests is to be observed to protect and stop the
destruction of watersheds and river systems. The EO created a task force to lead government’s
campaign against illegal logging. Under EO 23, DENR is instructed to stop logging firms from cutting trees
while government is in the process of reviewing all existing logging agreements. DENR, through MO 52,
is now mandated to immediately cancel the concessions of logging companies that have violated forest
laws, while ceasing from issuing and renewing logging contracts and tree cutting permits in all natural
and residual forests. EO 23 has been criticized for loopholes in the sense that it has not revoked or
categorically banned commercial logging but only stops DENR from granting new contracts while
reviewing existing contracts .Loopholes involve the ability of special interests to lobby for labeling
natural and residual forests as plantation forests to secure an exemption. Continuous flash floods and
massive evidence of illegal logs in these sites betray the lack of enforcement of this policy, and the
Administration needs to follow through on enforcement issues.

http:/ / science-nature/ environment/ 59550-denr-chief-grilled-reforestation-program
http:/ / science-nature/ environment/ 60856-bulacan-forest-fires-national-greening-

3. Strictly enforce environmental laws. DENR has yet to implement the Ecological Solid Waste
Management Act (Republic Act 9003) prohibiting the operation of any dumpsite by local government
units in the country. Under the law, these dumpsites must be replaced by a sanitary landfill (SLF). It also
mandates the LGUs to come up with a 10-year Solid Waste Management Plan that must be completely
in place by 2011.
Related to this, the enforcement of environmental protection remains woefully inadequate with
the unabated rise in environment-related murders. Twenty-six (26) environmental activists have been
killed under the Aquino administration. The other 33 cases of killings among environmentalist activists
since 2001 remain hitherto unresolved. In response, the President has given 7 posthumous awards for
these “environmental heroes” for their effort and ordered the Executive Secretary to provide the
Environment Heroes Foundation with P5.0 million from the Presidential Social Fund to assist families
who were left behind by employees who died in their line of duty. But prosecution support and
outcomes are still wanting.
Inadequate oversight and lack of enforcement on rehabilitation and reparation of Tubbataha
and Kalayaan Island group reef from U.S. and Chinese vessels respectively have highlighted the need to
strengthen the regulatory and political competence of the administration. The continued standoff at the
Panatag shoal and West Philippine sea disputes have remained unresolved, while Chinese poachers
continue to desecrate marine sources with impunity amidst the geopolitical standoff.
Post-EO 23, a bright spot has been the reduction of logging hot spots in the country from 197 to
31 as claimed by the Dept. of Environment and Natural resources. The President ordered three
government agencies — the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of
Justice (DOJ), and DENR to intensify the campaign against illegal logging. The successful prosecution of
violators remains to be seen. It should be noted that some P16.0 million worth of illegally cut logs in
Butuan City were undetected by local personnel.
4. Safer sources of renewable energy. On June 16, 2011, the Department of Energy (DOE)
launched the National Renewable Energy program that aims to promote increased share of renewables
in the country’s energy mix. President Aquino has likewise pronounced a need for moratorium against
the revival of nuclear power in the country, in response to the controversy generated by the Japan
nuclear incident.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has, after long delays, promulgated feed-in-tariff (FIT) rates for
renewable energy. However, permits continue to be given to investors in coal-fired power plants. In the
meantime, the DOE is processing bids for coal extraction for 38 sites with its successfully concluded
contracting round in March 2012. This forebodes an increased dependence on coal as a primary fuel
source. Between 2009 and 2010 alone, the percentage share for coal in power generation increased
from 27 percent to 34 percent.Further, 10 (ten) more coal power plants are projected to be constructed
within this decade. Given the birthing pains of the Renewable Energy Act, the main grid of Luzon has
seen 4 of 6 projects totaling 718 MW that are classified as renewables
. Majority of the new energy
sources in the Visayas and Mindanao are expected to come from fossil fuel i.e., coal, with limited
indigenous renewable sources and the lack of a viable baseload alternative such as natural gas to supply
the future needs of the regions.

http:/ / 2014/ 07/ 27/ 6-power-plants-online-by-late-2014/

5. Population management via responsible parenthood. President Aquino’s last-minute
support for the passage of the Reproductive Health Law has brought the Philippines to the mainstream
of countries where the state is mandated to provide modern and natural family planning methods, and
the underlying recognition of the role of large family sizes and increasing population to the country’s
sustainable development. The Supreme Court has affirmed the constitutionality of the measure, with
provisos for religious conscientious objections, which may create asymmetries in sustainable family
planning in critical areas, but this still bodes well to mitigating population and dependency pressures for
the long-term.
Further, the country’s resulting ecological state continues to worsen with such inaction:
o The Philippines has less than 10 percent of its forest cover and coral reefs remaining
, while only
39percent of 525 water bodies are potential sources of drinking water.

o 44 percent of the population earn less than $2/day, and 2/3 of the population are engaged in
unsustainable environmental and natural resource usage.

o “The Philippines shares the vicious cycle of high population growth, social conflict; large migration;
depleted ecosystems, food, water and energy insecurity/insufficiency/dependence; failing
governance; failing health care and education systems as “political and environmental hotspots as
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burundi, Haiti, Indonesia, Nepal, Madagascar, Mongolia, Pakistan, and the
Solomon Islands.”

o Growing population, combined with inconsistent governance, has increased the Philippines’
resource demand from less than its own biocapacity in 1961 to over twice its domestically available
biocapacity in 2002.

