Category: Aquino administration

MGG gives Aquino administration grade of 5.81

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 President’s promises have been delivered is measured using a scorecard.

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 governance.

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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 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 government’s 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 live births compared to the national average of 22 deaths per 1,000 live births. 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 Program.

The overall score of the Aquino administration in 2014 is 5.81 which is lower than its rating in 2013.

To read the assessment paper in full or to download a copy, please click here.

Note: Originally titled “MGG gives Aquino administration grade of 5.93,” this post has been updated with the rating on education, which brought down the overall score to 5.81.

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MGG gives Aquino administration grade of 6.0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To read the assessment paper in full or to download a copy, please click here.

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MGG gives Aquino administration grade of 5.77

The government scored a perfect 10 for maintaining a high and sustained level of economic growth and managing inflation. The Movement for Good Governance (MGG), chaired by Prof. Solita Monsod, lauded the accomplishments of the President in maintaining macro-stability, managing the budgetary deficit, and reducing the debt burden. MGG commended the Performance Incentive System for local governments that was put in place by Secretary Jesse M. Robredo and the Bottom-up Budgeting and Open Government initiatives by the Department of Budget and Management.

Low scores were given to the sluggish performance of the export sector, the decrease in employment opportunities, and the disappointingly small reduction in population poverty incidence for the first semester of 2012, 27.9 percent compared to 28.6 percent in 2009. MGG expressed disappointment in the slow pace in the implementation of the Public-Private Partnership.

The improvement in the tax effort was observed to be slow, from 12.4 percent in 2011 to 12.9 percent in 2012. This was despite the numerous changes and revisions that the BIR introduced in tax rules and regulations. MGG expressed alarm over the uncertainty and instability that these constant revisions cause. “It paves the way for arbitrariness and a personality-driven governance,” MGG observed. MGG noted that the BOC was never on track in reaching its revenue-target and has failed to control the problem of smuggling.

The score given to the delivery of the government’s health program was 5.5. The gains in the increase in coverage of the national health insurance were noted, as well as the passage of the Sin Tax Law. Despite these however, MGG reports that out-of-pocket expenses of patients are still high in medical care, ranging from 55 percent to 84 percent of the costs. Access of the poor to quality health care was described as inadequate and MGG notes that there are only 18,000 barangay health stations out of 42,000 barangays. MGG expressed alarm on the increase in the maternal mortality rate, 221 deaths per 100,000 live births compared to 94 deaths in 2008.

In the area of education, MGG describes the implementation of K-12 as “incrementalist” since the DepED rolls out the curricula year by year instead of making available the entire new basic education curriculum. Madaris education was noted to be slow moving and remains predominantly private and Mosque-based. While the government’s efforts in building more schools were positively noted, MGG cites that the large-scale public-private partnership in classroom construction builds classroom in many already-overcrowded schools. MGG gave the education program a score of 5.79.

Apprehension was expressed in the preparedness of government to implement the Climate Change Action Plan, as well as the increasing dependence on coal as a primary source of fuel. Between 2009 and 2010, the percentage share of coal in power generation increased from 27 percent to 34 percent. MGG is alarmed that the Philippines has less than 10 percent of its forest cover and only 39 percent of the 525 water bodies are potential sources of drinking water.

In the area of governance, MGG says that the government has kept its promise of synchronizing the ARMM election with the national election in 2013 to prepare the region for an honest and fair election. However, MGG noted the lack of playing field considering that the appointed OIC was allowed to run despite earlier pronouncement of the Office of the President that this would grant him an undue advantage. MGG cites reports that many precincts that had a 100 percent voters’ turnout, a “statistically improbable development”. Governance received the highest score of 7 and the trust and confidence of the public on the personal integrity of the President was cited.

MGG commended government for the growth in agriculture but notes that the Philippines dismally lags behind ASEAN peers in the production of agri-food exports. The export per capita of Thailand was US$677, and US$1,320 in Malaysia. MGG recommends a program of meritocracy in the Department of Agriculture and is dismayed that over 50 percent of the staff in the Department of Agriculture are “job orders” or contractuals. The refusal of the Bureau of Customs to pre-inspect food imports was cited as endangering the country with pest, diseases, and toxic substances.

