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02/03/2012: Embassy Commemorates People Power with Launch of Book on PHL Economic Reform

Clockwise from upper left are Minister Maria Austria, Charge d’Affaires a.i., Ms. Nancy Yuan – Vice President of the Asia Foundation, Dr. Steven Rood – Country Representative of Asia Foundation Philippines, Dr. Enrico Basilio, Dr. Raul Fabella, and Dr. Jaime Faustino.

02 March 2012, Washington DC. In commemoration of the 26th anniversary of the EDSA People Power revolution, the Philippine Embassy, in partnership with the Asia Foundation, launched yesterday a new book on Philippine economic reform titled Built on Dreams, Grounded in Reality: Economic Policy Reform in the Philippines.  In attendance were guests from the U.S. government, business sector, think tanks, academe, and leaders of the Filipino American community.

The book is a set of case studies by development practitioners and academics focused on trying to uncover why some Philippine economic policy reforms succeeded while others failed.  It recounts the successful reform efforts in telecommunications, sea transport, civil aviation, water privatization, property rights legislation, and documents less successful attempts in improving tax administration and reforming the National Food Authority.

In her remarks, Minister Maria S. Austria, Charge d’Affaires a.i., noted that the economic reforms have improved millions of lives of Filipinos and cited the Aquino administration’s agenda of ensuring that the reforms would translate to growth in the macroeconomy.

Presenting the book were its distinguished authors, Dr. Jaime Faustino, who manages the Economic Reform and Development Program at The Asia Foundation Philippine office, Dr. Raul Fabella, a professor of Economics at and former dean of the University of the Philippines School of Economics, and Dr. Enrico Basilio, the founding president of the REID Foundation, Inc., a private, not-for-profit think-tank doing policy research and advocacy on public-private partnerships, transport, infrastructure, budget, tourism, and education.  A question and answer session, moderated by Dr. Steven Rood, the Asia Foundation’s country representative in the Philippines, ensued with questions from the audience that touched on governance, corruption, development aid, and infrastructure, among other issues.

The book was published with the support of the United States Agency for International Development and the Australian Agency for International Development.  With 17 offices throughout Asia, an office in Washington, DC, and its headquarters in San Francisco, the Asia Foundation is a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that collaborates with private and public partners to support leadership and institutional development, exchanges, and policy research.  END