Conservation International.Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Profiles. 2002. Pp.3-4.
EMB. 2006. National Water Quality Status Report 2001 to 2005. http:/ / wqms/ 2001-
2005%20NWQSR/ NWQSR%20-%20Body.pdf and, World Bank. 2003. Philippine Environment Monitor
State of the Philippine Environment: A Progress Report, February 2006
Diamond, Jared. “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive.” Penguin. 2005. pp. 496-499; 515-516
World and Country Trends.Global Footprint
Network.http:/ / en/ index.php/ GFN/ page/ footprint_for_nations/

F. Scorecard on Governance

The Aquino Administration’s track record is most considerable in pursuing governance
reforms—in making governance transparent and participatory. Numerous programs have been initiated
to open government and enable the participation of citizens. Some of the most notable ones are the
Seal of Good Housekeeping (SGH) and the Performance Challenge Fund (PGF) that then Secretary
Robredo instituted to improve local governance. The Grassroots Participatory Budgeting (formerly
Bottom-Up Budgeting)
and the many other
initiatives to open up the
budgeting process to
civil society to make the
budget more responsive
to people’s needs are
also notable

The government has also taken preliminary steps to advance accountability in the exercise of
power. Cases have been filed against some of the biggest political personalities in the country, including
those dating back from the Martial Law years. The appointment of competent and credible leaders in
key accountability institutions such as the Office of the Ombudsman, Commission on Audit (COA), the
Supreme Court and the Department of Justice (DoJ) have somehow set the groundwork for reforms in
these agencies to begin. These agencies are known to be plagued by the most difficult governance
hurdles: insufficient resources, weak competency of personnel and corruption. It will take considerable
time and resources to make these agencies effective and leadership is key in beginning to achieve that.

There are also significant efforts to begin instilling fiscal discipline in the government—to make
sure public resources are spent efficiently and where it is needed most. To encourage good
performance, incentive system has been improved and mechanisms for sanction have been tested.

All these efforts are baby steps towards political reform. Political reform in the Philippine
context means changing (incremental or radical) the old ways of patronage-based, personality-oriented
politics and corrupt, unaccountable governance. To pursue political reform means to establish rational
(efficient and responsive) public institutions and processes that are governed by good governance
principles of transparency, participation and accountability.
Performance Score
1. Caring for the Environment 6
2. Sustainable Resources 5
3. Strictly enforce environmental laws 3.5
4. Safer sources of renewable energy 5.5
5. Population management via responsible parenthood 5.5
Average 5.1

This 2013-2014 assessment of the performance of Noynoy Aquino administration being
undertaken by the Movement for Good Governance (MGG) particularly centers on four key promises of
the president, namely:

 Ensuring clean, orderly and peaceful elections;
 Setting up of performance incentive systems;
 Taking actions on COA reports; and
 Other governance initiatives, particularly those that promote transparency, participation and
access to information.

1. Ensuring clean, orderly and peaceful elections

There are minimal key electoral reform gains under Aquino so far, which signals that need to
further push this area of reform and prioritize it in the succeeding years. The following are the reform
gains that must be sustained and can be built on to achieve more reforms:

 Reforming Electoral Management, especially in the ARMM

The best that was done in terms of ARMM electoral management was the postponement of the ARMM
elections in 2011. Though Congressional enactment, ARMM election was synchronized with the mid-
term national elections. This nullified the list of voters in the ARMM and facilitated the conduct of a
general registration.

Electoral reforms have also been undertaken before the 2013 elections. With the cleansing of
ARMM’s voter’s list, flying votes and multiple registrants numbering about 400,000 have been delisted
from the Comelec list of votes.

The following bills have also been passed on electoral management reform: Mandatory
Biometrics Voter Registration; Accessible Polling Places exclusively for PWDs and SCs; Local Absentee
Voting for Media; and the Amendment to the Overseas Absentee Voting Act (i.e. deletion of the
provision on the affidavit re: intention to return).

 Cleaning of the Party-List System (PLS) List

The Party-list elections have been problematic in the past elections. It has been observed that
there were nominees of accredited party-list who do not belong to the sector they supposedly
represent. This defeats the purpose of electing party-lists to enable representation of marginalized
sectors in legislation. The PLS has also become a means used by non-qualified or questionable
personalities to get elected into Congress. These unfortunate developments pushed the Commission on
Elections to carefully review and assess aspiring party-lists groups to ensure their integrity and
competence to be the voice of the sectors they represent. The screening process of the Comelec for the
PLS has been tightened up in the 2013 elections.

 Ongoing Deliberation on the Political Party System Act in both Chambers of Congress, and the
approval of the Anti-Political Dynasty Bill during its initial deliberation at the Lower House

Although the Anti-Political Dynasty Bill is only at the initial stage of legislation, its current status
is the best it got from being passed. This bill, if passed, is deemed critical in ending the reign of dynasties
perpetuated through corruption and patronage.

The proposed Political Party System Act has been tackled in the committees of both the Senate
and the House of Representatives. However, there is very little attention given to it. This bill will shift the
paradigm of power contestation from being personality-based to party-based, which is more
accountable and programmatic.

