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The mantra of the Aquino administration is tuwid na daan. It has promised to
govern with integrity, efficiency, transparency, and citizens participation. Such a promise
has buoyed hopes and given inspiration to the country. Have our hopes been fulfilled? Has
the Aquino administration delivered its promises? The Movement for Good Governance
(MGG), a coalition of individuals and organizations that was organized in 2008 contributes to
the effort of assessing how the administration has remained faithful to its contract with the
Filipino people. MGG believes in empowering the citizens through an objective assessment
of the performance of elected public officials based on their platforms.
MGG started benchmarking the performance of the Aquino administration in 2010
using a scorecard system. Results of programs are assessed based on data and not on
perceptions, impressions, and anecdotes. The extent to which the Presidents promises
have been delivered is measured using a scorecard.



The President has broken his promise.

There has been very slow or little progress on his promise.
Something has been accomplished but is lower than
The administration is on track and is expected to achieve
target as scheduled.
The target has been achieved as scheduled.


MGG looks at the performance of government in 2014 and in the first months of
2015 with referrals to how it performed in the past years since 2010. The areas where
performance was assessed are economics, public finance, health, agriculture, and
MGG is encouraged by the promise of the administration to be accountable to the
people. Accountability is only possible if performance is measured objectively. The
scorecard is a tool that can track program implementation. It can direct attention to
strengths as well as gaps that need reinforcement. 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 Chairman of the Movement for Good Governance is Prof. Solita Monsod, former Secretary of
Planning. The scorecards of the MGG are found in

The MGG notes with favor the success of the Aquino administration in employment
generation, in maintaining macroeconomic stability, the rapid expansion of the National
Health Insurance Program , reduction in the incidence of mortality rates for malaria and
tuberculosis, and increasing subsidies to the poor to obtain health care. The initiatives to
increase transparency through the mandatory disclosure of budget information by national
government agencies, the continuation of the performance incentive scheme for local
governments under the Seal of Good Local Governance, and the significant strides in the
fight against corruption are commended. The benefits of the Pantawid Pampamilyang
Pilipno Program (4Ps) to the poorest households were noted in terms of their increased per
capita consumption of food, clothing, and education. The MGG acknowledges the qualitifed
success of the administration in providing universal pre-schooling for all Filipino children, the
expansion of government assistance to private education through increasing budgetary
support to Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education (GATSPE),
the construction of more schools, and the Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education.
Lower scores were given in the governments performance in the economy due to
the drop in growth rates, inability to increase exports relative to the target ( export/GDP
ratio was 45.9 9 in 2014and target is 64.3% in 2016), increase in poverty incidence from
24.7% in 2013 to 26.8% in 2014.
MGG notes that deficit management was brought largely through underspending
which contributed to the inability of government to meet growth targets and inadequate
service delivery in health and support services to farmers. The tax effort barely inched up to
13.6 percent of GDP in 2014 compared to 13.5 percent in 2013. Revenue collection in 2014
reached P1.91 trillion but was below the targeted collection of P2.28 trillion. While BIR
collection kept pace with the increase in income and prices, the growth of BOC collection did
not even match the 8.0 percent increase in imports. MGG notes the empowering potential
of the Bottom-up Budgeting but notes the need for greater transparency in how the projects
proposed by communities get to be approved.
Lower score was given to the provision of health due to the unequal distribution of
health care personnel with a ratio of about 3 health personnel for every 10,000 of the
population. The 587 percent increase in the incidence of HIV cases is alarming, as well as
the inability of government to meet its Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Health
targets. There are still regions where under-five mortality rate is at 30 deaths per 1,000
livebirths compared to the national average of 22 deaths per 1,000 livebirths. Lack of
affordable services, lack of transportation, unavailability of facilities, as well as the lack of
information on the benefits of health insurance coverage, were cited as the reasons why
Filipino mothers do not seek consultation in health care facilities.
Very little progress, if at all, is noted in the agriculture sector with growth slowing
down to 2.1 percent annually compared to 2.8 percent during the Arroyo administration.
The yield from coconut declined by 1.5 percent annually and livestock production grew at a
snail pace of 1.5 percent annually. The focus on rice sufficiency has deprived other products
with better market and income prospects with needed support and resources. The
Philippines is noted as the worst performer in productivity in coconut and sugarcane in the
ASEAN. The Philippines continues to have the lowest level of agriculture exports in the
ASEAN at US6.1 billion compared with US$47 billion in Thailand. The inability of the
administration to provide agriculture with the needed and strategic support largely affects
the very limited success of government to reduce poverty in the rural areas.

The gains in the fight against corruption are notable resulting to a marked
improvement in the Philippine ranking in the Transparency International Corruption Index.
The Philippines ranked 85 out of 175 countries in 2014 up from 105 in 2012 and 94 in 2013.
The score of the Philippines in the Economic Freedom Index moved up to 62.2 in 2015 up by
2.1 points compared to 2015. However, corruption issues continue to be a serious cause for
concern especially in the bureaucracy and the judiciary.
MGG raises the issue of timing in the adoption of the twelve-year basic education
cycle. The full roll-out of the additional two years will only be realized in full by school year
2017-18 or well after the administration has stepped down from office. The huge volume
of enrolment for grades 11 and 12 may not be met by DEpED and a clustering strategy may
be adopted. This implies that not all public high schools will be able to open their own
senior high school departments and students who wish to go on to senior high school will
have to go further to a catchment senior high school. This will add additional burden and
cost to students. These catchment senior high schools are urban based which will
disadvantage rural students. Additionally, the additional two years of senior high school will
mean that universities and colleges will have no freshman intake for two successive school
years and will have a major impact on the financial viability of these schools and will have a
direct effect on the employment of faculty members.
MGG identifies the very large shortage of early childhood teachers, the limited
support for madaris education, the continuing problems in the quality and prompt delivery
of instructional materials, the strengthening of math and science programs in regular high
schools, as well as the need to build new schools instead of just building classrooms in
already overcrowded schools.
In environmental management, the remaining months of the Aquino administration
can be focused on protecting what remains of the forest cover in the country. EO 23 which
imposed a comprehensive restriction on logging all over the country has been criticized for
loopholes in the sense that it has not revoked or categorically banned commercial logging.
Lobbies have been successful in labeling natural and residual forests as plantation forests to
secure an exemption from the ban. A plan to stop the continuous desecration of marine
resources amidst the geopolitical standoff at the Panatag shoal and West Philippine sea
needs to be implemented. Decisions need to be made on the legislation of the amendments
to the Mining Act as well as the efficient enforcement of the National Renewable Energy
The overall score of the Aquino administration in 2014 is 5.81 which is lower than
its rating in 2013.
Scorecard of the Aquino Administration, 2010-2014
Public Finance 4.93





