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.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Lending money to the poor
In the old testament of the bible, Exodus 22:25 states that "If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal, charge no interest (NIV, Biblica)." The bible clearly says that you should not abuse the weakness of the poor financially. The poor is deprived from the basic needs they should have in order to sustain their living. They are the unlucky ones, who struggle everyday to survive the lack of food, clothing and shelter. The only resort they  have in order to improve their lives, is to find jobs with higher salary (in which they are not capable of). If not, they will avail of the high interest loans from informal lenders, in order to start a business of their own.

Micro-financing was the answer in providing access to credit for the poor. Mohammad Yunus of Bangladesh develop a method of lending for women in their village. He created a model on how they could improve their lives through lending and teach them to be liable to their obligations with friendly terms of payment that they could manage. Indeed, when we have our business, we should not overpower the weakness of the poor. We should complement with their available skills and give them the proper education to succeed in their endeavors. Truly, its hard to separate business from charity, but we need to balance these things for the betterment of humanity.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The International Monetary System

The amplified unpredictability of exchange rates is one of the foremost economic developments of the past 40 years. Policies for forecasting and responding to exchange rate fluctuations are still sprouting. Although impulsive exchange rates increase risk, they also create profit opportunities for firms and investors.

The international monetary system is the erection within which foreign exchange rates are dogged,international trade and capital flows are lodged, and the balance-of-payments regulations are made. All of the mechanisms, bodies, and arrangements that bond together the world’s currency, money markets, securities, real estate, and commodity markets are also incorporated within that term. 

The history of the world’s international monetary system is outlined by the following:
  • The Gold Standard 1880–1914
  • The Interwar Period 1918–1939
  • The Gold Exchange Standard 1944–1970
  • The Transition Years 1971–1973
  • Floating Exchange Rates Since 1973
Today, all exchange rate systems must compact with the tradeoff between guidelines and preference (upright), as well as between collaboration and liberation (parallel). The pre WWI Gold Standard requisite observance to rules and allowed independence. The Bretton Woods agreement (and to a certain extent the EMS) also required adherence to rules in addition to cooperation. The present system is pigeonholed by no rules, with varying notches of collaboration. Many believe that a new international monetary system could prosper only if it combined cooperation among nations with individual preference to pursue domestic social, economic, and financial goals.

*For my students in International Economics, please leave a comment  regarding any questions about our lesson. 
*Click this link to download our lecture reference: International Monetary System.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Basic Economics Course for Non-Economist

The participants from NEDA-CARAGA Region with the speakers
during the closing ceremony last Dec. 13, 2013.
The National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) – CARAGA Region has partnered with the School of Applied Economics (SAEc) in its Professional Training Program for planners and policy makers through the Basic Economic Course last December 11-13, 2013 at the Goat2geder Hotel and Restaurant, Butuan City, Agusan del Norte. Thirty Four (34) participants attended, which is composed of technical and administrative staff of the agency.

Empowering leaders to help communities

Meeting with barangay officials
The School of Applied Economics (SAEc) has launched its Barangay Skills Enhancement and Development Program (BSEDP) in the first quarter of 2014, a five-year community extension program participated by SAEc faculty and students enrolled in Project Planning and Management. The program aims to assist barangay leaders in crafting their development plans and initiate projects that will help uplift the lives of their constituents. As of December 2014, we have assisted a total of seven (7) barangays in Davao City, namely: Bago Oshiro, Manuel Guianga, Daliaon Plantation, Sto. Niño, Tacunan, Los Amigos and Biao Joaquin.

Improving the data management in the barangays

Dr. Edgardo D. Cruz delivering his message to the
barangay participants last October 22, 2012. 
The barangay is considered to be the local government unit closest to the people in terms of access and proximity, its role in local service delivery cannot be undermined. Barangay leaders are key players in national development for they have highly significant roles in shaping the destiny of a community, as well as the city as a whole.

The barangay needs to incorporate in their development plan the activities that will improve the delivery of their services to their constituents. One important component in their service delivery is the proper management of their data and reports, in which, most of the barangay leaders and staff don’t have enough knowledge and skills in improving this endeavor.

To augment the lacking skills of barangay leaders and staff in data management, the School of Applied Economics (SAEc) has implemented its extension programs to the different barangays in Davao City.

A TABLET to improve the barangays in Davao City

The barangay is considered to be the local government unit closest to the people in terms of access and proximity, its role in local service delivery is very essential in the development of the community.  Leaders in the barangay are key players in national development for they have highly significant roles in shaping the future of the nation. Hence, empowerment of these leaders is one of the keystones in achieving progress.

With this important role in national development, barangay leaders should be properly equipped with the appropriate knowledge and skills in governing the community. Most of the barangay leaders lack the technical skills (i.e. technical writing, data management, project planning and evaluation, etc.) in serving their constituents. Given that barangay leaders are not experts (yet), supplementary materials and trainings are needed to improve their current abilities, for they are expected to efficiently and effectively serve their clienteles.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Celebrating Women Empowerment

Credits to:
Today, 8th day March of 2015, is the International Women's Day, this day we will celebrate women empowerment and gender equality. Since time in memorial, women were perceived by men as future housewives, they were not entitled to pursue higher education (before) since they are expected to be a homemaker when they get married. But being the house wife is not an easy task, as what others believed in. As a matter of fact, it requires intelligence, patience and perseverance. Its not easy to rear children, cook meals, do the laundry, clean the house and fulfill duties to your husband. You could not feel or understand your mom today or appreciate the things that she do, but if you become a parent yourself, you soon realize that its the hardest job in the world. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

A dream house that came true

Since childhood, I really want to have my own house and I was granted a new home through PAG-IBIG housing loan. It has really a dream come true for my family. After the long canvassing and cost-benefit analysis of the different real estate developers in Davao City, we have chosen this subdivision because of its strategic area, low down payment scheme and amortization. Not to boost the features of subdivision, which is also a plus factor compared to other developers. The lucky one chosen is "RESIDENCIA DEL RIO" (RDR) Subdivision located at Barangay Catalunan Pequeno, Talomo District, Davao City. Come and visit our subdivision and be our next neighbor!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Our Sagada Trip

I seldom travel with my family and friends because I don't have enough budget or shall we say I don't allocate travel expenses from my income. I only travel, when its official business, and last November 28 to December 6, 2014, together with my colleagues, we traveled in Baguio City and Sagada, Mountain Province. It was an official trip because we will be presenting our research paper in the 1st ILS International Research Conference and we have extended our stay to check the view around and it was a great experience. 

In the picture was me during our caving adventure in Sagada and it was great, we had explored a lot of sites including the handing coffins and the yellow pie house. It was really an unforgettable experience. I hope we could go back there and take a long vacation. We also have met new friends, a Jewish, French and Danish traveler. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Let the Green be seen: Urban Greening Project in Davao City

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In support to the National Greening Program (Executive Order No. 26) of President Benigno S. Aquino III, the School of Applied Economics (SAEc) has initiated the Urban Greening Project in partnership with the Department Of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), - Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) East and Communal Elementary School. This executive order was issued ordering and declaring the implementation of a National Greening Program as a government priority. The program shall plant 1.5 billion trees covering about 1.5 million hectares by 2016.