Sunday, December 27, 2015

Extension service with a heart

Serving the community is part of my personal advocacy and doing it as a part of my job is an endearing and enjoyable experience. When I started teaching full-time at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) in June 2012, I was still adjusting from the corporate setting to the academic one (I was employed for more than 5 years in Davao Chamber and Chemonics International MABS-USAID Project). The dean of the School of Applied entrusted me the Extension Coordinator designation in August 2012. At first, I did not know how to handle it and I am not that confident that I could handle the job, given a lot activities that I will implement. There were a lot of challenges that come my way in serving as an Extension Coordinator. Its not easy to handle the pressure from my direct supervisors, the school and the university targets and accomplishments. Aside from that, I have a lot of sacrifices for my family, days intended for bonding, going to church are exchanged with travels and extension obligations. But I was able to compensate those lapses, because in every stormy weather, there is a rainbow in the end. After three years of serving as Extension Coordinator, the University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) has recognized me as the "OUTSTANDING EXTENSION COORDINATOR FOR 2015" last December 18, 2015 at the USeP Gym. All of the tears, sweat and sacrifices financially and emotionally have paid off. This award will never be possible without the support of my students, faculty, admin support and barangay beneficiaries. Truly, the most priceless reward is when you see the community (that you have served ) are empowered to create a bigger "CHANGE" in the society and in the nation as a whole.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Philippine Economy grew by 5.2 percent in the 1st quarter of 2015

The domestic economy grew by 5.2 percent in the first quarter of 2015 from 5.6 percent the previous year. The main driver of GDP growth for the quarter was the Services Sector which grew by 5.6 percent from 6.8 percent. Industry, on the other hand, accelerated to 5.5 percent from 5.4 percent posted last year.  Similarly, the Agriculture sector accelerated to 1.6 percent from 0.6 percent.

Among the three major economic sectors, Services gave the highest contribution to the GDP growth in the first quarter of 2015 contributing 3.1 percentage points followed by Industry 1.9 percentage points, and the whole Agriculture sector 0.2 percentage point.

Net Primary Income from the Rest of the World grew by 2.7 percent from 11.1 percent in the first quarter of 2014.  This, together with the GDP performance, resulted to GNI’s growth of 4.7 percent from 6.6 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

With the country’s projected population reaching 100.9 million in the first quarter of 2015, per capita GDP grew by 3.4 percent from 3.8 percent while per capita GNI and per capita Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HFCE) grew by 3.0 percent and 3.6 percent from 4.8 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.

Click here for the itemized presentation of GDP by industrial origin and expenditure.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Rice Supply Response in the Philippines

The Philippines is basically an agricultural economy and its principal source of income comes from agriculture. An improvement in agriculture greatly affects the welfare of the people and the national economy (Fajardo et al., 1992).  Therefore, the use of economic principles in agriculture is very vital. Proper agricultural development leads to industrialization, and this is the dream of every poor nation.

Rice (Oryza Sativa Linn.) is in the heart of Philippine agriculture. It is considered the single most important commodity because rice is the major staple food of approximately two-thirds of Filipinos. As the country’s staple food, rice accounts for 35 percent of the population (now about 77 million) to as high as 60 – 65 percent for households in the lowest income percentile (GMA, 2002).

Rice is a very important commodity in our country and the government should maintain its stable production with respect to the increasing population. Twenty-three percent (23%) of the total Philippine population directly and indirectly derives their income from the industry (Philippine Peasant Institute, 1992).

Not only is rice an important staple, it also significantly contributes to the economy of the country. Rice is cultivated in 2.7 million hectares or 30 percent of the country’s total arable land. It contributes an average of 15.5% percent of the country’s gross value added (GVA), 13 percent to the consumer price index (CPI), 3.5 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP) and 3.3 % percent to the gross national product (GNP) (Ginintuang Masaganang Ani, 2002). In the light of this contribution, the country still has difficulty to attain self-sufficiency and price stability in rice production. The government has initiated different rice programs (e.g. Ginituang Manasaganang ani), and researches in order to formulate relevant policies in the rice industry.

For the past several years, different models and approaches in studying supply response were used. Some supply response models use only few of past values in forming expectations. Some other models use the entire past history, with the past values receiving declining weights as we go further into the distant past. These models were called distributed lag models of expectations (Maddala, et al., 1992).

Distributed lag models are potential models to be used in estimating supply response. There were few attempts to use these models in estimation. The specific distributed lag model that is well-known is the Polynomial Distributed Almon Lag Model, which was developed by Shirley Almon in 1965.

Distributed lag analysis is a specialized technique for examining relationship between variables that involve some delays or lags. In particular, the Almon Polynomial Distributed Lag Model, are used in order to reduce the effects of collinearity in distributed lag setting (Greene, 1993). 

Reference: Erazo, J. and E. Cruz. 2007.  Rice Supply Response in the Philippines: An Almon Lag Approach. Unpublished Undergraduate Thesis. School of Applied Economics, University of Southeastern Philippines. Obrero, Davao City.

Microfinance and Poverty in the Philippines

           Microfinance is commonly associated with small, working capital loans that are invested in microenterprises or income-generating activities (Churchill and Frankiewicz, 2006). Such microenterprises are often family owned and have less than five employees, sometimes based out of the home, as for instance small retail kiosk, sewing workshops, carpentry shops and market stalls (Whole Planet Foundation, 2009). Today, however microfinance is referred to more generally as the provision of financial services to those excluded from the formal financial system (UNCDF, 2002). In the beginning the credits that were given to poor were called microcredits or micro-lending, but soon it became clear that also other financial services were used and needed by the poor which enlarged the microcredits to microfinance (Felder-Kuzu, 2005). Microfinance and microcredit are often used interchangeably, but it is important to highlight the difference between them because both terms are often confused. According to Sinha (1998), microcredit refers to small loans, whereas microfinance is appropriate to non- government organization (NGOs) and microfinance institutions (MFIs) who supplement loans with other financial services. Microcredit is a component of microfinance in that it involves providing credit to the poor, but microfinance also involves additional non-credit financial services such as savings, insurance, pension and payment services (Okiocredit, 2005).

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My Blog Milestone

I want to apologize to my readers for not writing any posts these past few weeks. In the Philippines, March is the graduation season and as a teacher, we are very busy in final exams, student requirements and theses. That's why I was not able to write any article, because my mind was blacked-out. But today, the waves are kind of settled now and I noticed that I reached my milestone of visitors in my blog. Today, I already had my first 50,000 visitors (hits). What a remarkable zenith of blog accomplishment! Thank you to all my blog followers, without all of you, I could not reached this.