A. The Economic Scorecard

Introduction. It bears repeating what we have been saying for the past two years:
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 Boards StatDev 2014 provides a
comparison of actual accomplishments with the corresponding targets. Moreover, NEDAs
Socioeconomic Report 2014: Assessment and Implications for 2015-2016 also provides
much more target-accomplishment data which complement and sometimes contradict, the
This total transparency makes it much easier for the Movement for Good
Governance and all other interested parties to judge the governments progress in fulfilling
the Social Contract of the President with the Filipino people, on which the PDP is based.
The contribution of the MGG scorecard is to the conversation is that wherever possible, the
most current data are used. We are, after all, judging the performance of Year V of the
Aquino administration, which covers the period July 1, 2014 June 30, 2015.
The original Plan has been updated. Last year, the NEDA released the PDP 20112016 Midterm Update, a document which it had been working on for a year, together with
its accompanying RM. The updated plans 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
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 for jobless growth and
increased poverty.
GDP Growth for the first three quarters of President Aquinos 5th Year in office
July 2014 to March 2015 (Year V). Real GDP grew at 5.3% in the third quarter of 2014; 6.9%
in the fourth quarter and 5.2% in the first quarter of 2015, with an average growth rate of
5.8 % for the period. The updated target for GDP growth would be about 7.25% for this
period. Also, compare this with the performance of the economy for the corresponding
periods in his first (6.4%), second (4.46%), third (7.4%) and fourth (6.3%) year in office.
In our 2013 Economic Scorecard, MGG assumed that the economys 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. And the fifth year growth performance was even
lower than last years. The growth rate fell from7.4% in the third year to 6.3% in the fourth
year, to 5.8% in Aquinos fifth year. It is clear that sustained high growth has not occurred.
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%), to be achieved by 2016. 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 7.5 %, lower than the targeted
minimum of 9.8% for 2014 and 8.6% for 2015. The good news is that it is better than last
years 6.1% growth performance.
The Services sector grew by 5.6%, much lower than either the original or the
updated targets, and lower than the 6.9% growth rate turned in last year (for the
comparable period). It is also below the lower end of the 2014 annual target of (6.0-6.9%),
and the 2015 target of 6.8-7.8%
Agricultures growth rate for the period was 1.4% -- still lower compared to the
original and updated targets. But wait: it is below the 2015 target of 2-3% and above the
2014 target of -0.9-0.1. This means that the administration targets for agriculture allowed
for a contraction of up to 0.9% to an almost no growth (0.1%) last year It must be
emphasized that such low targets for agriculture, impacts on poverty because most of our
poor come from farmers and fisherfolk. Agriculture accounts for about 30% of total
Score: 5.0
2. Investment Ratio. The real investment (Real Fixed Capital Formation/GDP) ratio
for the three quarters of Year V of the Aquinos administration averaged 22.9 percent (Q3

2014 at 22.1%, Q4 2014 at 23.2%, and Q1 2015 at 23.3%). 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; Year IV, 22.3%.
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 MGGs
assessment in 2013). The actual value for the first three quarters of Year V of the
administration was an average of 46.8%. The comparable figure for the administrations
fourth year (first three quarters) was 45.9%, 44.5% in the third year and 46.7%, for the
second year of his administration. Thus, the country is as far from the target as it was three
years ago. There doesnt 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 as
mentioned above, 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, with 910 thousand new jobs created in Year V of the Aquino administration (average
of July, Oct., January and April LFS), the updated targets have been more than met. which
would not have been the case had the original plan target of 1,000,000 new jobs a year been
kept. Additionally, the unemployment rate for Year V of 6.3% is below the target
unemployment rates for either 2014 or 2015, which are lower than the original
unemployment rate targets.
The new targets for underemployment, set at 18.7% and 18.0% for 2014 and 2015
respectively, are also achieved, with an average of 18.1% for Year V of the Aquino
And addressing the quality of employment issue, wage and salary workers
comprised 57.9% of the employed labor force. Although it is not an explicit target, the
quality of workers as measured by this indicator has increased during PNoys term (April
2011 55.0%; April 2015, 57.8%).
Score: 10.0
5. Income Poverty Reduction: The poverty incidence reduction targets for the
population in the Midterm Update are set at 23.0-25.0% for 2014 and 20.0 to 23.0 % for
2015. Poverty incidence was at 26.6% in 2006, 26.3% in 2009, and 25.2% in 2012 a snails
pace. Since our official poverty estimates are gathered triennially, using the FIES, what the
Aquino administration has done is used the Annual Poverty Indicators Survey to fill in the
blanks. The results were that poverty in the first semester of 2013 fell to 24.7%, as
compared to poverty in the first semester of 2012, which was 27.9%. That seemed much

better, and the government made much of the 3 percentage point decline in poverty. It
seemed there was a breakthrough. Unfortunately, the poverty figures for the first semester
of 2014 showed an increase in poverty to 25.8%, so the breakthrough was illusory.
Given the targets for 2014 and 2015, which average to 22.5%, it seems unlikely that
they will be met. It would require that the poverty figures for the first semester of 2015
would be 19.2%. There is nothing that would lead us to believe that would be the case.
The Midterm Update also presents a new poverty measure: Multidimensional
poverty. It was estimated to be 28.2% in 2008 and 27.5% in 2011. The target for 2014 is 2022 %, and for 2015 it is 18-20%. Unfortunately, no one seems to be estimating the actual
figures, but given the trajectory of the previous estimates, they are unlikely to meet the
What is also interesting in the updated plan is the admission that the Philippines
will not meet the 16.6% poverty incidence target of the Millennium Development Goals,
which is to halve poverty from its 1990 level by 2015. It has increased the targeted poverty
levels for 2015 to 18-20%. The Aquino administration is willing to accept anywhere from
1.4 million to 3.4 million more poor than it originally intended.
And that increase in poverty will likely be in the agriculture and fisheries sector.
The increase in poverty targets is consistent with the decrease in the agriculture and fishery
Agriculture seems to be the victim of neglect or incompetent leadership, or both.
The Plan and its Update, for example, bemoan the idiotic target of rice self-sufficiency and
the extent to which trying to achieve that target has distorted the whole agricultural picture
(from the grotesque amount of the agricultural budget that goes to rice to the detriment of
other crops.) And still the goal is not met.
Then the results matrices show that so many of the AF targets, even the reduced
ones, will also never be met on increasing yields, on production targets for livestock and
poultry and fish on decreasing postharvest losses (which dont even have data for any of
the Aquino years, on industrial crop production to name a few.
Another example of how agriculture is neglected: the dismal performance of the
distribution under the CARP. The Socioeconomic Report 2014 notes that the acquisition and
distribution target for 2014 found DAR wanting by 173,539 hectares (target was 240,707
hectares). It also needs to subdivide CLOAs covering 203,042 hectares to meet the 2014
target of 215,020 hectares, not to mention the 203, 331 hectare target for 2015. The
StatDev 2014 reports that as of the first quarter of 2015, 341,562 hectares remain to be
distributed. How farmers and fisherfolk who comprise most of the poor are treated by an
administration that talks about inclusive growth as its overall goal, is beyond
Score: 3.0
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 where its aim is to hit 5.1% of
GDP in 2016.
As far as appropriations are concerned, there is no problem. In 2014, target public
infrastructure spending was 3.5% of GDP, and about 3.4% was appropriated. In 2015, the
target is 4.0% of GDP, and the appropriations are forthcoming. The problem is that the funds
have not been spent. Part of the blame can be placed on the problems with the
Disbursement Acceleration Program, and the slowness of government bureaucracy to
accept/understand reforms.
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 Year V, the full
pipeline has 37 projects, of which 10 have been awarded, 13 are in various stages
procurement, 3 for rollout, 6 projects for government approval, and 5 projects under study.
Five years for 10 projects to go on stream?
Score 6
7. Macroeconomic Stability. Two indicators are key here. The fiscal deficit (ratio to
GDP) and inflation.
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 doesnt 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 3. Year 4
showed a 0.6 deficit, there. The projected deficit for 2015 is estimated to be 0.9, and that is
also what is projected for 2016. So the budget deficit targets have been more than met.
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, or by underspending. 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. These annual
targets were never met in the first half of the plan, but the updated plan raised it to 16.1%
another half a percent of GDP, 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 updated target is 14.5%., and the SER gives the actual as 14.1.2 Unfortunately, the
Department of Finance website, which I usually rely on, has not kept its data base current.
The latest data it present is for 2013. Wake up, DOF!
Score 6
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, with annual target of 3.0 5.0% for 2014. Headline inflation for the period July 2014 to June 2015 was 3.1, well within
the annual targets. In fact the actual inflation rate for 2015, Jan-June, was 2.05.

