Senate Economic Planning Office (SEPO) Publications

Budget Notes

Dimensions of the Proposed 2024 National Government Budget Adobe PDF Format
November 2023 (543 KB)

The dimensions of the budget encompass the intricate distribution of government resources across sectors, departments and key development programs and projects. An analysis of these dimensions will provide a nuanced understanding of how the budget's different facets interact to impact the country's fiscal and socioeconomic landscape.

Macroeconomic and Fiscal Assumptions of the Proposed 2024 National Budget Adobe PDF Format
August 2023 (763 KB)

Anchored on the theme Agenda for Prosperity: Securing a Future-Proof and Sustainable Economy, the proposed 2024 National Expenditure Program (NEP) will authorize the national government to spend PhP5.768 trillion.

Macroeconomic and Fiscal Assumptions of the Proposed 2023 National Budget Adobe PDF Format
September 2022 (759 KB)

The proposed National Budget for 2023 amounts to PhP5.268 trillion. This is 4.9 percent higher than this year’s budget of PhP5.024 trillion and will account for around 22 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) next year.

Macroeconomic and Fiscal Assumptions of the Proposed 2022 Budget Adobe PDF Format
September 2021 (1.2 MB)

The Philippines continues to struggle with the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic and social disruption it has caused. While the domestic economy expanded in the first semester of 2021, growth remains fragile, and where recovery is weak, fiscal policy can strengthen it.

Macroeconomic Assumptions of the Proposed 2020 Budget Adobe PDF Format
August 2019 (1.6 MB)

The proposed national budget for 2020 amounts to PhP4.1 trillion. This is 12.0 percent higher than 2019’s budget of PhP3.6 trillion and will account for 19.4 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020.

Macroeconomic and Fiscal Assumptions of the Proposed 2018 Budget Adobe PDF Format
August 2017 (1.53 MB)

Mirroring the “change is coming” promise of the Duterte administration, the proposed national expenditure program of the Executive for the 2018 is dubbed as “a budget that reforms and transforms”.

Macroeconomic and Fiscal Assumptions of the Proposed 2017 National Budget Adobe PDF Format
September  2016 (1 MB)

The successful implementation of the budget plan is hinged on a set of macroeconomic assumptions approved by the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC). These are indicators by which government determine the viability of the budget -- whether the proposed expenditure program is reasonable and sustainable and whether there are sufficient fiscal resources to fund it.

The President’s 2013 Budget: The Macroeconomic and Fiscal Perspectives Adobe PDF Format
August  2012 (859KB)

A day after his third State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Benigno S. Aquino III submitted to Congress his proposed PhP2.006-trillion national budget for the fiscal year 2013. Next year’s budget is touted as an “Empowerment Budget” with the overarching theme Paggugol na Matuwid: Atas ng Taumbayan.

Policy Matrix

Land Use: Policy, Planning, and Administration Adobe PDF Format
October 2015 (753 KB)

Comparison matrix of land use policies/provisions from various existing national laws and issuances

Land is a fundamental material resource and the primary platform for economic and other social activities. The way land is used and how it is intended to be used are integral components of human development.

Policy Brief

Quenching Policy Thirst: Reforming Water Governance in the Philippines Adobe PDF Format
April 2024 (1.01 MB)

The country’s water resources are approaching critical thresholds, compounded by persistent and emerging challenges within the water sector. Sustainable and integrated water resource management has become an increasingly urgent and inevitable task.

Unlocking Revenue Potential: Enhancing Real Property Valuation Systems for Local Economic Growth Adobe PDF Format
February 2024 (780 KB)

Real property taxation is a vital revenue source, yet the Philippines struggles to maximize its collection due to complex valuation systems and limited technical capacity. These challenges result in significant revenue discrepancies. Urgent reform is needed to address these issues in the country’s current fiscal landscape.