 Promotion of institutional reforms in COMELEC

The appointment of reform-oriented officials in COMELEC is a crucial undertaking. This provides the
needed leadership in introducing reforms in Comelec. The use of automated counting machines
counters traditional electoral fraud and increases accuracy, efficiency and credibility in the counting
and canvassing of votes. The goal of COMELEC is to promote inclusive elections, wherein all qualified
voters are able to vote, and proper mobilization and use of campaign funds is practiced. Competence
and integrity in election management is crucial, which is articulated in the COMELEC’s strategic plan to
be implemented in the years to come.


2. Performance incentive system

To incentivize LGUs in setting transparency and accountability standards, the Performance
Challenge Fund was institutionalized. It provides incentives to LGUs as a way of recognizing good
performance in internal housekeeping, and in the alignment of local development investment programs
with national development goals.

This is linked to the Seal of Good Housekeeping for Local Governments awarded to LGUs that
promote and practice openness, transparency, and accountability. Local legislation, development
planning, resource generation, resource allocation and utilization, customer service, and human
resource management and development are taken into consideration for this award.

There are 719 LGUs recipient of PCF in 2013. The table below shows the number of projects and
the amount so far allotted under the PCF.

Year No. of LGU Recipients No. of Projects Amount Allotted
2010 30 31 Php 30 million
2011 350 557 Php 396 million
2012 515 616 Php 881 million
2013 719 No data yet Php 965 million

In 2012, the Results-Based Performance Management System (RBPMS) was established. It is a
unified system for monitoring, evaluating, and reporting the performance of national government
agencies that serves as basis for determining entitlement of the performance-based bonus (PBB) for
national government personnel in the Executive Department.

Meanwhile, an audit of all national government agencies is in progress as part of the
Performance-Based Incentive System (PBIS) in government service. However, the issue on government-
owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) executive’s bonuses, like that of the SSS and PhilHealth,
surfaced and questioned the resolve of the government on the PBIS. There is also a question of how to
sustain the performance-based incentives and ensure that the openings at the local level brought about
by the system re maximized.

SCORE: 7.5

3. Respond to COA Reports

In addressing allegations of corruption, the current Administration is pursuing cases against
prominent figures from the previous administration such as former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo,
former chief justice Renato Corona and former ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, upholding the
government’s mandate to hold public officials accountable for their performance in office.

Most recently, the Ombudsman resolves the first batch of Priority Development Assistance Fund
(PDAF) cases that were filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) based on a COA report on
what is now referred to as the Napoles Scam. The OMB indicted Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon
“Bong” Revilla Jr., Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, as well as Janet Lim Napoles and a number of government
employees and non-governmental organization (NGO) officers. The three senators are charged with
plunder and are now in jail.

Earlier, the president took special attention on agencies ranked highly in the “most-corrupt
agencies” list. He ordered the immediate audit of the military and implemented reforms in the Armed
Forces of the Philippines (AFP). He ordered the investigation of abuses and irregularities in the
Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA)
officials, and National Food Authority (NFA).

President Aquino ordered the review of government contracts majority of which with the
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). In his SONA in 2013, he chided the National
Irrigation Authority and the Bureau of Customs on being unresponsive to corruption issues. He said that
these agencies refused to answer his clarion call against corruption in the government.

Simultaneously, President Aquino pushed for the rationalization of the bonuses of the GOCCs,
particularly those which: (1) are highly excessive, (2) do not contribute much to government revenues,
and (3) miss agency revenue and service targets.

However, the critical issue being raised on accountability efforts being undertaken by the
administration is its alleged partisanship. Critics opine that pork transactions of the presidents’
partymates have yet to be audited and investigated.

SCORE: 6.5

4. Other Good Governance Initiatives

SONA 2013.

Under Executive Order Number 43, the Cabinet was re- clustered to improve inter-agency
coordination. Cabinet departments with interrelated core functions are clustered together to improve
their coordination in the delivery of public services. This is a key governance reform that enables the
Cabinet to work on impact.

The administration has pursued key reforms on budget accountability, transparency, participation
and access to information.

4.1. Accountability. Launched by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in 2010,
the Zero-based Budgeting has scaled down, if not totally eliminated, all allocations for programs that are
not aligned with the President’s priorities. Unlike the practice of lump-sum budgeting, this new
approach involves a review and evaluation of on-going major programs and projects in order to guide
and check budget allocation and spending during implementation.

The Budget Department reformulated the General Provision in the proposed expenditure
program that allowed the indiscriminate use of savings in each government agency. The DBM prescribed
stricter rules in the use of the savings for other purposes. This strengthened DBM’s oversight on the
realignment of funds across allotment classes within capital outlays, and over their use for allowances
like Magna Carta benefits.

In 2013, amidst the issue of Congress members and executive officials misusing the PDAF and
the Malampaya Fund, the issue on the constitutionality of the Disbursement Acceleration Program
(DAP) came up. This had put a dent on the good governance efforts of the government due to the legal
ambivalence of the said mechanism. This was recently ruled partly unconstitutional by the Supreme
Court and caused much commotion in the political scene with the filing of the motion for
reconsideration by the president.

