Michael Tan

Low trust levels in the Philippines have been established in both local and international surveys.   In my presentation I will discuss the possible origins of both mistrust and distrust, using integrated perspectives from geography, history, sociology, economics and psychology.  I will then talk about the implications of these low trust levels for development programs with specific examples around governance, particularly the formulation and implementation of public policies and the delivery of public services.  The examples will come from electoral politics, health care and education.  I will argue that low trust levels actually contribute to mismanagement, inefficiency and, counter-intuitively, corruption. I will discuss why social research must give more attention to trust levels as a barometer of “structures of feeling”, a term first introduced by the Welsh social critic Raymond Williams, of simmering and contending public perceptions and opinions.   Finally, I will have recommendations for reversing the continuing deterioration of trust levels, with a perspective of keeping a healthy level of cynicism while moving toward social cohesion.

Donghyun Park

Growing income inequality is a global concern.  While income disparities across countries have narrowed significantly over the past several decades—thanks to the robust economic growth achieved by many low- and middle-income economies—income gaps within countries, both advanced and developing, have widened. In developing Asia, inequality has increased generally since 1990. High inequality can “hollow out” the middle class, limiting the domestic market size. It can damage institutional quality as well—through possible elite capture, rent-seeking, and corruption associated with highly concentrated growth, dampening the poverty reduction impact of economic growth. What are the underlying causes of this inequality trend? In addition to globalization, market deregulation, and population aging, recent economic literature has focused on technological progress as the key contributing factor to rising inequality. In this era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, there are a variety of ways governments of Asia and the Pacific region can handle the increasing trend of inequality.

Kristina Baris

This paper analyzes the effects of the current trade conflict on developing Asia using the Asian Development Bank’s Multiregional Input-Output Table (MRIOT), allowing us to calculate the impact on individual countries and on sectors within countries. The analysis estimates the direct impact on all tariff-affected goods; uses input-output analysis to estimate indirect effects on gross domestic product (GDP), exports, and employment; and allows for redirection of trade toward other producers using the approach of Feenstra and Sasahara (2017). A full escalation of the bilateral United States (US)–People’s Republic of China (PRC) trade conflict would shave 1 percent off PRC GDP and 0.2 percent off US GDP. The rest of developing Asia could see small net gains thanks to trade redirection, particularly in the electronics sector. A trade war in autos and parts would hurt the European Union and Japan. The conflict has substantial negative effects on PRC and US employment, but only minor impacts on current account balances.

Jove Tapiador

Global trade restructuring is a net effect of the rapid geopolitical, technology, and environmental shifts happening and accelerating now. From the US-China trade war that is disrupting supply chains, to the advances of digital technology in all areas of life, to the demographic impact of resource loss and extreme weather, the current trade structure is under attack and will need to adapt. There are many angles to address these changes. Some can be applied to mitigate adverse effects, but most require a fundamental shift in paradigms and leveraging technology to effect socio-economic change. In the Philippines, the country faces challenges in sustaining its critical ICT industry and manufacturing sectors as well as supporting the transformation of the agriculture and financial services industries. The rise of artificial intelligence, blockchain, Internet of Things, 3D printing, and a host of related technologies alter industry dynamics in the BPO, automotive, retail, food production, banking and creative sectors. Underpinning all these is not just technology adoption to current business models, but a pivotal upgrading in human resources to drive productivity and innovative value-adding work. These require policy and regulatory changes in how work is defined, compensated, located, and protected. It also requires targeted investments in connectivity, training, and alternative workplaces.

Imelda Tiongson

Shift to digital world is already happening and slowly we are also seeing a shift to a Borderless society especially in trade.

12% of the major world banks have fully converted digitally while 38% into transformation. Paper Money is going away. Financial Technology (Fintech) is reshaping our Payment Systems, Asset Management, and even in Fund Raising activities and every year new and more efficient method are evolving and being developed.

  • In the Philippines, QR transactions increased from Php 1.862B in 2018 to Php 3.275Billion first half of 2019. 
  • When it comes to digital trade, DTI has revealed Digital Trade currently enables up to Php 160 Billion
  • By 2030, digital trade will enable an estimated Php1.9 Trillion of economic impact!

There are several advantages in being part of the digital world ecosystem however there are also pitfalls. It’s the pitfalls we need to establish risk management systems starting with ‘understanding the fintech world’.

For balance to achieve first understand digitalization impact in the fintech world. Digital payments, remittances are already part of our day to day life and laws already in place, but this is just a tip of the iceberg. There is a need to also fully appreciate tokenization. How it can help in fund raising.

Major part of this digital world is the shift in fundraising activities from IPO and Bonds to possibly Coint/Asset Offering. It is tho unfortunate that in 2017, 47% of the world’s Initial Coin Offerings fail and about 90% of the whitepaper was regarded as ‘fake’ and because of this China and South Korea banned ICOs. This is just an example where we need to see good equilibrium between positivity in digital trade but also be aware that there is a need for balance this with regulations.

