Monday, October 22, 2018

Policy brief: Using Evidence in the Philippine War on Drugs

This policy brief provides a considered approach to the war on drugs in the Philippines. It uses cross-country analysis to determine if harsh penalties for drug trafficking and drug use serve as a deterrent. It also looks at the recent history of the Philippines under Pres. Rodrigo Duterte in waging this war and canvasses other possible solutions to the drug problem, based on empirical evidence from other countries to arrive at a clear set of policy directives that may be applied in the Philippines.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Why land reform succeeded in Taiwan and Korea but failed in the Philippines?

The US made three attempts between 1903 and 1918 to institute land reform and distribution in the Philippines (a hundred years ago). Each of these attempts failed. Iyer and Maurer, two scholars from Harvard Business School examine the economic history of the Philippines under Spanish and American colonial rule, and point out why these attempts failed.

The article below is worth a read for anyone interested in knowing why property rights in the Philippines had been weak, and made it costly under those circumstances to pursue an asset reform program. The lessons learned in the Philippines, and different circumstances during the Cold War allowed US-sponsored land reform in Taiwan and Korea to succeed in a relatively short period of time. This laid the foundation for their rapid industrialization.

Covered by Iyer and Maurer is the effect of the Treaty of Paris at the conclusion of the Spanish-American War on the disposition of friar lands, whose acquisition by the US government from the Catholic Church at many times their potential annual income served as a disincentive to the proper implementation of land reform and distribution in the country.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Full text: Draft Federal Constitution prepared by the Consultative Committee

On Monday, July 9, 2018, the Consultative Committee appointed to review the Philippine Constitution of 1987 submitted their proposed Federal Constitution to Pres. Rodrigo Duterte in Malacanang Palace. Here is a copy of the full text of their submission.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Policy Brief: A Future Fund for the Philippines

This policy brief sets out the basic rationale, legal framework and economic/financial feasibility of setting up a fund out of the nation's international reserves to support human capital formation. As argued in this paper, the demographic dividend that the Philippines is poised to reap in the coming decades is contingent on developing its most important asset: people.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Sanofi and Zuellig Pharma were meant to support DOH in Dengvaxia program, but did they?

Sanofi and its Philippine distributor Zuellig Pharma Corp were obliged under the terms of its contract with the Philippine government to provide support to health workers, teachers and parents for its Dengue Vaccination Program.

Procurement documents obtained from the Department of Health under a Freedom of Information request lodged by this author reveal that as part of the purchase of Php3 billion worth of dengue vaccines, the manufacturer and supplier of the drug were meant to "conduct relevant training/orientation of health workers and teachers on the Dengue Vaccination Program" as well as "conduct orientation for parents, caregivers and students participating in the program".

Following the conduct of the mass vaccination of nine year old public elementary school children in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog regions, Sanofi and Zuellig were meant to provide support to DOH in developing a Dengue Vaccination Registry, and in conducting post-marketing surveillance, adverse effects following immunization (AEFI) response and related studies.

The French company was meant to support training on pharmacovigilance and Good Clinical Practice (CGC). In addition, the terms state that "the supplier shall be held liable in cases of adverse reactions due to impurities secondary to their negligence." These terms were accepted by a representative of Zuellig Pharma, who signed the document.

The question to be asked now is whether the support was adequately supplied. One would have thought that if proper guidelines had been established for undertaking the immunization in a safe manner, and if health workers, teachers and carers were properly informed of the risks associated with this new vaccine, that the misapplication of it could have been avoided.

Proper education and training about the groups at-risk of adverse reactions to the drug, namely seronegative children, or pupils who had not been previously infected with any of the strains of dengue, could have prevented the trauma suffered by families of these children. If in fact the terms of the contract were not upheld, then Sanofi and Zuellig should be held liable for their negligence. The source documents for this post are found below.


Towards a New Philippine Political Architecture

Tomorrow the Senate committees on electoral reforms and people's participation as well as constitutional amendments and revisions of codes will hold a hearing on political dynasties.

Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan announced it on Twitter.

In 2013, at the height of the #ScrapPork protests, I wrote a policy brief on reforming Philippine political institutions and governance. Instituting either a ban or a cap on political dynasties needs to go hand in hand with electoral reforms that would strengthen political parties. The paper is found below and can be downloaded here. Could this be an idea whose time has come?

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Episode 15: The question of Philippine federalism, Part 3

Now that congress has formally started hearings on charter revisions to shift to a federal structure of government, some legislators are asking: Well, what’s the benefit to the public? Is federalism worth the trouble? The same goes for the proposed adoption of a semi-parliamentary form of government. And is it appropriate for the Philippines, a country of over 100 million people, dispersed over 7,000 islands? In this third and final installment to this series, we seek to supply the answer to these questions, as well as offer a critique of the proposed revisions of the ruling PDP-Laban.

Listen to the podcast here.

Read the transcripts here.