Advancing Public-Private Partnerships in the Philippines Adobe PDF Format
September 2023 (680 KB)

A thriving PPP initiative hinges on a robust legal framework, effective governance, and institutional preparedness. The proposed Public Private Partnership Act (SBN 2233) seeks to establish and institutionalize these requirements, ensuring the efficient execution of PPP projects and driving economic growth.

The Maharlika Investment Fund Adobe PDF Format
May 2023 (1.7 MB)

The previous administration’s infrastructure push started a positive momentum for development as it began to bridge the country’s decade-old infrastructure gap. This focus on investment, however, encountered financial challenges in light of other emerging government priorities.

Unpacking Policy Options to Reduce Single-Use Plastics in the Philippines Adobe PDF Format
April 2023 (642 KB)

The world is facing a global plastics crisis. Plastics have been accumulating in landfills or worse, flowing into the natural environment.

COVID-19 School Closures: Lessons from Disrupted Learning Adobe PDF Format
December 2022 (789 KB)

The Philippines was the last country to reopen schools since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. As of November 2022, public schools have resumed face-to-face learning while private schools are still allowed to continue with blended and distance learning.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Adobe PDF Format
November 2022 (543 KB)

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is currently the world’s largest trade and investment agreement. RCEP members include the 10 countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as five of its major trading partners—Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand.

Institutionalizing a National Evaluation Policy (NEP) Adobe PDF Format
June 2021 (1.5 MB)

Without an NEP, the Philippines is missing the opportunity to improve accountability and transparency in providing objective and evidence-based assessments towards greater effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, impact, sustainability, and equity of its management and operations.

Amending the Public Service Act: Setting Boundaries and Opening Possibilities in Public Services and Public Utilities Adobe PDF Format
December 2021 (1.41 MB)

The 85-year-old Public Service Act is in dire need of updating as many of its features are ill-suited to cater to the current realities. Instituting much-needed and long-awaited reforms will help bring in more investments and greater competition in key service sectors and consequently, more consumer choices, better prices and improved quality of service.

Institutionalizing a National Evaluation Policy (NEP) Adobe PDF Format
June 2021 (1.5 MB)

Without an NEP, the Philippines is missing the opportunity to improve accountability and transparency in providing objective and evidence-based assessments towards greater effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, impact, sustainability, and equity of its management and operations.

COVID-19 Response: Strengthening Contact Tracing Adobe PDF Format
May 2021 (1.3 MB)

A country’s COVID-19 response is only as strong as its weakest link. Currently, the Philippines has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases in the ASEAN and this has wreaked havoc to the domestic economy.

Addressing a National Health Threat: The Philippine HIV Epidemic Adobe PDF Format
August 2018 (1.26 MB)

Almost four decades since modern medicine became aware of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)1 in the early 1980s, the world is still grappling with the dreaded disease to this day.

Delineating the Philippines’ Specific Forest Limits Adobe PDF Format
June 2018 (1 MB)

Forests are among the valuable natural resources of the Philippines due to their environmental, social, cultural and economic significance.

Rice Tariffication: Why is it a necessary public policy? Adobe PDF Format
December 2017 (1.1 MB)

With 8.23 million “food-poor” Filipinos that represent 8.1 percent of the population and who spend as much as 30.6 percent of their total food expenditure on rice, shouldn’t the Philippine lift the quantitative restriction that makes its staple food very expensive? A public policy on rice tariffication may be necessary.

Examining the Philippines’ Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System Adobe PDF Format
May 2017 (842 KB)

Disasters brought by natural hazards are an issue of great concern not only in the Philippines but in the whole world due its social, environmental and economic impacts. With global warming, environmental degradation, increasing population density and poverty conditions, the occurrence of disasters are expected to rise.

National Land Use Policy: Enhancing Urban Concentration Adobe PDF Format
December 2015 (1.2 MB)

With the doubling of the population in about 40 years, the most important question to face our nation may well be: How can we sustainably accommodate 200 million people nationwide, with about 40 million in the Greater Manila Area? A national land use policy of enhancing urban concentration may be the answer.

