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‘business’ Archives



PH expanding overseas markets to hit export revenue goal
Read 816 times | Posted on November 02, 2014 @ 2 years ago

THE government is expanding further its overseas markets for export products to seize more opportunities as it aims for higher export revenue target for 2016. (more…)



Steag energizes more villages
Read 954 times | Posted on October 09, 2013 @ 4 years ago

Steag energizes more villages

Oroquieta City – Nine (9) more villages in the region have been energized recently following the completion of the PhP 4.67 million electrification project in nine (9) sitios of Misamis Occidental. The project is part of the Fostering Rural Electrification and Energization (FREE) Program of energy-firm STEAG State Power Inc (SPI) and undertaken in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE), the Misamis Occidental I Electric Cooperative (MOELCI), and the concerned local government units of the recipient communities.

Recipient communities are situated in remote areas of Aloran, Sapang Dalaga and Oroquieta City, in Misamis Occidental. The areas were identified following the prioritization process of DOE and as part of its nationwide program “Energy Access for More”. Recently energized communities include: Purok 6, Brgy Labo, Aloran; Purok 1 Lawis, Brgy Bautista, Purok 3, Brgy Bitibut, Purok 3, Brgy El Paraiso, Sitio Bareta, Brgy Medallo, Purok 2 & 3, Brgy San Agustin, Sitio Sinuyak, Brgy Bitibut, Purok 1A, Brgy Guinabot, in Sapang Dalaga, and Bagong Tipan, Brgy Toliyok in Oroquita City. The program aims to spur socio economic development especially in the rural areas by enabling communities to have access to basic infrastructures such as electricity.

STEAG State Power Inc. (SPI), which owns and operates Mindanao’s only coal-fired power plant situated in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, sets aside at least 1-centavo for every kWh of its electricity sales to support the government’s nationwide electrification program as well as community development and environmental protection projects benefitting its host communities in the region. Aside from the MisOcc electrification project, Steag has also earmarked more than PhP 27 million for the energization of at least 32 villages in Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro City.



Economic growth not translating to better health, says PIDS health economist
Read 1,066 times | Posted on October 09, 2013 @ 4 years ago

DESPITE rapid economic growth in recent quarters, the Philippines has been doing a poor job in providing adequate health care, and inequality in access to health services is in fact high, according to a health economist.

Oscar F. Picazo, senior health research consultant at state think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), presented data on worsening health conditions in the country as he laid the case for crafting a policy that will make health care more “inclusive” in the press conference last Sept. 4 for the 11th Development Policy Research Month at the NEDA sa Makati Building.

Maternal health alone—which serves as a good indicator of the health system as it covers the entire spectrum of the referral scheme—is not improving as shown by a spike in the maternal mortality ratio to 221 maternal deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011. Before that, the ratio had declined steadily to 161 in 2006 from 209 in 1990, based on government statistics. The infant mortality ratio, meanwhile, is decreasing but not as fast as neighbors in the region, Picazo told members of the press.

“Reproductive health has something to do with this,” he said. “There’s still a high number of children per woman … Unwanted pregnancies are high among the poor.”

Picazo also pointed to the high variation of health outcomes across socioeconomic classes and regions. For instance, there is a huge discrepancy in Philippine Health Insurance Corp. coverage between the rich and the poor—52.8 percent of the richest have coverage while only 21 percent of the poorest are covered, he said. “Rich people are being subsidized by PhilHealth,” he added.

There are three sets of underlying causes for large disparities in health, Picazo said. The first is the interplay between poverty, income inequality, and the burgeoning population. Hospitals are unable to accommodate the growing number of clients, and the number of health workers per population is declining. Frequent disasters and environmental risks are also worsening inequality, Picazo said.

The second challenge pertains to the effects of demographic and epidemiological transitions as well as population mobility. The country’s population is starting to age, which will lead to a shift in disease burden to noncommunicable diseases from infectious diseases. PhilHealth is also unable to keep up as more Filipinos seek work overseas, which leaves dependent families without health coverage.

The third set of factors is systemic in nature, Picazo said. Doctors, nurses, and midwives are concentrated in Metro Manila and nearby regions. While the government has a program to upgrade health facilities, equitable distribution remains an issue, and the Department of Health has limited absorptive capacity despite increasing fiscal space for health expenditures.

