I. Background

In 1965, the UP School of Economics established the Program in Development Economics (PDE) to address the need for technically prepared staff in the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and other government agencies.

PDE started as a certificate program providing training to middle-level technical and professional staff from various government agencies. Training covered quantitative methods, macro and microeconomic analyses, public finance, and project evaluation.

In 1995, PDE became a full-fledged degree-granting program offering the degree Master in Development Economics (MDE). The program continues to train staff from government agencies, NGOs and from the private sector.

In 2016, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) made a call similar to that made by NEDA more than 50 years earlier. DBM proposed to send 30 newly appointed staff per year over the next five years to train under the MDE program.

In response to this call, the Philippine Center for Economic Development (PCED) and DBM is implementing a joint program that offers opportunities and provides financial support for UPSE to train and produce a steady flow of graduates with a Masters in Development Economics.

II.  Objectives

The overall objective of the PCED/DBM program is to sustain the production of technically proficient government staff with core competence in undertaking economic analysis and public policy.

Specific objectives are to train participants in understanding the basic principles of economics and build a core competence in quantitative methods, especially as applied to public economics, public finance, budget formulation and management.

III. Phases

It is proposed that the PCED/DBM program be introduced in two phases.

  1. The Pilot Phase will try new approaches to recruitment, the use of study tours and internships, and the conduct of full-time day courses.  The Public Affairs Office of the UPSE will administer the pilot phase.
  2. The Institutionalization Phase will seek to formalize the necessary changes to the existing MDE program. A specific interest is to see if a steady stream of students can be secured so that MDE can shift back into an essentially full-time program with daytime courses.

IV.  Recruitment

New approaches to actively recruit applicants to the MDE program will be tried out beginning April of 2017. This includes meeting the UPSE graduating class, meetings with online applicants, visits to top universities all over the country, and recruitment sorties among government agencies.

These activities are expected to produce the following type of recruits:

  1. Qualified fresh college graduates who would then be given an appointment at DBM plus scholarship support in exchange for commitment to get their MDE and then work with DBM;
  2. Qualified applicants already working with DBM and other government agencies to receive fellowship support from their respective agencies or from PCED;
  3. Qualified applicants from the NGOs and private companies with their own funding support, or from PCED, if eligible.

Specific recruitment activities planned include the active recruitment by UPSE faculty members and DBM staff through field visits to top universities all over the country. Recruits will be drawn from a wider range of disciplines including the social sciences, economics, statistics, engineering, business and finance.

In addition to the top five universities in Metro Manila (UP, ADMU, DLSU, UST and MIT or PUP), recruitment sorties will be made in:

  1. Luzon – Saint Louis University, Central Luzon State University, Ilocos Sur Polytechnic State College, Mariano Marcos State University
  2. Visayas – University of San Carlos, Silliman University, Central Philippine University
  3. Mindanao – Universidad de Zamboanga, Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, University of Southeastern Philippines, Ateneo de Davao University, Western Mindanao State University, Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan,  Central Mindanao University

All applicants will also take aptitude and achievement tests, and will be interviewed  by a panel of UPSE faculty members.  Successful applicants will commit to study full time.

V. Preparatory Activities

  1. A one-month refresher course will be required for applicants under the DBM program. This is optional for applicants funded by other sources. The refresher course will cover basic principles in macroeconomics and microeconomics, and quantitative analyses.
  2. DBM special orientation for participants under the DBM program concerning HR matters.
  3. UPSE graduate program orientation covering courses, requirements, advising, etc.

VI. Program of Studies


Refresher Course
First Semester Economic analysis I (DE 201) 3.0 units
Economic Analysis II (DE202) 3.0 units
Quantitative Methods 1 (DE 206) 3.0 units
Growth, Poverty and Institutions (DE 291) 3.0 units
Second Semester Quantitative Methods II (DE 231) 3.0 units
Public Sector Economics for development (DE251) 3.0 units
Project analysis and Evaluation (DE253) 3.0 units
Program Evaluation (DE292) 3.0 units
Mid-Year (Summer) Local Public Economics (DE 252) 3.0 units
Third Semester   Research Seminar I (DE 299)This course will be conducted with close links with DBM in the form of an internship 3.0 units
Institutional and Policy Analysis (DE 293) 3.0 units
Fourth Semester Comprehensive Examinations
Study Tour (requirement for DBM sponsored and optional for the others)