Using data from the Bureau of Treasury, the tax effort for 2014 was estimated at 13.61. Tax
revenues in 2014 amounted to P1, 720.12 billion while GDP at current prices was at P12, 634.06

Score: 10
Overall Macro-stability Score: 8.0
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 Plans goal is for the Philippines to rank among the top third of
the countries. That means that by 2016, the country should be ranked as 63rd 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. While the latest data
shows that we are now 95 out of 189. We are almost in the top half, but to get to the top
third? That may be difficult.
Score: 7.0
Global Competitiveness Index. The Plans 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 and 52 out of 144 in 20142015. We have not quite achieved the target, but it looks like we will.
Score: 7.5
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 latest data for the WGI are for 2013. The baseline used in the RM is 2012. Here
are the figures, with the first figure for the baseline, the second figure for 2013, and the
third figure for the target:
Control of corruption:
Rule of Law
Regulatory Quality
Govt Effectiveness
Political Stability and
Absence of violence
Voice and Accountability



> 60




It looks like the only target we may be able to achieve is Voice and Accountability
Score: 2
Millennium Challenge Scorecard. The Plans target for 2016 is to score above the
median score of the countries being evaluatedthe 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).
The requirements have been fulfilled.
Score: 10
World Justice Project Rule of Law Index. The Plans 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 now 8 factors: constraints on government powers, absence of corruption, 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 ensconced in the bottom- half in all factors. As of 2015,
we are 14 out of 15 countries in order and security, 12 out of 15 in effective criminal justice,
and 11 out of 15 in access to civil justice. We are close to being in the top half in constraints
on government powers and open government. The average score for all factors was 0.549
in 2011, 0.495 in 2012, 5.0 in 2014, and 0.53 in 2015.
Score: 4.0
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: 6.1
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: 2.
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 back 84 in 2014; the target number is 43 for 2016.
Score: 2
Overall Score for Others 3.6

Summary of Economic Scorecard V, 2015

Real GDP growth rate
Investment Ratio
Employment Generation
Poverty Reduction (Income)
Average score: 53.7/9 = 5.96

B. The Public Finance Scorecard

Is the Program Effective? The Aquino administration broke its promise of not
imposing new taxes. But a broken promise turned out to be good for the country. Increased
taxation of cigarettes, fermented liquor and distilled spirits contributed significantly to the
campaign against smoking. At the same time, consumers of these products are made to pay
for the harm that they have caused to themselves and society. The MGG lauds the
President and looks forward to greater benefits resulting from the indexation of the excise
tax rates and the adoption of a uniform tax rate.
The restructuring of the excise tax rates has strengthened the revenue collection of
government. The BIR hit the one trillion mark and collected P1.33 trillion in tax revenues
while the BOC brought in P369.3 billion to government coffers. Compared to 2013, both
agencies increased their revenue collection, BIR by 9.7 percent and BOC by 5.3 percent. The
dedication, time, and expertise that went into the increased revenue collection are
recognized and appreciated.
But their collection results fell short of targets. Government aimed to raise P1.9
trillion to finance development requirements. BIR had a P1.7 revenue-goal and BOC, a P437
billion target. BIRs actual collection was P1.33 trillion and BOC collected P369 billion. The
good news is that BIRs collection runs parallel with the increase in income and prices. Its
collection grew by 9.7 percent which is proportional to the 9.53 percent GDP growth in
current prices. The 5.3 percent increase in BOC collection is lower than the 8.6 percent
growth of imports. The inability of the BOC to fully tax imports is blamed on smuggling
problems and corruption which remain to be controlled.
Since there were no groundbreaking improvements in collection efficiency, the tax
effort ratio increased minimally. From 13.5 percent in 2013, the tax effort in 2014 barely
inched up to 13.61 percent of GDP.3
The reasons why the tax effort remains rigid is not dumbfounding. There has been
little effort to rationalize tax incentives so that the tax base can be broadened. Tax
There are problems with consistency in government data. The NEDA Socioeconomic report
cites a 14.1 percent tax effort while using data from the Bureau of Treasury will result to a lower
estimate .

exemptions continue to proliferate and the taxpayers who are caught in the tax net continue
to bear the costs of development.
As a result, the pillars of the tax system have been weakening. The income tax
which used to account for 12.7 percent of GDP in 1997 only raised revenues that were
equivalent to 6.8 percent of GDP. The VAT to GDP ratio has weakened from 5.2 percent in
1997 to only 2.9 percent in 2014. A major challenge of the administration and those who
would like to be at the helm of government is how to increase the revenue productivity of
the tax system.
Although it may not be deliberate, the under-spending of government has enabled it
to manage the budgetary deficit. It reached a record low of P73.1 billion in 2014
representing 0.58 percent of GDP. Even the balance sheet of the total public sector i.e.
national government, local governments, government corporations, and the BSP looked
better in 2014. The consolidated public sector deficit was at only 0.80 percent of GDP.
Smaller deficits reduce the need of government to incur debts and ease the pressure on
interest rates and inflation. The public sector borrowing requirement was down at 1.9
percent of GDP in 2013 and 2014 compared to 2.3 percent in 2011. The downside is lost
opportunities to provide more and better public services that could promote public welfare
through better health care, adequate education, more infrastructure, and support services.
Government has to overcome red tape, complicated procedures, and the prevailing culture
of control instead of facilitation.
Poverty and income inequality threaten to dwarf the economic gains of government.
The benefits of growth continue to be enjoyed by a small minority and 25.8 percent of the
population wallow in poverty. Government invested heavily on the Pantawid Pamilya
program to lift families from the poverty trap. The budget for the program is estimated to
reach P65 billion in 2015 which could benefit 14.4 million households. Initial studies on the
4Ps showed that the program has helped the poorest households and increased their per
capita monthly consumption, particularly on food, education and clothing.4 Another study
found that mothers who are participating in the program have better access to maternal
care. Child beneficiaries were found to have greater access to basic health services such as
the provision of vitamin A and mineral supplement. 5 Contrary to perceptions that the 4Ps
would predispose the participants to rely on governments assistance, Orbeta and Pacqueo
found no evidence of work disincentives among adult workers. Instead, the study noted that
4PS encouraged greater drive for work among participating-household heads and their
spouses. However, these studies observed no significant effect on preventing child labor, a
major cause why children drop out of school. It was inferred that the cash transfer is not
large enough for families to give up income that children can earn from working. Leakage
problems were observed resulting to inefficiency costs. It was likewise noted that the cash
transfers do not cover full program participation costs and households are left to bear the
indirect costs.
Another major thrust of the Aquino administration is the pursuit of is public-private
sector partnership (PPP) in the delivery of services and provision of infrastructure. The PPPs
has had birthing pains that resulted to a snail pace in project implementation. The
bottlenecks included lengthy processes in packaging and approval of proposals; delays in
project implementation due to changes in designs; problems in the acquisition of right of
Melba Tutor, Evaluating the Impact of Pantawid Pamilya Program on Consumption a paper
Presented to Philippine Economic Society, November 15, 2013.
5 Aniceto Orbeta, PIDS, November 2014.

