Category: benchmarking and assessment

MGG gives Duterte Administration grade of 4.71

Has the Duterte administration lived up to its promises?

The Movement for Good Governance assessed how the administration performed on three major areas: the economy, public finance, and agriculture. Benchmarking was done based on data and performance indicators using a 10-point scorecard. The rating ranges from 0 to 10 depending on how well the administration has achieved its targets.

The overall rating of the President is 4.71. It can go up to 4.95 if the employment figures which are still forthcoming will show an increase in new job generation. The score means that what has been accomplished is lower than expected. The administration got a rating of 4.6-5.6 in managing the economy; 4.75 in public finance, 5.5 in agriculture, 3.75 in governance, and 5 in health protection.

The MGG gives a high rating of 7.5 on of the government’s performance on Human Development. The Human Development Index is a measure of the state of health, the level of knowledge and skills and the level of income. The HDI can range from 0 (lowest) to 1 (highest). The HDI of the Philippines, as of the Human Development Report is 0.682. It should be noted however, that the score is based on 2015 data. Building on the gains of the past administration, the target of achieving a 0.70 level of human development by 2022 will most certainly be achieved.

A score of 5 was given for GDP growth. The growth rate for the first three quarters of the Duterte administration averaged 6.7% with a declining trend. Performance in attaining inclusive growth was given a low of 2.5. Given the absence of recent statistics, MGG used the SWS survey on self-rated poverty. Self-rated poverty went up to 50 percent in March 2017 and declined to 44% in June 2017. Self-rated poverty went up to 33% in June 2017 from 30% in September 2016 with regional variation, with the highest, 44% in Visayas.

The performance in labor generation was rated at 2.5. The average unemployment rate of 5.67% was higher than 5.5% in 2016. This means that employment has been declining.

The promise of maintaining the fiscal agenda had a score of 4.5 mainly because of the turnaround in the policy of financing infrastructure through borrowings instead of the Public Private Sector Partnership (PPPs). The Philippines has had a positive experience with PPPS with lower costs, shorter period for project completion, and better maintenance and operations. With the inability of the revenue collecting agencies to reach their targets, the borrowing strategy may be risky.

The Tax Reform Program was given a score of 6 noting that the regressive distribution of the overall tax burden. MGG expresses its apprehension that the transfer mechanism which can lessen its impact on the poor will suffer from inefficiencies. The period for implementing the subsidy is relatively short for the poor to adjust to the increase in prices from the excise tax on petroleum. The MGG further notes the disconnect between the policy intention and the action of the Lowe House.

MGG lauds the golden age of infrastructure but notes that government has underspent in 2016 and during the first quarter of the year. Government’s performance is not consistent with its pronouncements.

The administration may have spoken too soon in promising that corruption will be stopped within a six month-period. The Philippines slid to 101 out of 175 countries compared to 95 out of 168 countries in 2014. Its score of 35 has not improved.

MGG notes with favor the initial gains in agriculture. Growth in agriculture in the second half of 2016 recorded a 0.5% increase from a negative 3.2% in the first half. Following a 4.9% rise in the first quarter of 2017, it is likely that the sector will hit 4% growth for the whole of 2017. This is a significant recovery from the dry spell of 2016. But the administration has much to cover to catch up with ASEAN peers.

MGG found it difficult to assess how the Duterte administration has lived up to its platform on governance. His 20 election promises make no mention of how he intends to use the powers and resources of the Office of the President to promote the welfare of the citizens and to empower them. His promises are stated in terms of what he intends to do, regardless of systems and processes. Our assessment on governance was limited to assessing the results of his promises.

The President was given 10 for fulfilling his promise of interring the remains of former President Marcos in Libingan ng Bayani and his promise to pardon former President Arroyo. He is on track on his promise to promote family planning and improve wages of the military. But he fell short in suppressing crime by 2016 since the number of murder cases rose. The other areas where slow progress was noted were stopping corruption government, ending labor contractualization, distributing coco levy to farmers, opening health facilities in every barangay with a doctor, and solving traffic problems in Manila.

MGG notes that AmBisyon Natin 2040 is an excellent platform to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs). However, a lot of action needs to be taken for real change to be felt. Although the capacities of rehabilitation and treatment centers have doubled with additional training given to frontline health workers, the war on drugs has resulted to a loss of 7,000 lives mostly urban poor Filipinos. Construction of health care facilities and rehabilitation centers has been slow, despite the additional P 96.366 billion allocated to DOH. Financial risk protection is still not experienced by all Filipinos with approximately 8 million Filipinos who still outside PhilHealth, despite the additional P3.0 billion pesos given to its budget. Finally, the lack of clear guidance from DOH on what a service delivery network is, and how it can be successfully implemented is an impediment to the progress that is being undertaken by the department. Several tools to enable SDNs, such as telehealth/telemedicine, are available for use and implementation. Without a department administrative or memorandum order, on how to integrate and make full use of these tools for SDN creation can result to a disorganized effort. The long-standing dearth of health human resources – coupled by the assassination of four physicians serving in the provinces in the first year of the Duterte administration ,contribute to the challenge of achieving SDNs. Instituting a return of service for all health professional graduates (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, etc.) of state universities and colleges and distributing them to their provinces of origin or areas of need offer an excellent way of resolving this challenge. But this must be complemented by a well-designed security and safety plan for all health personnel in the country.

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

MGG is a coalition of individuals and organizations chaired by former Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Solita Monsod. It was founded in 2008 to promote transparent, participatory, and accountable governance.

MGG’s previous assessments of the Aquino Administration can be found here.

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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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