4.2. Participation. Under the current administration, citizen participation is at the core of
governance with the president himself setting it as his a main platform. The 2014 Budget Message of
President Aquino, for instance, refers to a number of new policies implemented by DBM that opens up
the budget to participation as a way of introducing reforms in the bureaucracy:

“In the first three years of our Administration, we jumpstarted and nurtured relationships with
reform-oriented stakeholders, which include civil society organizations (CSOs), community-
based organizations and the private sector. We then introduced new mechanisms for citizen
participation in the budget process.”

In 2012, DBM released two National Budget Circulars: one to provide guidelines for creating
partnerships with CSOs and other stakeholders in the preparation of agency budget proposals, and
another on budget execution. With these circulars, the said Department was able to direct national
government agencies (NGAs) to enter into Budget Partnership Agreements (BPAs) with selected CSOs
for the latter to act as observers and provide feedback on the agencies’ budget.

The President’s Budget Message 2012.
President Aquino, 2014 Budget Message.
Last 26 November 2013, the DBM, in partnership with the DlLG, the DSWD and NAPC, also
released Joint Memorandum Circular No. 4 to provide guidelines for participatory grassroots budgeting
(formerly known as the Bottom-up Budgeting or BuB). This mechanism ensures that a portion of the
national budget is allocated based on local poverty reduction plans made through multi-sectoral
consultations at the community levels.

In 2012, the participatory budgeting program covered 12 NGAs and 6 GOCCs. A total of 595
cities and municipalities have undergone participatory budgeting and planning processes and submitted
their list of priority projects to the national government. A total of P8.4 billion worth of locally identified
projects have been incorporated into the FY 2013 National Budget.

The national government also forged an integrity pact between the government and the private
sector. It also entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with civil society groups and NGOs on
the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program. The national government also invited CSO participation in
monitoring infrastructure projects.

Memorandum Circular 2013-070 of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)
mandates the reconstitution and empowerment of Local Specialized Bodies in order to free them from
the influence of local patronage politics. Under this memorandum, accreditation of CSOs and selection
of CSO representatives to the LSB to increase citizen participation are being done.

The Empowerment Fund was also launched to increase citizen participation in local governance.
It was supposed to support citizen groups who undertake development projects and efforts to demand
better services and governance. However, this was cancelled due to the Napoles Scam.

4.3. Transparency .Transparency is promoted by this administration through the mandatory
budget disclosure from agencies, observance of the full disclosure policy for LGUs, publication of the
people’s budget, real-time disclosure of release of lump-sum funds, among others.
According to the
national government 17 out of 22 major departments have completely disclosed five required budget
information on their websites.

The budget department’s website has never been as interactive and interesting. The Budget ng
Bayan and Pera ng Bayan portals are readily accessible, featuring the following: Interactive People’s
Budget, Interactive Budget Cycle and Citizen’s Portal. Specific details on the budget were also made
available in reaction to the increased clamour for transparency after the Priority Development
Assistance Fund (PDAF) and Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) issues.

For the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS), the number of
registered government agencies increased by 68%the past three years. In addition, the number of bid
notices posted increased by 29%and the amount of contracts awarded increased as well by 31%for the
year 2011-2012.

2012 Philippine Government Action Plan: Country Assessment Report available at
content/uploads/Phil-OGP-Country-Assessment-Report.pdf, last accessed on April 18, 2012.
SONA Technical Report 2011.
24, last accessed on October 12, 2012.
2012 Philippine Government Action Plan: Country Assessment Report available at
content/uploads/Phil-OGP-Country-Assessment-Report.pdf last accessed on April 18, 2012.
The revision of the Statement of Assets and Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) and its availability
to the public are two other critical items in the reform agenda. The revision is critical, though, because
the SALN form does not reflect the true financial status of the public official concerned.

4.4. Access to Information. Under President Aquino’s term, the call for Freedom on Information
(FOI) was subsumed under the vague call of the fight against corruption. The FOI Law was regarded as
an essential tool in maintaining citizen participation in governance and in holding accountable those in
the government. The FOI Law aimed to ensure that the people are empowered, the government is more
open and that government documents are more accessible for check and balance.

While the administration had many projects and programs that enhanced citizen’s access to information
and that increased their participation in governance, there was still the need for the passage of an FOI
Law. The FOI was projected to be the right mechanism to combat excesses in government like those
arising from the PDAF issue.

The Congress seemed to feel no urgency in the passing of the promised measure despite the
commitment of its leaders to have it passed. The Aquino administration had accomplished a lot in terms
of promoting a tradition of transparency. However, this culture may revert back to the dismal past if
there was no legislation to sustain the efforts. The FOI law can just be the right tool.


Summary of Scores
Ensuring clean, peaceful and orderly elections 5

Performance Incentive System 7.5

Respond to COA Reports 7.5
Other Governance Initiatives 8
Average Score 7.0

G. Scorecard on Education

SONA 2014 marks the fourth year of the Administration of President PNOY. At this point in the
presidency, promises made during the 2010 campaign period should have already been introduced as
policy and implemented. The evaluation of performance is therefore less about policy reform and all
about implementation. Secondly, at this stage of the administration, if a policy has not been introduced
as such, it would be too late to matter before the end of the term.

