Vector Analysis of DepEd in Philippines Socioeconomic Changes, 2016-2024, and the Impact of COVID-19 | Inquirer Opinion

Vector Analysis of DepEd in Philippines Socioeconomic Changes, 2016-2024, and the Impact of COVID-19

09:16 PM June 14, 2020

This vector analysis comes in two parts: the quantitative analysis and the qualitative analysis. The first describes the size of the changes in selected socioeconomic factors. The second points to the directions that the changes are taking.

Ask we must: Can we safely have our children continue learning during and post-COVID-19?


Part I. Quantitative Analysis

This portion first describes the size of the Philippines population and its percentage changes, from 2016 to 2020. Thereafter, extrapolations are drawn based on the assumption that what happened in the past will carry on from 2021 through 2025.


With the joint efforts of its better-educated individuals in particular, other members of the society in general, and a determined government, the Philippines is now classified under Stage 2 of the Demographic Transition Model. At that stage, crude birth rates and crude deaths are going down contemporaneously, as reflected in Philippine population data reported by Worldometers. (

  1. Population

Table I. Historical Midyear Population

Year    Population         Percentage Change

2020    109,581,078                1.35

2019    108,116,615                1.37

2018    106,651,394                1.41

2017    105,172,925                1.46


2016    103,633,816                1.52

2015    102,113,212                1.68

In general terms, the table above presents the population of the Philippines as well as its annual increases from 2015-2020. Alternatively, in technical terms, the data illustrates the size of the net potential market of the learning industry, to include those that it did not reach before when they were of school-going age, as well as the parties who decide whether or not a child of school-going age, in fact, goes to school or not.

Table II. Projected Midyear Population

  1. National Median Age

In 2019, the median age in the Philippines is estimated at 25.7 years of age.  This means that 50% of Filipinos are 25.7 years and younger, while the other 50% are older than 25.7 years of age.  Those who are of school-going age up to the secondary level belong to the lower bound ages from the national median age.

  1. Market Segmentation by Age Cohort

The first two (2) age cohorts also serve to encompass the age boundaries served by the DepEd:

Children                                0-14

Early Working Age              15-24

Prime Working Age             25-54

Mature Working Age          55-64

Elderly                                   65 and up

The school-going ages 15-18 belong to the cohort of early working ages 15-24. Thus, the inducement from income opportunities can explain the attrition from education to finding work, an attraction that confronts learners who are of working age.

  1. Target Market Customers: Estimated Enrolment in the Public School System

2019                       27,817,737

2020                       28,000,000

The school-going ages under the DepEd mandate are the ages 5 to 18. Thus, school-going age falls under the cohorts of Children and Early Working Age. This emphasizes the reality that education is a conscious hard choice that competes with the survival instinct of bringing food to the family table. Henceforth, there is a need to make the choice easier in favor of learning and education.

  1. Market Share

The learning industry in the Philippines includes the private school system, the regular public school system, the distance learning system, the alternative learning system, and placement systems under the supervision of the DepEd.

The public school system holds an estimated conservative 70% share-of-market. This is computed based on round figure estimates of 28 million students in the public school system out of a net potential market of about 40 million who are of school-going ages 5 to 18. Concededly, a higher estimate can be argued for by just using the dichotomy of public and private school systems but that does not serve the purposes of inclusion well.

The 30% residual market share of the learning industry is accounted for by:

  1. Enrolment in local private schools at the elementary and secondary levels;
  2. Enrolment in college or trade schools; and,
  3. Going out-of-school, which are:
  4. Work-related
  5. Behavior-related
  6. Attitude-related
  7. Performance-related

Incidentally, private schools report that only 25-30% enrolled for their June 2020 opening. The reason is obvious: Covid-19.

Part II. Qualitative Analysis

  1. Changes in Tastes and Preferences

In technical verbiage, the changing tastes and preferences of the mandated customers of the learning industry can be influenced into inclusion and/or retention with the use of favorable customer engagement.

In more specific terms, the players in the learning industry must deliver excellence by a performance that is better than before, better than others, and better than expected. Can DepEd do it?

Excellence through exceeding expectations on Quality of education, Cost of education, and the Delivery system of education can be achieved within the framework of what is known as “Customer delight.”

Quality of education means “what the customer says it is.” Thus, education must be crafted and packaged as an enjoyable experience.

These days, cost of education means “lowest possible delivered cost,” with minimal outlays for the following, although not limited to, meal provisions, fare provisions, books and supplies, uniforms, laboratory costs, school room maintenance and grounds upkeep, and “special project” provisions to be defrayed by parents and sponsors who are also deciding parties on whether the student continues the learning experience or not.

Finally, an attractive package of learning that is delivered in a timely and seamless manner that exceeds the students’ expectations of favorable customer engagement is the third co-equal and necessary element to achieve the proof of the benefit of the learning experience.

  1. Other Changes
  1. Technology Macroenvironment

Tastes and preferences are influenced by the new ways of doing things that are not only familiar and relevant to the youth. Common sense-wise, old tools that are crude, slow, and inefficient only serve to undermine the credibility of learning systems that feed on the law of inertia, that of a body at rest (unless acted upon by an unbalanced net force).

Therefore, new technology has to be palpable in the front office that interfaces with the learners and facilitators as well as in the back office that supports the front office, all the way to frontier areas that can be served, after all.  And, the front office-back office chain is only as good as its weakest link.

In no uncertain terms, the new ways of achieving learning competencies will be decided at the front office where the features, advantages, benefits, and solution offerings are experienced in situ, or right on the spot where learning takes place.

  1. Economic and Political Macroenvironment

The CoVid1-9 pandemic has wrought many changes that tend to elicit the best and the brightest responses in terms of effectiveness (“doing the right thing”) and efficiency (“doing things right”).

Across the industries and sectors in the economy, the ban on mass gatherings, social distancing, and new costs like face masks, sanitizers, disinfectants inhibit patronage and participation in many activities. Thus, the need arises for engagement from a safe distance at the lowest possible out-of-pocket costs.

On the other hand, across the political macro environment, there is a need for government services to reach the people as broadly and as decentralized as possible in real-time.

It is in this light that residential learning in situ finds meaning. It is in this episode of the national conversation that DepEd’s Infrastructure must be committed to deliver and achieve with excellence.

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