Philippines - Economic analysis of government policies, investment climate and political risk.






PHILIPPINES: Economic Policy Analysis

This site presents an analysis of the Philippine government's economic policies compared to a revised list of 34 economic policies as prepared by Kara Chua Olegario with the McKeever Institute of Economic Policy Analysis (MIEPA) in Fall 2012. To read the analysis scroll through this site. To learn more about the background policies, click here  Introduction and Policy Recommendations

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The study is by Kara Chua Olegario, a Philippine native who currently [December 2012] live in San Francisco; this study presents the Philippine government's economic policies as compared to the MIEPA list of policies as outlined above. The ratings herein are based on the following rating scale:


5.0 Perfect Facilitation of Wealth Creation
4.0 Midway between Perfect and Neutral
3.0 Neutral Effect on Wealth Creation
2.0 Midway between Neutral and Obstructionist
1.0 Perfectly Obstructionist to Wealth Creation
[Rating scale copyright Mike P. McKeever, 2005. Used herein with permission]

To read a disclaimer about the analysis in this file, scroll to the bottom of the file.

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Comparison of the Philippine's economic policies to MIEPA criteria as prepared by a native student of the Philippines Kara Chua Olegario studying in the US in December 2012.



        1               5.0          15.0             15.0       100 %

        2               4.0          12.0             15.0        80

        3               1.0           3.0             15.0        20

        4               2.0           6.0             15.0        40

        5               4.0          12.0             15.0        80

        6               4.0          12.0             15.0        80

        7               3.0           9.0             15.0        60

        8               2.0           6.0             15.0        40

        9               3.0           9.0             15.0        60

        10              5.0          15.0             15.0       100

        11              2.5           7.5             15.0        50

        12              5.0          10.0             10.0       100

        13              1.0           2.0             10.0        20

        14              5.0          10.0             10.0       100

        15              4.0           8.0             10.0        80

        16              2.5           5.0             10.0        50

        17              3.0           6.0             10.0        60

        18              2.5           5.0             10.0        50

        19              1.0           2.0             10.0        20

        20              2.0           4.0             10.0        40

        21              2.0           4.0             10.0        40

        22              3.0           6.0             10.0        60

        23              4.5           9.0             10.0        90

        24              1.5           3.0             10.0        30

        25              1.5           3.0             10.0        30        

        26              1.5           3.0             10.0        30

        27              4.0           8.0             10.0        80

        28              2.5           5.0             10.0        50

        29              2.5           2.5              5.0        50 

        30              4.0           4.0              5.0        80

        31              5.0           5.0              5.0       100

        32              2.5           2.5              5.0        50

        33              4.0           4.0              5.0        80

        34              3.0           3.0              5.0        60

   TOTAL              103.0         220.5            365.0        60.4%
                      =====        ======            =====        =====

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1. Freedom from internal control 5.0

Philippines is a democratic country, which means that all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives and sometimes this democracy is being abused. Democracy allows Filipino people to participate equally either directly or through elected representatives in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of determination. This freedom allows entrepreneurs to take risk in opening a new enterprise. Philippines is a country that totally encourages opening a new business.

Source: Personal;

2. Freedom of speech 4.0

Article 3, Section 4 of the Philippine Constitution prohibits any law that abridges the freedom of speech, of the press or the right to peaceful public assembly. So, therefore, Filipino people can express themselves freely. A free flow of ideas to create jobs is not a problem for as long as the Speech does not incites lawless conduct, so-called fighting words (words that provoke physical retaliation), libelous or defamatory speech, and obscenity can legitimately be prohibited or punished by the government. There are a lot of people that are protesting against any issues which means that Filipino people are able to express themselves, ideas and anything they want to be voiced out. Although sometimes it turns out to be a violent protest and people get hurt in over exercising their freedom of speech.

Source: Freedom of Speech in the Philippines: Constitutional Standards in Regulating Free Speech | ; ; Personal

3. Effective, fair police force 1.0

Philippine National Police, sad to say has a bad reputation for treating Filipino people unequally. They treat rich people differently from the poor and manipulated by corrupt officials .They are the law enforcer as well as the law breaker. The Philippine National Police abbreviated as PNP is the national police force of the Republic of the Philippines. Missions are to enforce the law, prevent and control crimes, maintain peace and order, and ensure public safety and internal security with the active support of the community.