The Basic Education Reform Agenda of President PNOY was introduced as a Ten-Point Agenda to
be carried out by the Department of Education and focused on structural reform of the sector. For the
2014 review, much greater weight was given implementation over policy reform. The total weight per
campaign promise remains the same as in previous years reflecting the importance of the promise to
the overall agenda.

Total Policy Implementation
Campaign Promise Weight (20%) (80%)

1. Twelve-year Basic education cycle 2.0 0.4 1.6
2. Universal pre-schooling 2.0 0.4 1.6
3. Madaris education for Muslim Filipinos 1.0 0.2 0.8
as a sub-system within the education system,
4. Technical-vocational education as an 0.5 0.1 0.4
alternative stream for high school
5. Every child a reader by grade 3 0.5 0.1 0.4
6. Science and math proficiency 1.0 0.2 0.8
7. Assistance to private schools 0.5 0.1 0.4
8. Medium of instruction 1.0 0.2 0.8
9. Quality textbooks 1.0 0.2 0.8
10. Covenant with LGUs to build more schools 0.5 0.1 0.4


The MGG Assessment for Education in 2014 was undertaken by a lead assessor who interviewed
key respondents and players including basic education school owners and school heads, DepED division
level officers and public school principals and university academics involved in specific sectors or
education advocacies (i.e. reading, mother tongue instruction, science and math education). The
identity of key informants is kept confidential as requested since all of them deal with the Department
of Education on a daily basis.

1. Twelve-year Basic Education Cycle. “I will expand the basic education cycle, from a 10-year
cycle to a globally-comparable 12 years, for our public school children. At present, those who can afford
basic education get into the best universities and the best jobs after graduation.”
With the passage of Enhanced Basic Education Law of 2013 (Republic Act 10533), the legal basis
for adding two additional years to basic education has been laid with the additional years to be added at
the end of the current high school cycle. The additional two years will constitute the senior high school
(SHS) with the current four years to be known as junior high school (JHS).

The new law is a game-changer and should be recognized as such. This will prospectively place
the country on equal footing with the rest of the world which follows a 12-year basic education cycle as
the norm before one can qualify for university (e.g. higher or tertiary education).
Hence, the direction
or policy has been established and is no longer subject to debate.

Basic education covers primary (elementary) and secondary. For comparability purposes, the condition for
completeness of a cycle is based on how many years are acceptable before one can qualify for university
(tertiary level). Up to the present and until June 2016, a high school (secondary) graduate in the Philippines
only has to complete ten years of basic education to qualify for university. After June 2016, a student will
have to complete twelve years of basic education which is the global norm. As the global norm, almost all
countries will not allow passing on to university without at least 12 years of basic education. In
Commonwealth countries using the UK system, the O Level secondary education reaches 11 years which

The implementation of the additional two years of senior high school will not, however, be
carried out until school years (SY) 2016-17 and 2017-18 when Grades 11 and 12 will be introduced

In the 2013 MGG assessment on education, the DepED’s incrementalist approach to
implementing the additional two years was noted as potentially problematic. The preferred rollout
strategy of the Department has been to introduce the new curriculum year level by year level starting in
SY 2011-12 with the release of the new Grade 1 and Grade 7 curricula. This means that in the current
school year (SY 2014-15), the Grade 4 and Grade 10 curricula should have been made available.

Such an incrementalist approach is making many in the education sector uncomfortable if not
downright nervous on how to prepare for SY 2016-17 when the SHS will have to be introduced
wholesale. Schools will not be given the Grades 11 and 12 curricula until the year of actual
implementation. Given the disruptive nature of this reform (and all structural reforms are disruptive),
private and public high schools who want to prepare in advance of the operative date for SHS are having
difficulty with such preparation. From discussions with school heads from private schools
, two
practices are beginning to surface:

(a) Private high schools have been requested by DepED to apply for SHS licenses for SY 2016-
17. Those that have applied have asked for guidance from DepED on how to proceed. In
many instances, these schools have received general guidelines but with little specifics.
Thus private schools are left to interpret what these might mean and some are doing so
quite liberally.

(b) To begin to condition parents on accepting Grades 11 and 12, some private high schools or
integrated schools
have began acceleration programs so that students can be “promoted”
to a higher level. Acceleration programs may take the form of a four week summer
program leading to promotion to two levels higher or additional Saturday sessions during
the school year. This is nothing more than a practice of “renaming” grade levels to reflect

completes high school but does not qualify one to go to university. If an O Level graduate were to continue, he
or she would qualify for a polytechnic institute but not the university. To do so would mean taking an
additional two years of basic education study and to graduate at the A Level. That would make for thirteen
years of basic education before university. Singapore has introduced a university qualifying exam at the end
of the O Level that will allow O Level graduates to go on to university if they can pass the qualifying exam. If
they do not, they would have to continue on to the additional two years of study which is akin to senior high

The phrase “should have” is used because in quite a number of cases, public school heads complain that
materials are still forthcoming and have not been received.

MGG admission: Information from these limited interviews should be treated as cases. No attempt at
undertaking a scientific study on the state of readiness of high school for SHS was carried out. Nevertheless,
such cases reflect a level of confusion and uncertainty about how to proceed in terms of SHS.

An integrated school offers both elementary and secondary schooling in the same campus.
In the end, DepED’s role might be to focus primarily on the framework for SHS with private
school developing their own proposals on how they will comply with the general policy. This appears to
be how the private school associations are organizing themselves to address SHS. This is therefore less
about leadership of the Department in such a landmark reform and more about private school initiative
to make SHS viable.