The Philippines could do well to make use of information technology to improve health outcomes, such as by using laptop computers to connect patients with their doctors. “I don’t understand why we’re the outsourcing capital of the world and we can’t do that,” Picazo said.



Impact evaluation: What works and what doesn’t
Read 760 times | Posted on October 09, 2013 @ 4 years ago

FOR DEVELOPMENT practitioners, it’s important to find out what programs work and what don’t. This is where impact evaluation comes in.

Doing impact evaluation is crucial to assessing the effectiveness of antipoverty or development interventions and determining whether such efforts should be scaled up or expanded.

Effective ways of evaluating impact were discussed in a seminar hosted by PIDS and international nonprofit organization, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) – Philippines, last Sept. 10 at the Romulo Hall of NEDA sa Makati Building, as part of the observance of the 11th Development Policy Research Month.

Nassreena Sampaco-Baddiri, IPA country director, said impact evaluation has gained new importance amid questions over the government’s use of development funds.

Jessica Kiessel, IPA director for country programs, said impact evaluations “tell us if we are on the right track and how we can improve.” Impact evaluation is also necessary for accountability and for taking stock of lessons learned.

“Instead of asking ‘Do development programs work?’ we should be asking ‘Which works best?’ and ‘How we can scale up what works?’” said Kiessel.

Kiessel stressed two important things. Impact evaluation should involve a comparison between a treatment group and a “counterfactual” or control group to determine if there has been an impact. Also, randomized experiments are more effective in conducting evaluations.

“We need to make comparisons. If the counterfactual group can’t be observed, we need to ‘mimic’ it…randomization is needed to make sure the counterfactual group matches what the treatment group would look like without the program,” she explained.

Kiessel noted that in Ghana, three randomized evaluations found low-cost, remedial education programs to have quick, positive impacts on literacy and numeracy.

Moreover, randomization helps ease tension between treatment and control groups.

“If properly designed and conducted, randomized experiments are the most credible method to estimate impact of a program,” Kiessel said. “The bottom line here is that the math that we use does matter.”

PIDS President Gilberto Llanto said impact evaluation is becoming important with researches needing more rigor. Impact evaluation is also needed now that the government has decided to incorporate performance measures in the budget process, he said in his closing remarks.

PIDS and IPA have agreed to a partnership to disseminate the results of impact evaluations to policymakers and the public, Llanto said.

IPA, established in 2002, ties up with researchers and organizations around the world to study which social and economic programs work and which don’t. IPA has 14 country programs, including IPA Philippines, and more than 350 research projects completed or ongoing in over 40 countries across Africa, Latin America, and Asia. IPA has been conducting research in the Philippines since 2003.



Specific licenses to sell food items to Iran without basis in US law, regulation
Read 632 times | Posted on October 05, 2013 @ 4 years ago

THERE is no provision in United States (US) law or regulation requiring non-US persons to apply specific licenses to be able to sell most food items, including bananas, to Iran. (more…)



Globally-competitive products at Likha ng Central Luzon Fair
Read 533 times | Posted on October 05, 2013 @ 4 years ago

GET first-hand experience of Central Luzon’s products at Likha Ng Central Luzon (LCL) in its 2013 LCL Trade Fair which will be held on October 23-27, 2013 at the Mega Trade Hall, SM Mega Mall, Mandaluyong City. (more…)



Updating ASEAN trade access rules key to huge EU market, says ECCP
Read 401 times | Posted on October 05, 2013 @ 4 years ago

THERE is a big potential for expanded bilateral trade in the agro-food sector between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union if ASEAN economies can agree on regulatory issues hampering market access. (more…)



Gaining expertise in using FTAs can pay off for Filipino exporters
Read 721 times | Posted on September 30, 2013 @ 4 years ago

AS the ASEAN economic integration draws ever closer, government trade officials and industry leaders are urging Filipino entrepreneurs, especially micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), to take a more proactive approach in finding out exactly how free trade agreements work and how these FTAs can be used to their advantage. (more…)



USAID project to help facilitate MSME access to loans
Read 808 times | Posted on September 30, 2013 @ 4 years ago

SMALL and medium enterprises (SMEs) planning to expand their businessescan look forward to a new assistance to facilitate their credit access. (more…)



PHL, Chile to expand bilateral trade
Read 796 times | Posted on September 30, 2013 @ 4 years ago

THE Philippines and Chile have agreed to further expand bilateral trade especially in the field of fruit trading. (more…)

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