Source: Personal ;

4. Private property 2.0

The Philippines has been weak in all categories in the scorecard of an international ratings agency that assessed strides the country has made in developing the local private property markets. The country is weak in advancing property rights, and financial transparency and appropriate regulations on private property transactions. Although property rights are guaranteed by the Philippine constitution, laws and policies that support them are problematic in practice. Corruption is the main problem of why Philippines have a low score (30 out of 100). These included overpricing of land sold to developers, bribes arising from cumbersome and multi-layered bureaucratic red tape that include 32 signatures for transactions related to land development, rampant ďfixing,Ē discriminatory zoning, charging of impact fees, and excessive land value appreciation charges.

Source:; personal

5. Commercial banks 4.0

Banking system in this country is good and actively finances business ventures as well as their non-business activities. The Philippines has a comprehensive banking system encompassing various types of banks, from large universal banks including Bank of America, Citibank ,JP Morgan Chase to small rural banks and even non-banks. As at 31 March 2011, there are 19 universal banks, 19 commercial banks, 73 thrift banks, 595 rural banks, 40 credit unions and 15 non-banks all licensed with the Central Bank of the Philippines under Republic Act No. 8791.

Source: Personal ;

6. Communication system 4.0

The Philippines has a sophisticated cellular phone industry and a high concentration of users. As of 2008, there are about 67.9 million cellular phone subscribers in the Philippines. The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company commonly known as PLDT is the leading telecommunications provider. It is also the largest company in the country. There are approximately 383 AM and 659 FM radio stations and 297 television and 873 cable television stations. Estimates for internet penetration in the Philippines vary widely ranging from a low of 2.5 million to a high of 24 million people. Social networking and watching videos are among the most frequent internet activities. Hence, fax, newspapers, magazines are commonly used.

Source: Personal ;

7. Transportation 3.0

The transportation infrastructure in the country is relatively underdeveloped. Partly this is due to the mountainous terrain and the scattered geography of the islands, but it is also the result of the government's persistent underinvestment in infrastructure. Nevertheless there are many ways to get around, especially in urban areas. Buses, jeepneys, taxis, and motorized tricycles are commonly available in major cities and towns. Train services are provided by three main railway networks that serve different areas of Metro Manila and parts of Luzon. As an archipelago, inter-island travel via watercraft and aircraft (Philippine airlines and Cebu pacific are the most popular) are necessary.

Source: ; personal

8. Education 2.0

The National Statistics Office reports a simple literacy rate of 93.4% and a functional literacy rate of 84.1% for 2003. Literacy is about equal for males and females. Spending for education is around 2.5% of GDP. According to some observers, the Department of Education Culture and Sports (DECS) in the Philippines is one of the most corrupt government entities in the country. This corruption leads to poor allocation of resources. Teachers are underpaid and treated poorly. But graft and corruption are not the only issues; Poverty is a cycle that leads traps generations of families. Some children chose to work and help their family than go to school.

Source: ; ; Personal

9. Social Mobility 3.0

There is great unevenness in the distribution of wealth in the Philippines. A small percentage of the population is very wealthy while the majority of the people are very poor. The richest 10% of the population share over one third of the wealth while the poorest 10% share only 2.3% with 40% living below the poverty line. Although the government should be tasked to help uplift the lives of the poor, the poor themselves should also strive harder to make money and that is what some poor Filipino people are doing. They work hard for their education even if it means that they have to work part time while studying. Some are lucky enough to get some scholarships. It is very possible for poor Filipino to uplift their lives if there is hard work, determination and perseverance. Though it might not be easy compared to being born rich it is up to them to make a decision.

Source: ; personal

10. Freedom from outside control 5.0

Philippine Independence was proclaimed on June 12, 1898 between four and five in the afternoon in Cavite at the ancestral home of General Emilio Aguinaldo some 30 kilometers South of Manila. Filipino citizens are free from control by any agency of any other country. Filipino citizens are only subject to the laws of the Philippines.