MGG concludes that the government is making gains in what the President promised, albeit with a slow pace in poverty reduction, employment generation, raising the tax effort, providing quality health care to the poor, implementing education reforms, and environmental management.

To read the assessment paper in full or to download a copy, please click here.

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MGG gives Aquino administration grade of 5.59

Prior to last year’s State of the Nation address, experts from the Movement for Good Governance (MGG) gave President Aquino a grade of 4.69 for his first year in office, a rating based standards or metrics that the President himself set for his administration at the beginning of his term. The rating of 4.69 meant that “there have been accomplishments, but more needs to be done.”

After a year, MGG notes with enthusiasm the improvements in the performance of the Aquino administration. MGG’s second assessment paper shows the increase of scores in almost all areas of governance and gives the administration a total score of 5.59.

We commend the successes of government in employment generation, in controlling inflation, in instituting transparency led by DBM and DILG, the provision of assistance to local governments based on performance, the decline in infant mortality, the greening program, and consultative processes in budgeting and in formulating the mining policy. MGG lauds the significant strides made in increasing the amount of assistance to private schools through the GATSPE, and the preparations for the use of the mother tongue in instruction.

The challenges that government continuously faces are in poverty reduction, provision of infrastructure, increasing global competitiveness, expanding the Philhealth coverage, greater protection to mothers, broader and deeper access of the poor to health care, environmental protection, development of safer sources of energy, and population management via responsible parenthood. The adoption of the K to 12 curriculum has to have a seamless plan and mode of implementation and needs to be backed up resources. Greater attention should be made on the development of technical-vocational education, enhancing the reading skills of children and sharpening their capability and aptitude in science and in mathematics.

The management of public finance should gear towards capturing the increasing labor force as well as those in the shadow economy into the tax base, reducing the number of free riders through a reduction and simplification of tax incentives, installing certainty in the enforcement of tax laws, sanctions against big-time tax evaders, and a service orientation among the revenue enforcement agencies.

To read the assessment paper in full or to download a copy, please click here.

In the news: Good governance NGO gives Aquino grade of 5.59 out of 10 (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 23 July 2012).

MGG gives Aquino administration grade of 4.69

PRESS RELEASE

MGG gives Aquino administration grade of 4.69 for 1st year in office

Experts from the Movement for Good Governance (MGG) have given President Aquino a grade of 4.69 for his first year in office, a rating based standards or metrics that the President himself set for his administration at the beginning of his term.

MGG experts used a 10-point scorecard system that benchmarked the administration based on whether the President kept his promises to the Filipino people during his campaign. The rating of 4.69 means that “there has been accomplishments, but more need to be done.”

The rating, qualified by indicators, also evaluates whether the President has the qualities of a transformational leader: effective, empowering, and ethical. These are the qualities that MGG used in benchmarking the candidates in the 2010 elections.

“It is relatively easy to elect a President. The difficulty lies in supporting him so that he succeeds in governance,” said Solita Monsod, MGG chairman and former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary.

During the President’s inaugural address, he said, “No more turning back on pledges made during the campaign, whether today or in the coming challenges that will confront us over the next six years.”

His address metamorphosed into the program of government formally known as President Aquino’s “Social Contract with the Filipino People”, which in turn, serves as the basis of the recently released 2011-2016 Philippine Development Plan, with “Inclusive Growth” as the theme.

Ms. Monsod said supporting the President entails affirming his performance in areas that he has done very well, hence the rigorous process used in benchmarking the administration’s performance objectively.

“Supporting the President also involves reminding him what policies and practices are not coherent with his platforms and promises,” Ms. Monsod said.

In a document entitled “How Well Does The P’Noy Administration Fare?”, the MGG explained how it arrived at the overall rating. The group evaluated the President in the areas of economy, public finance, governance, corruption, education, and health.

MGG is a coalition organized in 2008 to promote transparent, participatory, and accountable governance.

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