way; political intervention; rigorous processes in the adjustment of toll rates and charges,
among others.6 To its credit, the government has confronted the problems and adopted
reforms to make the PPP achieve its goals. The Philippines was considered as the most
improved country in Asia-Pacific for PPP readiness. The Philippines was noted to have
instituted the improved regulatory and institutional framework resulting from significant
regulatory reforms, new bidding and selection procedures, and better dispute resolution
mechanism. The Philippines ranked 7th among 21 countries that were included in the study. 7
As of 2013, government reported 32 PPP projects that were concluded with project costs of
US$3.6 billion. The big ticket items are the Mindanao Diesel Power barges, Malaya Thermal
Power plant, the Leyte-Cebu Geothermal Power plant, and the Leyte-Luzon Geothermal
Power plant. Thirty-five projects were reported to be operational with project costs
amounting to US$15.9 billion. These include the South Luzon Tollway Extension, Casecnan
Multi-Purpose Irrigation and Power Plant, Pabahay sa Riles, Pagbilao Coal-Powered Plant,
the Metro Manila Skyway, and the MWSS privatization. 8
Is it Empowering? The MGG has continually noted with favor the empowering
results from the Bottom-up-budgeting (BUB) initiative of government. The BUB was
initiated in 2013 and involved 1,233 LGUs that were identified as the poorest. The program
was scaled up and in 2015 and P9.02 billion was earmarked from the budget to finance
programs and projects that are identified by local communities in partnership with civil
society. The BUB system has to be more transparent particularly on how project proposals
are approved. Reports have been made that the approval process has ample provision for
the exercise of discretion of higher authorities.
The MGG commends the efforts of fiscal agencies such as the DBM and the Bureau
of Treasury to empower the public through greater openness to data and information. Their
websites provide basic information that would provide the public with greater familiarity
with the fiscal operations of government. It is hoped that such service to the public would
be demonstrated by the DOF, the BIR, and the BOC.
The MGG notes with disfavor the disposition of BIR to go beyond its powers in
enforcing the law. With its proclivity to amend the rules and regulations to beef up
collection, the BIR has introduced uncertainty in tax administration, widened the
discretionary powers of tax officials, and significantly increased the compliance costs of
taxpayers. Fortunately, the Courts have ruled against many of the BIR rulings, including the
withdrawal of the tax exemption of Peace bonds, the imposition of the documentary stamp
tax on mergers, the requirement for schools to apply for tax exemption, application for a tax
treaty relief, requirement for the self-employed to submit a list of their billings including the
issuance of receipts to pro-bono cases, requirement for financial institutions to disclose list
of income payments to investors, among others. The MGG looks forward to the day when
both BIR and its parent agency, the DOF can be more empowering by becoming more
consultative, open, and treat the taxpayers as shareholders.
Average score:
Revenue Generation: 5.4
6 (80 %weight)
BOC: 3 (20% weight)

Ma. Catalina Cabral, Lessons from PPP Projects January 21, 2015.
Economist Intelligence Unit, Evaluating the Environment for PPP, the 2014 Infrascope
8 Budget of Exepnditures and Sources of Financing, DBM, 2014

Expenditure Management: 6.33

Expenditures on Poverty Reduction: 7
Efficiency in disbursement:

C. Scorecard in Health

In the last five years, the health care sector has made significant strides towards
implementing the Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (KP) program as part of the Aquino Universal
Health Care Agenda. Successful implementation of the program will ensure that every
person will be provided health care services without any financial difficulty. Providing
quality, affordable, accessible, and available products and essential services is a hallmark of
an effective and efficient system. The success of the KP program is largely dependent on
how a country achieves its three primary goals of attaining better health outcomes, building
a more responsive health system, and establishing a more equitable health care financing
that reduces out-of-pocket spending and expands financial risk protection.
But despite the year-to-year gains in the health care sector, the Philippines still lags
behind most health outcome measures. A recent report from the World Health Organization
(WHO) describes the state of health affairs as stagnant.1 Very few managers, health care
leaders, and decision makers employ a proactive approach to finding solutions to prevailing
This is the fifth and final installment in a series of annual health care sector
evaluations conducted by members of the Movement for Good Governance (MGG) during
the President Benigno Aquino IIIs administration. We attempt to provide an honest,
objective, and extensive assessment of the accomplishments of the Aquino government
based on his electoral promise to his bosses, the Filipino people.

1. Rapid expansion in National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) enrollment and

benefit delivery using national subsidies for the poorest families
With a mixed public-private health system, the Philippines is in a unique position to
effectively implement policies on the provision, regulation, and financing of health care
services. The National Health Insurance Act of 2013 mandates the Philippine Health
Insurance Corporation (PHIC) to provide coverage to all Filipinos and their families,
emphasizing enrolment of those in the poorest quintiles as well as expanding benefit
packages and limiting out-of-pocket payments.
Since assuming office in 2010, President Aquino has shown a commitment to
increasing public health spending in order to achieve universal health care. In 2015, the
Department of Healths (DOH) budget increased from P 83.72 billion in the previous year to
P 86.97 billion.2 Passing Republic Act 10351 into law, also known as the Sin Tax Law of 2012,
has proven to be a boon to the successful implementation of government health programs.
Earlier this year, the Philippines was even recognized as a recipient of the Bloomberg Award
for Global Tobacco Control.

Revenues generated from the second year of implementation of the Sin Tax Law,
which gives the government the ability to fully subsidize the premium coverage of 14.7
million poor Filipino families or more than 45 million Filipinos, has already amounted to P38
billion for 2015 and has provided an increase of more than P 16-billion to the current DOH
budget. The sin tax revenues has also allowed government to continue with its initial efforts
of renovating and upgrading government health facilities, expanding promotive and
preventive health services programs, and hiring health workers to support widespread
delivery of health services. In particular, PHIC has been able to continue the implementation
of its Tamang Serbisyo para sa Kalusugan ng Pamilya (TSeKaP) program which provides
Filipinos access to basic services such as blood chemistry exams, urine analyses, antibiotics
for common infections, medicines for chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and
high cholesterol, breast and cervical cancer screening services, and digital rectal exams. This
program also gives poor children full immunization coverage against measles, German
measles, mumps, polio, hepatitis, pneumonia, rabies, and diarrhea.
The past year has also seen Republic Act 10645 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act
of 2010 being signed into law on November 5, 2014. With only about 3.94 million senior
citizens currently having PHIC coverage, the passage of this new law guarantees that the 6.1
million senior citizens in the country will now be able to avail of the health benefits enjoyed
by PHIC members without the need to be declared as an indigent. All these
accomplishments indicate that the Aquino government has striven to be responsive to the
health needs of the people. However, challenges still remain towards achieving universal
health care.
Results from the most recently National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS)
conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority found that only 63% of Filipinos are covered
by health insurance with those in the rural areas having a slightly higher coverage rate (64%)
than those living in urban locales (62%). In addition, the highest wealth quintile has been
found to have a higher coverage rate (76%) compared to those in the other lower quintiles
(between 55% to 63%). As of April 2014, PHIC has covered 82% of the population with 2016
projections showing a 95% coverage rate. However, this seems to be a rather unrealistic
estimation considering that a large number of hospitals still experience major delays when
receiving PHIC reimbursements. As of late, PHIC has even temporarily suspended
reimbursements to facilities with alleged questionable claims pending the results of their

2. Improved access to quality hospitals and healthcare facilities through accelerated

upgrading of public health facilities
According to the 2013 NDHS results, only one in every 9 Filipinos visit or seek
consultation in a health facility every 30 days. Of these, only 7 percent go to public medical
facilities and government health care providers . These may support currently prevailing
notions that public primary health facilities are perceived to be of lower quality. Less than
45% of the more than 42,000 barangays in the Philippines have functional health centers. All
these factors contribute to secondary and tertiary facilities being inundated with patients
whose conditions can easily be treated by a primary care physician. Additionally, the NDHS
results also showed that the average travel cost for individuals to go to a health facility or
private provider is P 69.0 while the average cost of treatment is P 1,044. These costs may be
too prohibitive for those seeking medical treatment especially in private medical facilities.