Source:; personal

11. Protection of Domestic Enterprise 2.5

Philippines is currently the 31st largest export market for U.S. goods. In 2008, Philippines had 403 million trade deficits from U.S. which was a decrease of $1.3 billion from 2007. Main factors that drove down the deficits are exports of private commercial services to the Philippines and U.S. imports. Two years ago, the simple average bound tariff was 25.8% and the simple average applied tariff was 7% according to the Philippine Tariff Commission. The Filipino government bounded all of its agricultural tariffs and less than 2/3 of its non-agricultural tariff lines; Products such as autos, chemicals, plastics, textiles, clothing, fish, and paper products. 40% of ownership should be foreign and 60% for Filipino citizen. Sadly, more than 40% of the businesses in the Philippines is owned by foreigners.Philippines exports were worth 4314 Million USD in June of 2012 while Imports were worth 5101 Million USD in June of 2012. Philippines reported a trade deficit equivalent to 787 Million USD in June of 2012. Philippines experienced trade deficit or unfavorable balance of trade because Philippines total imports exceeds the value of its total exports.

Source: ; ,

12. Foreign currency transactions 5.0

Business owners in the Philippines do not spend too much time changing currencies. Philippines is a country where government require that only domestic currency or the Philippine peso is the only currency used, one exception is the airport where dollars are accepted. Tourist and businessman must convert their money to the domestic currency before visiting or conduct business in the country. This creates a single currency and help government conduct fiscal and monetary policy.

Source: personal ;

13. Border Control 1.0

The Bureau of Immigration and the Bureau of Customs acts as the border control in the Philippines. The bureau of immigrationís main function is to Regulates the entry, stay, and exit of foreign nationals in the country and monitors the entry and exit of Filipino citizens, in compliance with Philippine laws and other legal procedures. While bureau of customís main function is to monitor and regulates the exports and imports of the country. Bureau of customs is known to be very corrupt. It accepts bribe from smugglers which means that smugglers and criminals take advantage of the country. There are a lot of illegal smugglers in the Philippines that drains money from legitimate businesses and reduces job creation. And they are also known to steal things from people.

Source: ; personal

14. Currency 5.0

The peso is the only government approved currency of the Philippines. It is subdivided into 100 centavos. The coins and banknotes are made at the Security Plant Complex of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (the central bank of the republic of the Philippines). Because the country use a single currency it encourages commerce within the country . U.S Dollar is also popular ,but not widely used except in airports.

Source : personal ;

15. Cultural, language Homogeneity 4.0

Filipinos are a relatively homogeneous population, with the important exceptions of the Muslim minority on Mindanao and in Sulu and southern Palawan provinces, and the upland tribal minorities sprinkled throughout the islands. Filipinos share a common set of values emphasizing social acceptance as a primary virtue and a common world view in which education served as the principal avenue for upward social mobility. Although there are 175 individual languages in the Philippines, According to the 1987 Philippine Constitution, Filipino (also known as tagalog) and English are the official languages. spoken mainly in Metro Manila and other urban regions. Both Filipino and English are used in government, education, print, broadcast media, and business.

Source : ; ; personal

16. Political Effectiveness 2.5

The executive branch is composed of the regional governor for the autonomous region, governor for the provinces, mayor for the cities and municipalities, and the barangay captain for the barangays. So if some issues come up in the provinces, cities, municipalities and barangay the local government is there to help them resolve the issue. Approximately twenty typhoons hit the Philippines each year. There is a risk of flooding in many areas throughout the monsoon season. There is also a threat from kidnapping because of on-going terrorist activity and clashes between the military and insurgent groups. And Government recognize these disasters and fix them. But there are some issues that they canít fix and left there for a long time without doing anything.

Source: ; personal

17. Institutional stability 3.0

Organizations in the Philippines remain stable for a long time. Government institution like the central bank of the Philippines was established in 1939. Schools like Ateneo de Manila University, University of the Philippines and university of Santo Tomas are some of the famous school in the Philippines and they have been stable for 100 years. Some businesses are also stable that help the economy create wealth like SM Super market, Jollibee, Philippine airlines and Splash Company.