National Land Use Policy: Protecting Prime Agricultural Lands Adobe PDF Format
December 2014 (1 MB)

With only less than 10 million hectares of agricultural land that is threatened by a rapidly urbanizing economy, how would the Philippines be able to meet its growing demand for food, and continue providing rural employment to further reduce poverty?

Realizing the Philippines’ Mining Potential Adobe PDF Format
December 2013 (799KB)

Given the country’s mineral wealth, the mining industry can be a key driver of economic growth.

Breaking New Ground: Enacting a National Land Use Policy Adobe PDF Format
January 2013 (815KB)

With only a total land area of 30 million hectares and a population of 92.3 million growing at an average rate of 2.12 percent, how should the Philippines allocate a very scarce and important resource—land—to meet the various needs of Filipinos? The Senate proposes a national land use policy to address this fundamental issue.

Economic Report

2021 Full-year Economic Report

Regaining Lost Ground Adobe PDF Format
March 2022 (1.2 MB)

The Philippine Gross Domestic Product (GDP) recorded a growth of 5.6 percent in 2021, signaling the start of an economic recovery. Despite two COVID-19 surges in April and in September, the less stringent mobility restrictions and the accelerated pace of the vaccination program helped boost economic activity, particularly in the manufacturing and trade sectors.

2021 Midyear Economic Report

A Fragile Recovery Adobe PDF Format
August 2021 (1.5 MB)

The Philippine economy managed to exit the recession when it posted an 11.8 percent year-on-year GDP growth in the second quarter of 2021, bringing the first semester average to 3.7 percent.

2020 Socio-Economic Report

Battling a Crisis Like No Other Adobe PDF Format
February 2021 (1.8 MB)

The year 2020 brought enormous challenges to the Philippines as it faced a volcanic eruption, a succession of typhoons and a catastrophic Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) health crisis. The global and domestic disruption caused by COVID-19 was so widespread that it has turned into an economic pandemic, precipitating a historic recession far worse than any downturn experienced by the Philippines after World War II.

2020 Midyear Economic Report

Transitioning to the New Normal Adobe PDF Format
August 2020 (1 MB)

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has significantly changed the economic landscape. The world economy is now expected to experience one of the worst recessions in history, and Asian countries, such as the Philippines, are proving to be no exception.

2017 Full-year Economic Report

Building on Resilience Adobe PDF Format
January 2018 (1.5 MB)

Highlights of the Economic Performance. The Philippine economy was able to sustain its growth momentum in 2017. Though slightly slower than the pace seen in the previous year, the services sector continued to be the main growth driver.

2015 Mid-Year Report

The Philippine Economy: Remaining Steadfast Adobe PDF Format
March 2014 (948 KB)

The prospect of hitting the 2015 GDP growth target of 7.0-8.0 percent is quite dim. Nonetheless, the Philippine economy remains resilient amidst uncertainties particularly in its external environment. With national elections fast approaching, one of the biggest challenges for decision makers is ensuring the continuity of reform efforts.

2014 Full-Year Report

Still Strong But Missing the Target Adobe PDF Format
March 2015 (931 KB)

Despite setbacks in public spending and agricultural production, macroeconomic conditions have been broadly favorable and have helped sustain growth in 2014. Efforts to introduce structural reforms, difficult as they may be, must be continued. Increasing the tax base, ensuring fair competition and protecting property rights are imperatives if the country were to realize its full growth potential.

2014 Mid-Year Report

Economy slows down, growth target in limbo Adobe PDF Format
December 2014 (685 KB)

The lingering impact of typhoon Yolanda on agricultural production coupled with weak public sector consumption has contributed much to the deceleration of economic growth for the first nine months of the year.

2013 Full-Year Report

Philippine Economy: Defying the Odds Adobe PDF Format
March 2014 (967 KB)

Despite the external headwinds and domestic shocks that buffeted the country in 2013, the Philippines still posted a remarkable growth level.