The government has tried to address these problems by improving the availability of
health facilities nationwide. With P 43.0 billion at its disposal in 2014, the government was
able to either construct or upgrade 8,175 health facilities across the country. Last February
2015, Health Secretary Janette Garin also signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the
National Housing Authority that formally transferred land ownership to the Philippine
Childrens Medical Center.
But even though the government has tried to address the need for improvements in
health facilities and upgrade medical equipment to deliver affordable services, health
human resource management is still a critical area that the government must drastically
address. Resource-constrained areas such as Ifugao, Iloilo, Palawan, Saranggani, South
Cotabato and Surigao still do not have dedicated health care professionals assigned to each
barangay. It has been recommended that at least one nurse or midwife should be deployed
per barangay, but an unequal distribution of health care personnel continues to persist
especially in the provinces. Conservative estimates peg the problem of available health
human resource at less than three workers taking care of a population of 10,000.
Improvements in health human resource management must be implemented to address the
problem of nearly 50 percent of dying Filipinos not even having been seen by a healthcare
In addition, medicine prices in the Philippines remain one of the highest in Asia. The
fluctuating nature and variability of prices of medicines have been considered as the main
factor that contributes to the lack of access of most health facilities in the country to
medicines. With this in mind, the DOH launched the Philippine Drug Price Reference Index
(DPRI) last September 2014 with the goal of increasing transparency and efficiency of the
government procurement process of essential medicines. Establishing a drug index will
promote fair pricing in medicines, which will help improve access and availability of
medicines for all. The Philippine DPRI includes all the medicines in the Philippine National
Formulary (PNF) with data on prices from the DOH Central Office and its 72 retained

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
Unfortunately, the Philippines will not meet all of its Millennium Development Goals
(MDG) health targets. Infant and under-five mortality rates have been significantly reduced.
However, there has only been a slight decrease in neonatal mortality, most likely due to the
low rate of delivery in facilities. According to the 5th Progress Report on the Millennium
Development Goals for the Philippines,3 six regions were found to have registered infant
mortality rates below the national level of about 22 deaths per 1,000 live births, while there
were seven regions below the national under-five mortality rate of approximately 30 deaths
per 1,000 livebirths. The following regions were found in both lists: NCR, Cagayan Valley,
Central Luzon, CaLaBaRzon, and the SOCCSKSARGEN. At the other end of the spectrum, the
Eastern Visayas, MiMaRoPa and Caraga regions were found to have the highest incidence for
both infant and under-five mortalities. With only 58% of pregnant mothers having their first
prenatal visit in the first trimester, the government must intensify efforts to emphasize the
importance of prenatal visits in the first trimester to be able to identify high risk pregnancies
and complicated deliveries earlier. By doing this, management plans will developed and
implemented at an earlier point in the pregnancy which will help improve maternal

outcomes and reduce neonatal deaths. Furthermore, essential newborn care protocol must
be scaled up in all health facilities in the country.
For MDG 5, the Philippines will not meet its target of reducing the maternal
mortality ratio by 75% or 52 deaths per 100,000 live births. Aside from the low rate of
deliveries in health care facilities, total fertility rate has been decreasing, with an upward
trend in teenage pregnancies being observed. According to the same report,3 lack of
affordable services, lack of transportation, lack of information on the benefits of PHIC
coverage, and unavailability or inaccessibility of facilities have been cited as the primary
reasons on why Filipino mothers do not seek consultation in health care facilities. For MDG
6, the incidence, prevalence and mortality rates for malaria and tuberculosis (TB) cases have
gone down considerably. But in the past five years, the number of new HIV cases has
steadily increased. During that time, the Philippines has exhibited a 587% increase in the
incidence of HIV cases. This has made the Philippines the country with the fastest growing
HIV epidemic in the world.
Comparing the milestones reached and the progress made in the health sector vis-vis the existing gaps in implementation, 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
Total Score
Average Score


The current rating indicates a stagnation on the progress made from previous years. The
progress has been slow in the past year compared to previous years. The challenge now is to
develop new strategies that will advance the needed reforms in health financing,
governance, health infrastructure, and health human resource management as President
Aquino nears the completion of his term. A more strengthened approach is needed in order
to attain universal health care by addressing the inequities found especially in geographically
isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA). Hopefully, the succeeding administration will build
upon the initiatives and gains achieved by the Aquino administration.

D. Scorecard in Agriculture
The Aquino administration had bright hopes for the agricultural sector. The Presidents
social contract with the people stated that government will treat the rural economy not as
source of problems but it will recognize farms and rural enterprises as vital to achieving
food security, more equitable economic growth, and worthy of re-investment for sustained
How the government has performed relative to this promise is assessed purely based
on statistical evidences.
The evaluation will follow the following criteria:
(a) Agriculture growth versus ASEAN peers
(b) Agriculture productivity level and growth among ASEAN peers

(c) Agriculture exports (level and growth) among ASEAN peers

(d) Industry roadmaps
(e) Rural poverty, a key outcome of agriculture performance
Agriculture Growth
During the Aquino period (2011-2014), agriculture grew at an average growth rate of 2.1
percent a year, the lowest among ASEAN comparators. It is nearly 20 percent below
Thailands (2.6 percent) and 45 percent slower than Indonesias (3.8 percent).
Interestingly, the Philippine agriculture growth slowed down to 2.1 percent a year as
compared to 2.8 percent a year during Arroyos term (2001-2010).
Table 1. Agriculture Growth in the ASEAN: Aquino and Arroyo Periods
Phil Development
Plan Targets
Source: ADB
While the production of palay and corn grew at 4.7 percent per year and 5.1 percent
per year respectively, coconut production declined by -1.5 percent annually. Incidentally, the
coconut sector along with small fishers hosts the largest number of the rural poor. The
production of poultry advanced by 3.5 percent a year, but livestock production grew at only
1.5 percent a year. Fishery, a subsector that hosts a large number of rural poor declined at 0.9 percent a year. The table below compares the growth of agriculture during the Aquino
and Arroyo administration.
Table 2. Agriculture Growth: Aquino Year vs. Arroyo Years
Average Annual Growth Rate (AAGR), Percent

Aquino vs. Arroyo

Other Crops
Source: PSA-BAS



Slight Up

Pres. Aquinos declaration of rice self-sufficiency at 100 percent by 2013 (from 80

percent in 2010) cannot not be achieved in 2015 and at the end of his term in 2016. This was
an impossible target at the very start, and has used up a significant amount of resources
which could have been devoted to commodities with better market and income prospects
such as cacao, coffee, oil palm and aquaculture.
Agriculture Productivity
The Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2010-2016 targets raising crop yields by
2016. The targets appear ambitious and most likely cannot be achieved by 2016.
Table 3. PDP Targets: 2016 vs. 2014 Actual



Yield (tons/hectare)
Coconut (copra)
Coffee, dried
(000 tons)
Municipal fisheries
Total Fisheries
Agri Exports
(US$ million)
(a) 2004-2010 average (b) 2011-2016 average
Source: PDP, 2010-2016; PSA-BAS; UN Trademap

2014 Actual
vs. 2016
Target, %

Target Achievable
by 2016?









Based on an analysis of farm productivity levels and average annual growth rates,
the Philippines lags behind its ASEAN peers in actual productivity levels and growth, except
in rice.
Rice. It had the second lowest average yield in 2013. But it had the highest average
annual growth during 2010-2013. This accelerated during the Aquino years as
compared to Arroyo years.

Corn. It had the lowest yield in 2013 but ranked second in growth rate during the
period 2010-2013. According to private sector sources, most of the gains were in
yellow corn areas, most of which are not planted to Bt corn.

Coconut. The Philippines is the worst performer in terms of yields and second worst
in yield growth.

Sugarcane. Productivity is among the lowest in the ASEAN. The industry players
attribute such poor performance to land reform which led to many small holdings.

Table 4. Agriculture Productivity Growth Comparison, ASEAN, 2001-2013


Farm Yield (tons/hectare)


Growth Rate, % per year














67.4 (a)








Philippines (b)
Rubber, dry
(a) SRA data used:











CY 2010-2011 and CY2013-2014

(b) Dried cherries divided by 2.