Source: personal; www.;

18. Honest Government 2.5

The Republic of the Philippines suffers from widespread corruption. Means of corruption include graft, bribery, embezzlement, backdoor deals, and patronage. But, the country is making improvements due to the new president Benigno Aquino. In fact as of 2011; the Philippines came in at 129 with a 2.6 CPI in Transparency International's list that ranks 178 countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. This is better than the Philippines' 134th ranking in 2010 with a 2.4 CPI. The CPI score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0 - 10, where 0 means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 10 means that a country is perceived as very clean. Transparency International-Philippines said some of the factors that contributed to the Philippines' (2.6) slight jump are the improvement in government service, and cutting red tape. The group believes that the government's efforts to prosecute former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may positively affect the perception on corruption as this shows the government means business.

Source: personal ;

19. Common Laws 1.0

The legal system is not affective and equally fair because inequality in the Philippines is very obvious compared to other countries. In the Philippines rich and poor are treated differently. When you are rich and you commit crime, bribery is very easy. Justice system is bought by the rich and poor people suffer because of it. Ideally, laws enacted by government should be implemented and followed. Sadly, in the Philippines, they have so many laws that are not being effectively executedóand itís because both the enactors and those who follow it simply donít have the political will to stick to them. Prostitution, smoking in a smoke free area ,street selling , selling pirated DVDís , jaywalking , drug dealing, children force labor and human trafficking are very rampant in the Philippines and laws about them are not followed. The government does not have the same set of non-conflicting laws, justice and dispute resolution throughout the country.

Source:; personal

20. Central bank 2.0

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines) sometimes abbreviated as BSP is the central bank of the Philippines. The BSP was established on January 3, 1949, as the countryís central monetary authority. The powers and function of Bangko Sentral are exercised by its Monetary Board, whose seven members are appointed by the President of the Philippines. As provided for by the New Central Bank Act, one of the government sector members of the Monetary Board must also be a member of the President's Cabinet. Members of the Monetary Board are prohibited from holding certain positions in other government agencies and private institutions that may give rise to conflicts of interest. Unlike the Federal Reserve System in the United States, Philippines is not at all independent. Since central bank of the Philippines is owned and controlled by the government the country receives low score in this policy.

Source: ; personal

21. Domestic budget management 2.0

The latest value for private debt in Philippines was $173,824,000.00 as of 2010. While the latest value public debt in Philippines was $1,332,061,000 as of 2011. As of 2012 the country reported a deficit of equivalent to 787 million USD. Total government expenditure of $31.9 Billion which is 12% of the GDP and tax revenue of $18.5 Billion which is 19% of the GDP. Therefore the Philippine government consistently spends more than it collects in tax revenues.

Source: Policy & Debt ; ; ; personal

22. Government debt 3.0

Philippines GDP as of2012 is $ 224.75 billion .Philippines total debt as of 2012 is $ 117.5 billion which means that the country is excessively indebted because the present value of its debt service exceeds 50 percent of its GDP. The Philippine government's total debt was PHP5.075 trillion ($117.5 billion) as at end-April 2012, down PHP13.70 billion from March 2012, as its foreign-currency debt shrank due to the peso's appreciation against the U.S. dollar, the National Treasury said Thursday.

It said the government's foreign-currency debt in April was PHP2.056 trillion, or 41% of the total amount of debt, while peso-denominated debt stood at PHP3.019 trillion. Debt in the local currency increased PHP3.76 billion in April from March because of a net issuance of government securities, while foreign-currency debt declined by PHP17.46 billion because of the peso's appreciation and net repayments. However, that decrease was tempered by the U.S. dollar's weakness against currencies that the Philippine government's other debts are denominated in. Debts owed by public corporations and guaranteed by the government declined to PHP548.97 billion in April from PHP549.50 billion in March, due to net repayments and the local currency's rise.

Source: ; personal ;

23. Economic Statistics 4.5

The National Statistics Office (NSO) is the Philippine government's major statistical agency responsible in collecting, compiling, classifying, producing, publishing, and disseminating general-purpose statistics as provided for in Commonwealth Act No. 591. And since Philippines has a sophisticated communication system the internet and other source of information such as radio, television, newspaper has accurate and plentiful statistics published that increased awareness of business opportunities. One example is the website that shares information it has collected over the years from its network of government agencies, business consultants and partners. Go Negosyo hopes that all these information will be able to guide both aspiring and existing entrepreneurs in managing oneís business, and propelling it to success.

