About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Latest entries

Take back our government

I hear the words “hopeless” and “helpless” being used to describe how Filipinos feel about their current situation. And there is indeed basis for this.

Recent Phl stock market behavior

Stock market fluctuations demonstrate the interaction of economic and political factors, a good demonstration of the impact of domestic and external headwinds on economic activity.

So much for sustainable development

Reader, I just want to give you and the members of the Commission on Appointments (CA) a gentle reminder about one crucial fact: Gina Lopez heads the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. Let’s meditate on that.

External and domestic economic headwinds

Headwinds add resistance so that they help to slow down the speed of any object that is moving forward. This sailing or aeronautical term is a perfect figure of speech for those developments that slow down or complicate an economy’s forward motion.


Barely noticed in our part of the world, Kenneth Arrow, probably the greatest economist in the second half of the last century, passed away on 21 February 2017.

Is it worth it? And to whom?

The confirmation hearing on the appointment of Secretary Gina Lopez of the DENR Department of Environment and Natural Resources may appear to be just a ho-hum, run-of-the-mill event with possibly some entertainment value—but there’s more riding on it.

Is this justice?

The witnesses in Senator De Lima’s case have everything to gain, and nothing to lose, by testifying according to the wishes of the DOJ. And apparently, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has indeed rewarded them handsomely.

Choosing the next central bank governor

A major appointment is looming in the area of economic management – the governorship of the central bank. A few prominent names are under serious consideration for the post of governor. These candidates have been floated from within government circles and in the public media.

Dangerous, damaging reclamation

This week we focus on the Philippine Reclamation Authority (PRA), which anticipates pursuing more than 600 projects all over the country before 2022, including “illegal reclamation projects that we want to legalize or seek reimbursement from.”

Peace negotiations and the NPA rebellion

President Duterte, fresh from his election mandate, announced he would seek peace with communist rebels. With peace established, more economic development would be enabled. Almost immediately after assuming office, Duterte gave concessions to sweeten the prospects of peace.

Is Gina bent on killing mining industry?

Secretary Gina Lopez is really taking to heart what her department is tasked to do. Is she bent on killing the mining industry?

Cesar Virata assesses Phl economic reforms, directions

Former prime minister Cesar Virata has written a short piece entitled “The Philippines readying for a suite of changes” for the East Asia Forum. Although written mainly for an international audience, it is useful for all who monitor Philippine developments.