An equally critical matter for DepED is the preparation of the basic infrastructure for public SHS:
construction of additional school buildings and classrooms to house around 1.7 to 1.8 million students
who will enter Grades 11 and 12 by SY 2017-18 and the hiring of additional teachers, particularly
specialist teachers by that period.

This additional investment in hard and soft infrastructure takes time and financing to carry out.
DepED has admitted for some time now that they will need the medium-term involvement of colleges
and universities and private high schools to help provide the classroom spaces and teachers for public
SHS to be paid for by an expanded GASTPE subsidy scheme.

Two problems will present themselves if DepED were to rely solely on private schools and
colleges and universities for the initial servicing of SHS:

(a) By relying on higher education institutions to service SHS in the medium term (e.g. Sys
2016-17 up through SY 2019-20), DepED may be able to meet the needs of many senior
high school students. HEIs for the most part, however, are urban based. Where would
rural high school students go to have access to SHS? And if they do not have access, what
becomes of their chances for a university degree and a chance at a professional career?

(b) Private high schools may be able to maximize the use of under-utilized facilities, but will
DepED be able to pay higher than an established rate which is likely to be much lower than
current tuition? Who will cover for the balance?

In summary, the PNOY Administration has made the bold step. The devil is now in the
implementation and this is where all the problems are beginning to surface.

Rating: 8.8

Policy: 10 rating (x 0.4 weight)
Implementation: 3 rating (x 1.6 weight)

The Government Assistance to Students and Teachers of Private Education (GASTPE) is a subsidy program
to private schools that feature education contracting and a direct voucher scheme. An amendment to the
current law expanding GASTPE to the higher education level would have to be passed by Congress since the
law only applies for private high school to be recipient of such a subsidy.

2. Universal pre-schooling (kindergarten) for all. ”All public school children will have preschool as
their introduction to formal schooling by 2016, and we will make this available to all children regardless
of income.”
In January 2012, the Kindergarten Education Act was passed into law (Republic Act 10157). With
the passage of such a law, the PNOY Administration set in place the policy that makes kindergarten a
compulsory and necessary building block for primary (elementary) education.

DepED has made kindergarten universal and reports that over 2.7 million children now attend
kindergarten in either public or private schools. The curriculum and teaching materials developed by
DepED are available for digital download. As in the reform for SHS, how the policy is being implemented
and the quality of that implementation are what should now be evaluated.

Two concerns need to be addressed, one on the demand side and one on the supply side.

On the demand side, are parents bringing the right age children to kindergarten? Data from
DepED show that by gross number, kindergarten enrolment matches the population estimate for 5 year
olds in the country (e.g. the right age for kindergarten). In SY 2012-13, however, only 5.5 per cent of all
children enrolled in kindergarten were actually 5 years of age. The majority of the children in
kindergarten are actually 6 years and 7 years of age. This reflects the same pattern for Grade 1 and the
early years. What has happened is that the age level pattern for school entry has just been shifted from
grade one to kindergarten.

Why is this important? Analysis shows that dropout rates in the later years of formal schooling
are closely correlated with overage students. If DepEDis to make a serious dent on lowering dropout
rates, a good part of that would have to be focused on bringing children to school at the right age. But
an equally important reason has to do with parent involvement in making the decision when children
should start formal schooling. Before kindergarten was made compulsory for entry to Grade 1, parents
who enrolled children in pre-school did so voluntarily. Chances are, this family decision was because
parents, particularly mothers, feel that early education is important. What the data strongly suggest is
that children who voluntarily were enrolled in pre-school were more likely than non-pre-school takers to
complete the elementary cycle. And the major factor for that success was parent decision-making.

With kindergarten now compulsory, parent decision-making has been given less premium.
Nevertheless, the fact that only 5.5%of kindergarten enrollees are 5 year olds (e.g. the right age to
enter school) suggests that parents are still not convinced that their small children are ready for formal
schooling at such a young age. Unless this thinking is changed, the pattern of dropping out of over-age
students in the higher grade levels will continue.

On the supply side, the increased number of kindergarten classes is not yet matched by qualified
early childhood/pre-school education majors or graduates from higher education institutions (HEIs).
Because the roll out for universal kindergarten was done immediately after the passage of the law (in
contrast to the incrementalist approach done by DepED for SHS), DepED has chosen to move higher
grade teachers to teach K level or is relying on volunteer teachers. The number of ECCD-trained

Note: Kindergarten, under global norms, is considered pre-primary and is not counted as one of the 12
years of basic education. Hence, basic education is often referred to as K-12 or Kindergarten plus Grades 1
through 12).
teachers in the system is well below the number of classes organized nationwide and will remain so for
some years.

Rating: 15.2

Policy: 10 (x 0.4 weight)
Implementation: 7 (x 1.6 weight)

3. Madaris education for Muslim Filipino children as a sub-system in the education system. ”I
want a full basic education for all Muslim Filipino children. This is to give proper respect to their culture
while providing a sound curriculum in English, Filipino, science, and math. Madaris education, with
subjects in Arabic language and Islamic values education, can be integrated in our public school
curriculum as additional subjects.”