Source : ; personal ;

24. Protection of public health and safety 1.5

The Philippinesí Department of Health (DOH) is the principal health agency in the Philippines. It is the executive department of the Philippine Government responsible for ensuring access to basic public health services to all Filipinos through the provision of quality health care and the regulation of providers of health goods and services. The country has good basic healthcare services, especially in the cities. However these services tend to be expensive, and therefore, medical insurance is essential. Since poverty in the Philippines is rampant majority of the Filipino cannot afford health care services especially people living in provinces and remote areas. There are numbers of Filipino children and elderly people living in the streets and they are not at all healthy. According to the World Health Organization, the Philippines have the ninth highest number of tuberculosis cases in the world and the highest in Southeast Asia. Globally, there were more than nine million new cases and about 1.7 million deaths from the disease in 2006; the WHO estimates there are more than 14 million people living with TB, which kills 75 Filipinos each day.


Infant mortality rate total: 18.75 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 21.21 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 16.18 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Compared to United States

Infant mortality rate total: 5.98 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 6.64 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 5.30 deaths/1,000 live births

Health expenditure, total (% of GDP) in Philippines was 3.61 as of 2010. Its highest value over the past 15 years was 3.65 in 2005, while its lowest value was 2.96 in 2002

Source : ; personal ; ippines#Health ;

25. High wage policies 1.5

Philippines minimum wage is P190 ($4.46) to P426 ($ 9.91). Wages and salaries depend on the educational attainment and the kind of job that a person has. Since Philippines is so consumed with poverty an average single unprofessional person cannot afford its basic necessities, difficulty in finding food, cannot afford rent and vacation. Hence, itís very hard to get a decent-paying job in the Philippines. There are many unemployed and underemployed locals; top positions are often always reserved for close friends and relatives of those already in power; thousands of universities produce graduates every year. Age will also be in an issue as most companies prefer hiring fresh graduates in order to get away with just paying the minimum wage a month.

Source : ; personal ; http;//

26. Environmental protection 1.5

Department of Environment and Natural Resources is the executive department of the Philippine government responsible for governing and supervising the exploration, development, utilization, and conservation of the country's natural resources. Rules and regulations are not at all implemented because of some environmental issues that are still very rampant. First, Philippines is suffering from degradation of the natural environment. It has fifty major rivers now polluted due to abuse and neglect. Approximately two-thirds of the country's original mangroves have been lost. Because of the loss of forests, we have less water since most of our freshwater comes from watersheds found in forests. Therefore, loss of forests means loss of food. Second, More than 400 plant and animal species found in the Philippines are currently threatened with extinction. Lastly, the country is looming with garbage problems despite the passage of the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act or the Republic Act (RA) 9003. Mismanagement of waste has serious environmental consequences: ground and surface water contamination, local flooding, air pollution, exposure to toxins, and spread of disease. Many of the disposal sites contain infectious material, thus threatening sanitation workers and waste-pickers.

Sources : ; personal ;

27. Strong army 4.0

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is composed of the Philippine Army, Philippine Navy and Philippine Air Force. Under the new leadership of Philippine President Benigno Aquino's government will begin bidding for some 70 billion pesos (US$1.8 billion) worth of military contracts, the initial outlay of a 500 billion peso budget for a five-year modernization of the 125,000-strong Armed Forces of the Philippines. On top of that, The Philippine government will tender a total of 138 contracts for brand new naval and air assets, including fighter jets, attack helicopters, long-range patrol and transport aircraft, warships, air defense radar and other state-of-the-art armaments to boost the country's territorial and maritime defenses which means that the government is doing a great job on improving the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Source : ;; personal

28. Foreign trade impact 2.5

As of 2012, the countryís GDP amounted to $224.75 Billion US dollars. Imports of 5101 million USD and exports of 4314 Million USD .