2013 Mid-Year Report

Philippine Economy: Rising to New Heights, Better Opportunity for Reforms Adobe PDF Format
December 2013 (812 KB)

All eyes are now on the Philippines. Having exceeded both government and market growth expectations for the last three quarters and now with Typhoon Yolanda’s wrath still lingering, the world is eager to witness how the Philippines would rise above it.

2012 Year-end report - On the cusp of economic resurgence Adobe PDF Format
February 2013 (936 KB)

The domestic economy exceeded expectations by expanding 6.6 percent in 2012. Strong macroeconomic fundamentals and improved governance helped propel the economic growth. Some facets of the economy, however, have yet to improve.

Policy Insights

At a Glance

Agricultural TradeAdobe PDF Format
June 2024 (5.7 MB)

Agricultural Trade is comprised of the export and import of agriculture and fishery products under the World Customs Organization Harmonized System (HS) Chapters 1 to 24. This includes the trade of live animals, fish and livestock produce, fruits, vegetables, cereals, beverages and tobacco, among others.

TourismAdobe PDF Format
September 2023 (8.4 MB)

Tourism involves people moving for personal/business reasons. The COVID-19 pandemichas hit the sector hard, but recovery grows as restrictions ease and confidence returns.

The State of WaterAdobe PDF Format
August 2023 (1.5 MB)

In the Philippines where numerous and complex water-related challenges and hazards abound, universal access to safe water and sanitation has yet to be achieved.

Financial InclusionAdobe PDF Format
February 2023 (1.4 MB)

Financial Inclusion is a state wherein there is effective access to a wide range of financial services for all, especially the vulnerable sectors.

Inflation in 2022Adobe PDF Format
January 2023 (289 KB)

The average headline inflation for 2022 reached 5.8 percent, higher than the 3.9 percent posted in 2021 and well above the target range of 2.0 to 4.0 percent. Inflationary pressure mainly came from rising global oil prices, exacerbated by the simultaneous rise in commodity prices due to supply-side bottlenecks, coupled with the peso’s depreciation.

Climate FinanceAdobe PDF Format
June 2022 (1 MB)

The Philippines has been on the firing line of climate change, enduring enormous losses one disaster after another. The country suffered from 317 extreme weather events during the last decade alone.

IRA in 2022Adobe PDF Format
February 2022 (970 KB)

The internal revenue allotment (IRA) is the main intergovernmental fiscal transfer in the Philippines. It is the biggest source of operating revenues of local government units (LGUs) to provide basic goods and services and finance other development activities. Like other subnational governments in developing countries (Liu and Waibel 2008), LGUs in the Philippines have been clamoring for more fiscal transfers to address some of the challenges they have been facing.

Update on the Flagship Projects of the Build, Build, Build ProgramAdobe PDF Format
January 2022 (1.3 MB)

Build, Build, Build (BBB) is the Duterte administration’s centerpiece program to usher the Philippines into its “Golden Age of Infrastructure.” It intends to bridge the country’s huge infrastructure gap, which has long been identified as a major factor for the high cost of doing business in the country.

Philippine Protected Areas Adobe PDF Format
September 2021 (1.2 MB)

Protected areas play a crucial role in mitigating climate change and building resilience to catastrophic events. Apart from ensuring biodiversity and conservation of ecosystems which have traditionally been a source of livelihood for many, safeguarding protected areas is also vital in preventing the future emergence of zoonotic infectious diseases such as Ebola and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Issues in the operation and management of protected areas must hence be urgently addressed.

Effect of COVID-19 Pandemic on OFW Deployment and Remittances Adobe PDF Format
April 2021 (1.4 MB)

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic slowed down global economic activity at an unprecedented scale and migrant workers and their families are among the hardest hit. Thousands of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) lost their jobs and returned home. This consequently contributed to the increase in the country’s unemployment rate and restrained the inflow of remittances. As the health crisis rages on, OFWs continue to face uncertainty over their employment prospects.

Major Publications