While Madaris education is slow in implementation, DepED has moved to undertake baseline
studies to help plan how the program can be expanded. The rationalization plan of the Department has
been to take away special offices (e.g. Madaris education, special or inclusive education) and to embed
these programs in the bureaus and offices responsible for delivering such programs. This school of
thought of integration does not ensure affirmative action for such a program and assumes that in the
competition for attention that Madaris education will command the resources and effort it needs to be
successful. This might not be the case.

Funding support for Madaris education has been stable since the administration took over but is
low relative to the size of the need. As of today, Madaris education remains predominantly private and
mosque-based. As noted in last year’s assessment, many private Madrasah schools
, particularly those
that are mosque-based, do not provide a full education for Muslim Filipino children. In these schools,
the focus is on Arabic Language, Islamic Values Education and Religion. This will remain the case until
public Madaris is expanded.

The lack of a strong champion for Madaris education in DepED might be at the heart of the
problem of why planning and implementation is slow.

Rating: 3.2

Policy: 4 (x 0.2 weight)
Implementation: 3 (x 0.8 weight)

4. Technical-vocational education as an alternative stream in senior high school. “I will
reintroduce technical-vocational education in our public high schools to better link schooling to local
industry needs and employment. We need to provide an educational alternative to better prepare the
students for the world of work.”

Madaris is the plural for Madrasah schools and is the term used to introduce the sector.
With the introduction of SHS, one of the more popular streams will be technical vocational
education. DepED has worked hard to prepare a ladderized education curriculum and to integrate the
STVEP (SHS technical vocational education program) into the formulation of the new SHS curriculum.
DepED has identified some 35 high schools nationwide to experiment with an SHS curriculum (Grade 11)
that is heavily skewed to technical vocation as a reflection of demand from students and parents. This
level of rollout is minute compared to the total number of public high schools and student enrolment
and could be more aggressively pursued.

On the positive side, DepED and TESDA have collaborated well in aligning the target standards
for tech-voc education and in the teacher qualification standards. The weakest part of technical
vocational education is the lack of specialized facilities at the school level (buildings and equipment) to
properly offer this type of curriculum and hiring qualified teachers.

Rating: 2.6

Policy: 6 (x 0.1 weight)
Implementation: 5 (x 0.4 weight)

5. Every child a reader by Grade 3 (Grade 1 once universal pre-schooling is realized).“By the end
of the next administration, every child must be a reader by Grade 1.At the core of our children’s non-
learning problems is the inability to read properly. By the end of the next administration (SY 2015-16),
every child passing pre-school must be a reader by Grade 1.”

ECARP (Every Child a Reader Program) has been institutionalized across the public school system
with funds now allocated for reading in most regions. The strongest part of this program might be in the
way it is being implemented. ECARP is introduced as a national policy but implementation is left to the
local level (particularly schools divisions) to implement. In most regions, this is further designed with
local incentives. This might in fact be the best way to deliver on programs at DepED: Glocalization
(Global or universal standards +local implementation and delivery).

One of the weaknesses of DepED in promoting reading is that the procurement of reading books
is placed in the hands of the Instructional Materials Council Secretariat (IMCS) which has a textbook
orientation and questionable governance.

Two of the strongest factors is the alliance with the National Book Development Board headed
by a reading champion/advocate in its chairperson and the Department’s Library Hub investment
program. As of 2014, there are close to 300 library hubs operating in different divisions across the

A Library Hub is a wholesale distribution center or warehouse of reading books at the division level. Books
are pre-bundled in plastic containers by year level, subject and thematic area. Schools within a division may
borrow bundles of books on a monthly basis. A Library Hub in a small division may hold as many as 15,000
reading books for distribution to schools within the division. Larger hubs may have anywhere from 25,000 to
50,000 books available. Hence, an elementary school without a library and reading books may have access to
all of these books. For example, a school may borrow 3-4 bins a month each of which could have 150-300
books per bin. If this were an average of 800 books per month, then that school could be borrowing around
8,000 books per year (800 per month x 10 months of the school year) even without a library. The Library
Hub is a vehicle for making books available on a wholesale basis with necessarily owning any of them.

Rating: 2.5

Policy: 5 (x 0.1 weight)
Implementation: 5 (x 0.4 weight)

6. Science and math proficiency. “I will rebuild the science and math infrastructure in schools so
that we can produce more scientists, engineers, technicians, technologists and teachers in our
universities so that this country can be more globally competitive in industry and manufacturing. To build
a culture for science and math, I will promote science and math clubs and fairs.”

Science and math education in the regular public school system is still low with not much push
to expand this more aggressively. The main support from DepED has been through the 130 DepED
science high schools at the division level whose per student spend is more than double what is spent for
regular high school students. The other manner by which science and math are promoted is through
pilot science sections in major public high schools. This is often one or two sections that receive more
access to specialized facilities but is small in number compared to the overall student enrolment.

The computerization of schools is an ongoing program butdoes not translate into better science
and math education in the system. No evaluation study has been done on the level of interconnectivity
in schools and its impact on student learning.

Rating: 4.2

Policy: 5 (x 0.2 weight)
Implementation: 4 (x 0.8 weight)

7. Assistance to private schools as essential partners in basic education. “I will expand
government assistance to private education. A strong private school system will strengthen our public
schools by providing parents an alternative and not adding to the overcrowding.”