Calculations: 224.75 (GDP) X 33% = 74.17 % $ 5101million (imports) + $4314 Million/ $224.75billion (GDP) = 41.9%

So therefore Philippines total foreign trade account does exceeds the 33% of the GDP. This means that the country will not likely to create more wealth for its citizens and it will not help the economy.

Source: ; personal.

29. Management of foreign currency budget 2.5

Philippines experienced trade deficit or unfavorable balance of trade because Philippines total imports exceeds the value of its total exports. Any countries dislike trade deficits because less money is left over to spend in other ways.Philippines exports were worth 4314 Million USD in June of 2012. Philippines is a major exporter of electronic products like processors, chips and hard drives (more than 50% of total exports revenues). Other major exports include apparel and clothing accessories, coconut oil, woodcrafts and furniture. Philippines major exports partners are United States, Singapore, Japan, China and Hong Kong. Imports were worth 5101 Million USD in June of 2012. Philippines imports mostly: electronic products, mineral fuels, lubricants, transport equipment, industrial machinery and equipment, iron and steel. Main imports partners are Japan, United States, China, South Korea and Singapore. Hence, Philippines reported a trade deficit equivalent to 787 Million USD (2.8% of GDP) in June of 2012.

Source: ; ;; personal

30. Layers of collective action 4.0

Just as the national government, local governments are divided into three branches: executive, legislative and judiciary. The judicial branch is administered solely by the Supreme Court of the Philippines. The LGUs have control of the executive and legislative branch. The executive branch is composed of the regional governor for the autonomous region, governor for the provinces, mayor for the cities and municipalities, and the barangay captain for the barangays. So if some issues come up in the provinces, cities, municipalities and barangay the local government is there to help them resolve the issue.

Source: Personal ; ;

31. Pro-business climate 5.0

Philippines is a country that places high value on business. There are number of successful business people that inspire Filipino citizen to open up a business. Their passion and dedication to pursue their dream and help the economy by risking their time and money to open up a new enterprise is the main reason why business people enjoy high social status in the country. Hence, big time business people are considered powerful and influential in the country.

Source: personal ;

32. Government Enterprises 2.5

Land bank of the Philippines (LBD), Light Rail Transit Authority (LTRA), Philippine charity sweepstakes office (PCSO), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHILHEALTH) and Social Security System (SSS) are some of the enterprises that the government owned and controlled. It contributes to 11% of total GDP. Although reported with scandalous perks, these enterprises benefit Filipino citizen and the economy because all of them serve purpose. Even though government gives subsidies to people for rice or short-term employment these people are still the poorest poor and the government canít do anything about it.

Source: personal ; ;

33. International security agreement 4.0

The Philippines values its relations with the United States. The Philippines has been an ally of the United States since World War II. A mutual defense treaty between the two countries was signed in 1951. The Philippines supported American policies during the Cold War and participated in the Korean and Vietnam wars .In addition to membership in the United Nations, the country is also a founding and active member of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), East Asia Summit (EAS), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Latin Union, the Group of 24, and the Non-Aligned Movement. It is also seeking to strengthen relations with Islamic countries by campaigning for observer status in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Relations with other nations are generally positive, so Philippines receive 4.

Source: personal ;

34. Protection of domestic enterprises from government mandated costs 3.0

There are many side walk vendors in the Philippines, and these vendors are not at all regulated. They donít have to comply with all the registration process of putting up a business. Big businesses are highly regulated by the government. For big time business man starting a new business is not a problem for as long as you have the money to pay all the cost which includes sec registration, insurance, barangay clearance, treasureís affidavit of notary and some other minor cost.

Source: personal ;


All the information and conclusions in each country analysis are solely the responsibility of the individual student and have not been verified, corrected, checked for copyright infringement or evaluated in any way by MIEPA or Mike P. McKeever. You are solely responsible for the results of any use you make of the information and conclusions in these studies. Use them at your own risk as interesting supplemental information only instead of seasoned judgements about the policy factors contained herein. Each student has granted permission for his or her work to be displayed here under his or her own name or wishes to remain anonymous and have either created a pen name or used no name at all; if you wish to contact them for any reason, forward your request to MIEPA and the student will be notified of your interest.

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