Source: FAO
Agriculture Exports: Levels and Growth
The Philippines continues to have the lowest level of agriculture exports in the
ASEAN at US$6.1 billion (B) in 2014. Compare this with Thailands US$47B, Indonesias
US$41B, Malaysias US$32B, and Viet Nams US$23B.
Nonetheless, exports during the Aquino period posted higher growth (12.8 percent
p.a.) than the Arroyo period (7.7 percent p.a.). The higher growth was driven by fresh fruits
(banana and pineapple) and food preparations. Exports also managed to post the highest
growth rate in the ASEAN in 2010-2014.
Table 5. ASEAN Agriculture Exports, selected years,(US$ million)

Memo item: Phil.
Veg Oil
Misc food prep
Fish, crustacean
Fish/Seafood prep
Source: UN Trademap



23,239 (a)




Table 6. Number of Exports earning US$1B or over

At two digit level category

Ave. Growth
Rate, %

Ave. Growth
Rate < %




(a) 2013
Source: UN Trademap


6 (a)



Commodity Roadmaps
The Department of Agriculture has reportedly prepared several
commodity roadmaps but the publication of these has been delayed pending
completion of the rice roadmap. The roadmaps are vital milestones in annual
The Aquino administration has made notable strides in growing the
economy and managing the economic parameters such as inflation, managing
deficits and balance of payments. It has accelerated investments in
infrastructure, education and conditional cash transfers (the 4Ps).
However, its record in agriculture is way below targets and lags behind
peers. Crop yield targets have not been achieved, and they remain low. Exports
grew faster in 2010-21014 but still lag severely compared to high levels
achieved by ASEAN peers. This, in turn, severely affected rural poverty
Table 7. Rural Poverty headcount at National Poverty Lines
~40 (a)
~40 (b)
(a) Poverty headcounts in 2009: fishers 38.9%, farmers 35.3% None for landless
rural workers
(b) Poverty headcounts in 2012: fishers 39.2%, farmers 38.3% None for
landless rural workers
Source: World Bank for ASEAN, except the Philippines. Philippine figures are
estimates which include landless workers.
Scorecard on the Agricultural Development under the Aquino

Overall, the rating of the Aquino period is 5.0, meaning: something has
been accomplished but is lower than expected. This applies to all criteria, and
shown below:
Agriculture growth versus ASEAN peers
Agriculture productivity level and
growth among ASEAN
Agriculture exports (level and growth)
among ASEAN peers
Commodity roadmaps


Lowest among ASEAN peers
Way below ASEAN levels


Rural poverty reduction, a key outcome

of agriculture performance


Growth will be achieved but

export level target is low
A number has been prepared
but not published as rice
roadmap is delayed
Slowest among ASEAN peers



Much ground to cover to

catch up with ASEAN peers

E. Scorecard in Governance
From the very beginning, President Aquino sent a strong message that good governance
will be at the core of his administration. The no wang-wang policy was well received by
the public including his critics. The policy signaled no special treatment for the highest office
in the land. Moreover, the Aquino Administration is probably the only administration that
did not imprint the Presidents name or photos a-la- EPAL on a priority program or project
borne and upheld by the Administration. There has been no such thing as Ginintuang
Masaganang Ani which was the agricultural trademark of the GMA Administration, for
example. The simplicity and modesty of the leader come side by side with his platform of
anti-corruption and good governance. He demonstrated his serious intent in dealing with
spurious governance practices - the impeachment of former Chief Justice Renato Corona,
the impeachment attempts against Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez, the plunder charges
and indictment of three legislators and the alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, plus
the positive response to the clamor of civil society to abolish the pork barrel system. These
were all clarion calls for good governance and a drive against anti-corruption. These
pronouncements and practices have given the President high trust ratings during most of his
Increased transparency, citizen participation and accountability were promoted
through specific strategies that include enhancing public access to information, fully
engaging and empowering the citizenry, strong performance management and
accountability measures, and intensified anti-corruption efforts. Seven (7) key initiatives on
good governance were enunciated in the Philippine Development Plan, 2011-2016:
1. Mandatory disclosure of budget information by national government agency under
the transparency seal;
2. Full disclosure by local government units of the budget, finances, bids and public
offerings which should be uploaded in their websites;
3. Philippine government electronic procurement system (Philgeps);
4. Electronic transparency and accountability initiative;

5. Posting of citizen charters;

6. Access to information initiative;
7. Single portal for government information
That the Aquino administration took these key initiatives is a good sign of its
commitment to good governance, although the fourth one, i.e. electronic transparency and
accountability initiative, has yet to be operationalized.
The transparency seal has been adopted by all national agencies and government
corporations. This has been further enhanced with the passage of Republic Act 10149 which
created the Governance Commission for Government Owned and Controlled Corporations
(GOCC) in 2011. The Governance Commission is mandated to ensure a reduction in
corruption and an improvement in service delivery of government corporations.
The Aquino administration joined other nations in their commitment to create an
Open Government platform. It institutionalized a full disclosure policy for local government
units and citizen participation was enhanced through grassroots participatory budgeting
across cities and municipalities. Under Aquinos term, there have been attempts to
strengthen performance management and accountability measures through the Seal of
Good Housekeeping and Seal of Good Local Governance, including the adoption of the
Performance Challenge Fund. The results-based performance management system and
performance-based bonus help rationalize the budget allocation of agencies.
The Revenue Integrity Protection Services (Run after Tax Smugglers and Run after
Tax Evaders) has moved not only as a measure to increase revenue collection but also as a
step in intensifying anti-corruption efforts.
What was probably a blemish on this governance practice was the circle of friends,
appointees, and close allies of the Administration, who despite known abuses or allegations
of corrupt acts, or involvement in the PDAF scam, did not serve enough as a basis for the
Presidents decision to kick them out of public office and anoint more competent people in
government. The double-standard in the bureaucracy at the top level made it even more
difficult for the rest of the bureaucracy to shed off the long stinking palakasan and
untouchables in the system. As a result, the bureaucracy generally remains the same not
necessarily corruption-free nor is it better in terms of efficiency in service delivery. The
President may be clean, honest, and corruption-free himself but this cannot be said of the
entire bureaucracy under his Administration. Take for example, the notorious and
embarrassing stories in the Bureau of Corrections, the Bureau of Customs, and the
Philippine National Police, to name a few.
Certainly, there are gaps in the good governance efforts of the Administration.
The Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill has not passed, or at least has not been
certified as priority by the Administration itself, despite the President being one of the most
enthusiastic supporters of the FOI during his time as a legislator. Advocates hoped that the
President make the FOI reform as his legacy on good governance to make his initiatives
sustainable. However, as his term comes close to the end, the advocates hope begins to
wane. It is not sufficient that the government discloses all information regarding its
operation, decisions, and the budget utilization. Disclosure can mean cluttered information
which may not be helpful for citizens. It is equally important that when citizens wish to
obtain information from any government agency, it latter should be able to provide such

information. Availability of information upon demand by the citizens is a responsive

measure on information management and an indicator of transparency.
The Administration has caught public scrutiny and institutional controversy through
the use of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), a stimulus to the economy. The
Supreme Courts decision over the DAP cases was not a declaration of the DAP
unconstitutionality per se. It was qualified that the Constitution allows the President to
make re-alignments but only within their respective offices. The Supreme Court declared
the following features of the DAP 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 department
Funding of projects, activities, programs not covered by appropriations in the
General Appropriations Act

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) justifies the DAP and
emphasizes the importance of providing stimulus to the economy. However, the bottom
line of discretionary funds and re-aligned budget is the accountability on the utilization of
such budget. 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. The Supreme Court decision and the argument of the Executive branch under
the Aquino Administration make for an interesting and sharper discourse on accountability
and the exercise of discretionary authority on resource utilization. Nothing in previous
administrations has had reached a discourse on transparency and accountability except
under the Aquino Administration.
The anti-corruption efforts of government have resulted to a marked
improvement in the Philippine ranking in the Transparency International Corruption
Perception Index. The Philippines ranked 85 out of 175 countries in 2014, up from 105 in
2012 and 94 in 2013. The procurement reforms, the serious drive for transparency in
budgeting, and greater openness of the administration, contributed to an improvement of
public perception in the fight against corruption. However, the score of the Philippines is
still below the median and major gaps in the campaign against corruption have to be
The standing of the Philippines in the Economic Freedom Index likewise improved.
Its score moved up to 62.2 in 2015 up by 2.1 points compared to 2014. Wide-ranging
reforms on improving regulatory efficiency and correcting structural weaknesses were
reported. However, the World Economic Freedom observed that corruption continues to
be a serious cause for concern jeopardizing prospects for long-term economic
development. The judiciary was described as inefficient and susceptible to political
interference.and does not provide strong and transparent enforcement of the law. 9 The
Global Corruption Barometer in 2012 noted that 56 percent of the households in its study
described the judiciary as corrupt., July 24, 2015