Susan Pineda-Mercado

All talk about global public health must begin with this uncomfortable truth: The world is wealthier than ever before, but it is by no means healthier.
There is a myriad problems in public health. What is needed is to link problems to solutions that already exist – to create health equity.
Strategic partnerships creates the bridge to link solutions to problems in order to address climate, environment and health, noncommunicable diseases and injuries, mental health, adolescent health, communicable diseases (HIV, dengue, TB, vaccine preventable diseases, among others.
Despite the challenges to health there are brilliant opportunities to overcome health inequity: Universal Health Care, provincial leadership in health, information technology, health regulations (including taxation of harmful products), strengthening epidemiology, health promotion and strategic communication.
A focus on strategic partnerships can result in increased health literacy. Governance dialogues between and among different sectors is key.
There is a two-fold task: 1) to empower people with information and skills to take their health and their lives into their own hands; and 2) to enable healthier environments, and promote healthy settings.
We can be a nation of 110 million solutions, instead of 110 million problems.  With a clear vision, strategic partnerships and a strong focus on health literacy – we just need to act together and to start today.

Ronald Mendoza

The “blue economy” is a version of the “green economy” made relevant to our seas and oceans. It is a model of economic development that focuses on the sustainable management and use of natural and other resources in the maritime sector. Given the Philippines’ archipelagic nature and distinct resources and comparative advantages in this sector, this paper examines the challenges and opportunities towards growing the Philippines’ blue economy. It argues for the development of an integrated development plan, as well as the institution to catalyze and carry it out, for the entire blue economy. These should recognize and adequately manage rising risks (e.g. geopolitical risks in the West Philippine Sea and risks due to climate change) and utilize opportunities to leverage the marine economy for rapid and inclusive growth (e.g. tourism sector development, sustainable fisheries management, and manufacturing and rehabilitation of ships and naval assets). Ultimately, such a strategy could not only help promote inclusive development but also help strengthen the country’s national security.

Gavin Yamey

Global public goods (GPGs) for health are a critical component of the global health enterprise, and yet to date, they have been relatively neglected and under-funded. Both markets and governments have natural incentives to under-invest in global collective functions—markets under-invest because there is no clear demand, and governments under-invest due to the so-called “free-rider problem”.  Yet, when it comes to GPGs for health, the health and economic risks of ignoring them and the benefits of investing in them are transnational, warranting co-financing by the global community. This presentation makes the case for investing in GPGs for health. It lays out the key value propositions of such investments. It summarizes new research that quantifies the flows of official development assistance for health to GPGs for health and estimates the finance gap. Given that the existing financing mechanisms have not closed the gap, it proposes a suite of different options for directing additional finance to GPGs for health and discusses the overall governance of such finance.

Jeffrey Ordaniel

In the 21st Century international order, state actors, including great powers, rationalize their behavior through legal rules and accepted norms of diplomacy. Be it unilateral assertions of power, however counter-intuitive that may sound, or willingness to cooperate with others to address a pressing international concern, international law is often the basis through which states conduct foreign relations. But international law is important because it produces global public goods, such as maritime safety and security, nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the stability of the global financial system, among others. In essence, through international law, peace is maintained, inter-state cooperation can be deepened, and global prosperity is advanced. However, the notion of a more rules-based international order as the ultimate goal of contemporary international relations is being increasingly challenged. The rise of China, which has been resulting in the most consequential redistribution of wealth and power in modern history, has introduced new peculiarities in the conduct of interstate affairs, those that downplay the role of law and regionally distort existing international legal instruments. Take for instance the international maritime regime, the stability of which is critical to the global economy. Though the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea seemed to have stabilized global maritime interactions, the age-old concepts of mare liberum and mare clausum in the West seemed to have been resurrected in Asia’s maritime commons. These new peculiarities mean that smaller states like the Philippines become vulnerable to the whims of other more powerful states. This presentation will discuss how smaller powers, like the Philippines, should put the rule of law front and center in the conduct of their foreign policy.

Jonathan Corpus Ong

Drawing from a study that gained unprecedented access to the shadowy political trolling industry in the Philippines, this talk discusses the work arrangements and social identities of paid trolls hired for networked disinformation campaigns. I conceptualize networked disinformation as the distributed labor of political deception to a hierarchy of digital workers. Digital workers fluent in popular vernaculars (i.e., "gutter language", snarky gay humor, celebrity fan cultures) become important if invisible players in translating campaign strategy to the street–with volatile and violent consequences to political and public life. Against the backdrop of President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody drug war and political cultures of "permanent campaigning", disinformation producers silence dissent, seed historical revisionist narratives, and orchestrate new futures for their clients. This paper uses an ethnographically inspired approach that illustrates the motivations, competitive relationships, and moral justifications of workers. Crucially, I argue that the chief architects of networked disinformation are themselves architects of precarious labor arrangements in the creative industries.

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