In a thought-provoking seminar organized by the Department of Economics (DE) on 09 October 2023, more than 200 participants gathered at the REDREC Auditorium in UPLB to explore the theme, “The Role of Economists in the Making of Public Policies.”
The guest speaker was Dr. Cielo D. Magno, former Undersecretary of the Department of Finance and currently an Associate Professor of the UP School of Economics.
In her presentation, Dr. Magno complemented the theories of the policy process with her experiences in government and in the academe. She emphasized that the value of a university education is developing critical thinking and being “vocal if you think the policy is wrong.” She stressed that one need not be in government to be part of the public policymaking process. In fact, it is the citizenry that should have the loudest voice since their welfare is at stake when policies are crafted and implemented.
Adding depth to the discourse were expert panelists from UPLB, namely, Prof. Antonio Jesus A. Quilloy of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics (DAAE) and Assoc. Prof. Marlo D. Mendoza, Dean of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources (CFNR).
Prof. Quilloy shared that the role of economists in public policy is to define inefficiency and determine ways to minimize it. Meanwhile, Dean Mendoza highlighted the importance of the use of accurate information and quality data in policymaking.
Students and other participants were actively engaged especially during the Q&A Session. Questions delved into the career opportunities in policymaking, the hindrances in creating policy against disinformation, and the possible risk to employment when voicing out dissent. A key takeaway that resonated among the students is the critical role they need to play in policymaking.
The event is part of the continuing seminar series initiated by the College of Economics and Management (CEM). Asst. Prof. Arlene C. Gutierrez, CEM Associate Dean, gave the opening remarks and formally welcomed the participants. Assoc. Prof. Gideon P. Carnaje, Chair of the Department of Economics, ended the session by thanking and recognizing the speakers, organizers, and participants that made the event a success.