On the participatory aspect of governance, the Budget Partnership Agreement has

served as token participation unless civil society organizations have the full technical knowhow and capacity for fiscal budgeting, planning, monitoring, and engagement. Local
government units should likewise be equipped and prepared for interactive fiscal processes
of reporting, planning, and budgeting. Unless citizen groups and local government units are
equally equipped and prepared to engage in fiscal processes, the
The Budget Partnership Agreement is considered as merely a token measure on
governance, transparency and participation rather than a measure of empowerment and
participatory governance.
Good governance is also about efficiency. It is here where the Aquino Administration
faces another huge challenge as service delivery has yet to see greater efficiency and
responsiveness. Whilst the government procurement process is meant to be transparent
and competitive, its biggest weakness was that it makes the procedures cumbersome
thereby slowing down the delivery of services.
The challenge sends a message that reforms in the bureaucracy do not only mean a
change in leadership, but also an empowerment and professionalism of the rest of
bureaucracys human resources.
Will Aquinos successor pursue the good governance initiatives and will the
successor/s surpass the legacy of transparent, accountable and participatory governance by
making governance more inclusive through counting everyone especially the poor?
Average Score: 7.0

SONA 2015 marks the fifth and last full year of the Administration of President
PNOY. As pointed out in last years assessment, presidential promises made during the 2010
presidential campaign period should have already been introduced as policy. MGG 2014 is
therefore about policy implementation.
In early 2010, President PNOY introduced a 10-point basic education agenda to be
carried out by the Department of Education. This agenda was considered a bold one
because it focused on structural reforms rather than on programs only. The total weight per
campaign promise remains the same as in previous years reflecting the importance of each
promise vis-a-vis the overall agenda. The weights, however, are in favor of implementation.

Campaign Promise

Twelve-year Basic education cycle

Universal pre-schooling
Madaris education for Muslim Filipinos
Technical-vocational education as an
alternative stream for high school




5. Every child a reader by grade 3

6. Science and math proficiency
7. Assistance to private schools
8. Medium of instruction
9. Quality textbooks
10. Covenant with LGUs to build more schools









The MGG Assessment for Education in 2015 was undertaken by a lead assessor who
interviewed key respondents and players including basic education school owners and
school heads (private schools), DepED division level officers and public school principals, and
university academics involved in specific 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.
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
The new Enhanced Basic Education Law of 2013 (Republic Act 10533) established
the legal basis for adding two additional years to the basic education cycle. Grades 11 and
12 will constitute senior high school. The additional 2 Years will place the country at par
with the rest of the world in terms of a complete basic education cycle. By passing this into
law, the government has laid the legal basis for unexpended Basic education for all Filipinos.
That this was done early in the administration as it identified this government as a reform
champion in education.
The issue raised in this assessment is one of timing. The full rollout of the additional
two years will only be realized in full by school year 2017-18 or well after this administration
has stepped down from office.
The reason for the slow implementation was due to the rollout strategy adopted by
DepED. From the beginning of the reform in 2011, DepED opted to take an incrementalist
approach to introducing the new curriculum to schools. Starting school year 201112,
DepED introduced two school years of curriculum changes each year with the final two years
(i.e. Grades 11 and 12) to be rolled out in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
In August 2014, DepED asked private high schools to submit letters of intent with
reference to opening up senior high schools. The Department is keen on identifying private
high schools that might be in a position to help it by offering slots to public school students
looking for placement in grades 11 and 12. This strategy is also being considered by the
department for state colleges and universities and private universities/colleges, both of
whom will have no university freshman intake in the first two years of the senior high school

To be ahead of the curve, a number of private high schools have began to advertise
that they are senior high schoolready. A practice that does not appear to be closely
supervised, however, is that of accelerating students in some of the private high school. In
these schools, students have had to take acceleration programs so that they can be
promoted to a higher level. These programs may take the form of a four-week summer
program or additional Saturday sessions during the school year leading to promotion to two
levels higher. In this assessment, this is seen as nothing more than a superficial practice of
renaming grade levels up to SHS.
The situation in public high schools might be even more serious. The huge volume
of enrollment anticipated for both grades 11 and 12 in public schools will not be met by the
Department. DepED will be resorting to a clustering strategy. Not all public high schools will
be able to open their own senior high school departments. In the case of public high
schools that will end at grade 10, their students who wish to go on to senior high school will
have to go further to a catchment senior high school. This will add additional burden and
cost to students having to go further to attend a catchment senior high school. A glance at a
sample of where these catchment Senior high schools are located show that many are
urban-based. This will disadvantage rural students and may have an impact on the rural
urban distribution of students in favor of the urban.
The government has the resources to build the necessary infrastructure for senior
high school. The problem is time or the lack of it. Here, the incrementalist approach may
have been the wrong strategy to take.
This late in the administration, risk has presented itself in the form of opposition to
the introduction of senior high school. The oppositors led by two senators and a party list
group in Congress have filed the case before the Supreme Court for a permanent injunction
to hold off the implementation of the law. While this is probably not going to prosper, it is
taking up the attention of education advocates and others on something that was already
determined back in 2013 but which could surface as an election issue in 2016.
The PNOY Administration has done well to introduce the additional two years in
basic education to make the Philippine cycle equal in length to the rest of the world. The
real challenge today is implementation. By having the full implementation of this crucial
reform full beyond this administration (i.e. beyond the term of President PNOY) the element
of risk has been introduced. The next administration may choose to postpone the reforms
(if it were a populist government) or may water down some of its bolder provisions.
Rating: 11.0 [Maximum: 20.0]
Policy: 10 rating (x 0.2 weight)
Implementation: 5 rating (x 1.8 weight)

Additional Note from the 2014 assessment:

In SYs 2016-17 and 2017-18, the rollout of the additional two years of SHS will mean
that universities will have no freshman intake for two successive school years. These two
years of no intake will continue for the next five years with less than maximum enrolment
for higher education institutions (HEIs, e.g. universities and colleges). With the majority of
HEIs being private, this will have a major impact on the financial viability of the sector.
Small private colleges and universities may close due to financial non-sustainability.
On the positive side, this should result in a consolidation of enrolment in larger
universities which may not be bad for higher education in the country. Such consolidation
should result in better economies of scale and efficiencies that would make the cost of
higher education more affordable to the larger segment of the population.
On the negative side, however, closures will have a direct effect on the employment
of faculty, many of whom are unionized. Private universities and colleges which will be
forced to close and faculty unions of many of these private and public universities may raise
the issue of closures and layoffs as possible election issues in the run-up to the 2016
presidential/national elections. If there is significant clamor, the K-12 reforms which DepED
has worked hard on up to this point may be watered down by a new administration.
This would be an unfortunate turn of events at the end of what would be a major
reform in education in the country.

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.
Universal preschool has been a qualified success for the Department of Education.
The numbers show that almost all Philippines children attend kindergarten. As in the
assessment for 2014, there are two main concerns to be addressed.
Are parents bringing the right-age children to kindergarten? DepED data show that
by gross number, the majority of the children in kindergarten are still actually 6 years and 7
years of age. This reflects the same pattern for Grade 1 and the early elementary years.
What has happened is that the age level pattern for school entry has just been shifted to
kindergarten from Grade 1.10
Unless this pattern is recognized and corrected, it will have an effect on dropout
rates in the higher grades. Higher dropout rates in the later years of formal schooling are
closely correlated with over-age students. (Note: The pattern is improving, however, as
parents become more knowledgeable about the benefits of bringing children to
kindergarten at the right age.)
If the school aging pattern were to shift significantly to 5 year olds entering kindergarten and
6 year olds entering Grade 1, there should be a surge in enrolment to reflect the age
demographics. There is an increase but the expansion in enrolment is not at the same pace as the
age demographics.

