About Per SE

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

Is the economy Binay-resilient?

The prospect of a Binay presidency must be the administration’s major nightmare. Else why would PNoy squander his political capital on the striptease of a re-election via Charter change?

Power of one, and a camera

Armed with her trusty camera phone, the citizen can capture scenes like the vacant desks at noontime in a government office, or an employee asleep at the job. Or, with a video component, she can record the manner and voice of a discourteous employee, etc. Or maybe even capture a bribery on the make. ...

We can’t ignore a likely economic slowdown

Economic growth in the first half of 2014 is slowing rather than picking up.

Aquino government’s claim to fame is …

What will be the Aquino III administration’s claim to fame? The crumbling infrastructure, rising criminality, increasing misery of victims of natural and man-made calamities, high and persistent joblessness, and deepening poverty -- these are what Mr. Aquino will bequeath to his predecessor as he steps down on June 30, 2016.

Benito Legarda Jr. on Cesar Virata

Below are excerpts from Dr. Legarda’s remarks which dealt with little known aspects of Cesar Virata’s contributions to economic diplomacy.

Grains and Gilas: Geography, genes, dashed dreams

In life, swimming against the tide can be disastrous. Basketball is at least fun and costs the taxpayer no money. Not rice self-sufficiency. In the annals of myths, rice self-sufficiency stands out as the most enduring. Dreams repeatedly get bludgeoned here, but they do not die.

No-win situation

If the inflated costs of the Makati parking building cannot be attributed to being world-class, or being green, there is only one conclusion that can be reached: The cost must be due to corruption.

Slower growth: Let’s see who’s to blame

President Aquino III and his men have another problem to worry about: not only is the Philippine economy showing signs of fatigue but also that government spending has done poorly in perking up the economy. In the second quarter of 2014, government final consumption expenditures were flat while public construction was down by 12.9%.

The abandoned nuclear power plant, today’s high electricity prices and unsteady supply

Efforts to transfer responsibility for the decision to shelve the nuclear power plant in Bataan from President Cory Aquino came my way via a reaction to my column last week. There is blame shifting for the costly error of the one who made the decision.

A notorious example of its kind

“World-class” was the term applied by Mayor Junjun Binay to justify the P2.2-P2.7 billion (the final amount is still in doubt) cost of the parking building of Makati City Hall. So I looked up the term.

Costly mistakes in our nation-building

Big mistakes in nation-building arise out of unwise decisions. Small mistakes that serially get repeated are big mistakes.

When the ‘super-branch’ of government flexes its muscles

Has President Aquino III gone mad? Through the DAP Mr. Aquino has usurped the congressional power of the purse, effectively making Congress an adjunct of the Office of the President. Not content with his capture of Congress, Mr. Aquino now wants to clip the powers of the Supreme Court.