GASTPE (Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education) is the one
program that has increased annually under the PNOY Administration. The total number of student slots
that are currently available under the education service contracting (ESC) and voucher schemes is now
over 750,000 with a target of close to one million. The amount of subsidy per student, however, is
lower than the tuition fees of most participating private high schools, except for the lowest tuition level

DepED is studying how to expand GASTPE to include payment for SHS tuition to participating
private high schools, colleges and universities.

Rating: 3.8

Policy: 10 (x 0.1 weight)
Implementation: 7 (x 0.4 weight)

8. Medium of instruction. “We should become trilingual nation: Learn English well and connect to
the world. Learn Filipino well and connect to our country. Retain your dialect and connect with your

Early in the PNOY Administration, DepED rolled out the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual
Education (MTB-MLE) and this is really one of DepED’s success stories.

The policy has been passed into law (Enhanced Basic Education Law) and budget support for
local language development has been expanded to reflect this. The original twelve major languages in
the country (Tagalog, Kapampangan, Pangasinense, Iloko, Bikol, Cebuano, Hiligaynon, Waray, Tausug,
Maguindanaoan, Maranao and Chabacano) have been supplemented by an additional seven languages
(Ybanag for Tuguegarao City, Cagaya Valley and Isabela; Ivatan for the Batanes Group; Sambal in
Zambales; Aklanon in Aklan and Capiz; Kinaray-a in Capiz and Aklan; Yakan in the Autonomous Region
of Muslim Mindanao and Surigaonon for Surigao City and the Surigao provinces).

DepED has focused a large part of its attention on developing teaching materials in the native
tongue. In the 2013 assessment, MGG wrote on this focus: “MGG feels that this might be misguided.
The program should not be about producing an entirely new set of materials in the mother tongue. The
program should be about producing teachers’ guides on how to explain lessons in the mother tongue.”
The former might be better done by academic institutions with local language centers and by publishers.
DepED should focus its attention and efforts on the latter.

Rating: 10.0

Policy: 10 (x 0.2 weight)
Implementation: 10 (x 0.8 weight)

9. Quality textbooks. “I will not tolerate poor textbook quality in our schools. Textbooks will be
judged by three criteria: quality, better quality, and more quality. Poor quality textbooks have no place in
our schools.”

There have been no major scandals or incidents involving DepED textbook procurement. This
doesn’t mean that all textbooks are of quality.

Historically, in late 2011, textbook procurement by DepED was undertaken by direct contracting
despite the fact this was in violation of the Government Procurement Act of 2002. While the
Government Procurement Policy Board raised questions with this, it did not stop DepED from pursuing
this procurement method. In the 2013 MGG assessment, MGG wrote: “…it appears that DepED will
expand this practice placing it effectively outside the Procurement Act in practice. This will set up
corrupt practices in future because of the high degree of discretion placed in the hands of the
procurement authorities in the department.”

Rating: 3.4

Policy: 5 (x 0.2 weight)
Implementation: 3 (x 0.8 weight)

10. Covenant with local governments to build more schools. “I will build more schools in areas
where there are no public or private schools in partnership with local governments, as well address our
persistent classroom and teacher shortages. We need more schools with smaller populations so that
teachers, students and parents can form a real learning community.”
In the 2013 MGG assessment, MGG wrote: “The focus on shortages should be an opportunity to
build new schools and not just classrooms (in already overcrowded schools). Instead the large-scale
public-private partnership in classroom construction builds new classrooms in many already-
overcrowded schools. This adds new classroom stock but does not address overcrowding which the
promise was effectively about.”

The public-private partnership (PPP) approach to addressing classroom shortages has been an
effective quick fix but the problem of overcrowding still remains. Local government units (LGU) have not
stepped forward to offer more land for new schools to be built except in isolated cases; nor has DepED
aggressively tried to get LGUs to do such. As a result, schools will only continue to get bigger in size and
more overcrowded. This will not have a positive effect on quality learning or education performance
improvement. In fact, the opposite is likely to happen.

Rating: 1.3

Policy: 1 (x 0.1 weight)
Implementation: 3 (x 0.4 weight)

Table 9. Scorecard in Education, 2014

Campaign Promise Weight Score (Rating x
1. Twelve-year Basic education cycle 2.0 8.80
2. Universal pre-schooling 2.0 15.20
3. Madaris education for Muslim Filipinos
As a sub-system within the education system,
1.0 3.20
4. Technical-vocational education as an alternative stream for high
0.5 2.60
5. Every child a reader by grade 3 0.5 2.50
6. Science and math proficiency 1.0 4.20
7. Assistance to private schools 0.5 3.80
8. Medium of instruction 1.0 10.00
9. Quality textbooks 1.0 3.40
10. Covenant with LGUs to build more schools 0.5 1.30
Total 55.00

2012 Scorecard: 56.8
2013 Scorecard: 57.9
2014 Scorecard: 55.00

Overall Conclusion:

The drop in DepED rating in 2014 is due to problems with implementation. The major policy
reforms have been promulgated as law or as DepED directive. It is in the implementation of policy that
DepED scores lower.

There are still two years left in the PNOY Administration to make amends on implementation.
DepED should focus its efforts and attention on that.