On the supply side, there is still a very large shortage of early childhood/preschool
educators. The increase in the number of kindergarten classes is not yet matched by
enough qualified early childhood/pre-school education majors or graduates from higher
education institutions (HEIs). It will take about 3 to 5 years for DepED to be able to have
enough qualified K teachers in the system but this number is moving in the right direction as
more and more college-age students respond to the demand for more K teachers.
Rating: 18.2

[Maximum: 20.0]

Policy: 10 (x 0.2 weight)

Implementation: 9 (x 1.8 weight)
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.
The Department of Education completed a number of baseline studies on Madaris
education to determine how it could to be better delivered. (Similar research studies were
carried out for indigenous peoples education.)
Funding support for Madaris education has been stable over the years of the
administration. Still, today, Madaris education remains predominantly private and mosquebased. Many private Madrasah schools11, 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.
DepED could benefit from having a strong champion for Madaris education (as well
as IP education) in the person of a high official, preferably of undersecretary or assistant
secretary rank.
Rating: 4.1

[Maximum: 10.0]

Policy: 5 (x 0.1 weight)

Implementation: 4 (x 0.9 weight)
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.
From informal surveys undertaken preparatory to senior high school level, it appears
the technical-vocational education will be a very large, if not the largest, stream. DepED has
worked hard with TESDA prepare a ladderized curriculum for SHS. DepED has identified
some 35 high schools nationwide to test out an SHS curriculum (Grade 11) that is heavily
geared to technical vocational education.

Madaris is the plural for Madrasah schools and is the term used to introduce the sector.

This number is very small compared to the total requirement for senior high school.
Rating: 2.6 [Maximum: 5.0]
Policy: 7 (x 0.05 weight)
Implementation: 5 (x 0.45 weight)
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 childrens 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
All School divisions now have some form of institutionalized reading program. Many
of these are internally designed or developed.
The weakest link in providing reading books and materials for schools lies with the
procurement of reading books. The Instructional Materials Council Secretariat (IMCS)
continues to be on top of reading book procurement despite the fact it has a textbook
orientation and questionable governance.
A big plus for the department is in its alliance with the National Book Development
Board headed by a reading champion/advocate in the person of its chairwoman. The Library
Hub investment program, however, appears to have lost steam. By 2014, there were to 300
library hubs operating in different divisions across the country.12 There have been none
added it since and no apparent appetite to expand the program.
Rating: 2.5 [Maximum: 5.0]
Policy: 5 (x 0.05 weight)
Implementation: 5 (x 0.45 weight)
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 Department of Education has two variants:
Science high schools and regular high schools. DepED set up some 130 science high schools
all over the country at a rate of at least one for every schools division. These are in contrast
regular high schools of which there are around 5000.
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.

There is a world of difference between the two types of high schools. DepED
Science high schools received about 4 to 5 times more investment on a per student basis
than regular high schools. Needless to say, the former outperform the latter both in terms
of National achievement tests and college entrance exams.
There is a third Science high school system in the country. These are 14 Philippine
Science High Schools under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) each of
which receives around 15 times the per capita spending for regular public high schools.
DepED has prepared a senior high school track for science and technology. This has
not yet been tested.
The computerization of public schools is an ongoing program but does not
necessarily 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
Rating: 4.4 [Maximum: 10.0]
Policy: 8 (x 0.1 weight)
Implementation: 4 (x 0.9 weight)
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 under the education service contracting (ESC) and voucher schemes
is reported to be over 900,000 out of a target of close to one million. The amount of subsidy
per student is scheduled to go up in value. DepED has plans to expand GASTPE to include
payment for SHS tuition to participating private high schools, colleges and universities.

Rating: 4.55 [Maximum: 5.0]

Policy: 10 (x 0.05 weight)
Implementation: 9 (x 0.45 weight)
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 heritage.
The Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE) is a major success
story of DepED.
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, Cagayan
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).
Rating: 10.0 [Maximum: 10.0]
Policy: 10 (x 0.1 weight)
Implementation: 10 (x 0.9 weight)
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 doesnt mean, however, that all textbooks are of quality. There continue
to be complaints about the quality of textbooks procured by the Department of Education.
Textbook procurement has not always been timely.
Rating: 5.0 [Maximum: 10.0]
Policy: 5 (x 0.1 weight)
Implementation: 5 (x 0.9 weight)
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
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: 1.4 [Maximum: 5.0]
Policy: 1 (x 0.05 weight)
Implementation: 3 (x 0.45 weight)

Scorecard in Education, 2014

Campaign Promise


1. Twelve-year Basic education cycle

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


Score (Rating x





Overall Conclusion:
The rise in the education scorecard rating came largely from two categories:
improvement in the planning of the senior high school and improvements in the delivery of
kindergarten. Other categories showed minor improvements.

G. Environmental Management
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


Strictly enforce environmental laws

The Promises of Benigno C. Aquino III. last accessed 15 July 2013

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

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 worlds present and future electricity
needs. However, it continues to face social acceptability problems 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 wellbeing 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.


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 Peoples 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.
While these frameworks are in place, implementation efforts need to be
coordinated, and monitored to secure and sustain their mitigation and adaptation effects.
In May, the Climate Change Commission has disclosed that the Aquino
administration has now allocated P13 billion in 2014 for Climate Change mitigation and
In June, the Climate Change Commission signed an MOA with University of the
Philippines toward capacity building programmes for the implementation of this framework.

Given the repeated calls for the relocation of vulnerable settlers due to Climate
Change, particularly informal settlers along waterways, the Aquino administration has not
moved toward physical and sustainable resettlement programmes. Continued inaction will
exacerbate the adaptation and mitigation of vulnerable communities.
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
hectares of degraded forest lands. It was personally launched by the President with an interagency 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 planted14, a 26% attainment of the target, and with only 2 years to
go, the administration will need to accelerate efforts, while submitting to 3rd party
verification 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.15

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 administrations 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 governments new policy on
mining. The EO seeks to increase the governments 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 having consulted
and reflected 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.
Three years since the issuance of EO 79, the revenue sharing law and related measures to
foster sustainability in the sector are still in Congress and will likely not pass .
The Presidents issuance of Executive Order 23 was 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 governments 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.
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 efforts, but prosecution support and outcomes are wanting. Aquino also 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 of
the DENR who died in their line of duty. President Aquino also ordered the National Bureau
of Investigation and Philippine National Police to form a joint task force for the arrest not
the perpetrators and the masterminds of the crimes.
Poor oversight and lack of enforcement on rehabilitation and reparation of
Tubbataha and Kalayaan Island group reef from U.S. and Chinese vessels respectively has
highlighted the lack of 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.
A major 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 led to woeful early warning systems, evacuation, and a
massive toll of over 6000 citizens in the region16, while a disaster plan was only in place 6

months after the devastation.The Php 167.9 billion Comprehensive Rehabilitation and
Recovery Plan for the affected areas took almost a year after the tragedy.
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.
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
countrys 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 coalfired 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 are classified as renewables17. However, 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.
4. Population management via responsible parenthood
President Aquinos 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 countrys 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 countrys resulting ecological state continues to worsen with such

The Philippines has less than 10 percent of its forest cover and coral reefs remaining18,
while only 39 percent of 525 water bodies are potential sources of drinking water.19

Conservation International. Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Profiles. 2002. Pp.3-4.

EMB. 2006. National Water Quality Status Report 2001 to 2005. and, World Bank. 2003. Philippine Environment Monitor


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.20
The Philippines shares the vicious cycle of high population growth, social conflict; large
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.21
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 2002.22

Scorecard for environmental Management

1. Caring for the Environment
2. Sustainable Resources
3. Strictly enforce environmental laws
4. Safer sources of renewable energy
5. Population management via responsible parenthood


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
22 World and Country Trends. Global Footprint Network.

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