About Per SE

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

Millions of Filipino lives at stake

Eighty organizations representing the health sector and civil society are petitioning the President and the Senate to use the comprehensive tax reform package to address two of our most important health problems: tobacco use and malnutrition.

Eulogy for Gelia T. Castillo

Gelia’s life embraced the peak moments of many lives and many lifetimes. She never stopped asking but she understood more than most.

How do we budget for free college tuition?

By making tuition free, this law virtually removes the ability of the educational institutions to earn any tuition income from students. Now, this source of flexibility disappears with the abolition of tuition income. The institutions will now be totally exposed to government budgetary support.

The tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and malnutrition

The proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages has triggered a policy debate. The proposal aims to reduce the consumption of these unhealthy beverages and to nudge individuals into consuming healthier ones. We need to assess whether the current proposal is the best response in addressing our nutrition problems.

Magno quoted on sugar tax

UPSE faculty Cielo Magno's views on the proposed tax on sugary drinks were extensively covered in an ABS-CBN News Online article.

The tax on sugar-sweetened beverages and malnutrition

The proposed tax on sugar-sweetened beverages has triggered a policy debate. The proposal aims to reduce the consumption of these unhealthy beverages and to nudge individuals into consuming healthier ones. We need to assess whether the current proposal is the best response in addressing our nutrition problems.

Profane — but gutsy

He regularly disses women, with a special focus on rape victims. And he gets away with it. No outrage that he is affecting our children’s values. In fact, he is defended by his supporters who say that he is merely reflecting the frustration of the Filipino people, and their basic values. So it is okay....

The Global Peace Index

Of the 19 countries in the Asia Pacific region, the Philippines has the second lowest rank in peacefulness, below North Korea which is ranked the least peaceful.

Unprocessed mineral export ban

In his 2017 SONA, Pres. Duterte threatened, among others, to stop the export of unprocessed mining products. This follows the ban on similar products in 2014 by Indonesia. The ostensive purpose of this exercise is to raise the value added from each unit of mineral export by subjecting to further processing locally.

Breaking down the tax reform package

Without even looking at the details, the reader can see that the bottom 60 percent of income earners are negatively impacted by the package (the figures are in italics, and are parenthesized) as well as the top 0.1 percent. Those are the DOF estimates.

Duterte’s 2nd SONA

The second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Duterte departs from the typical formula. Instead of the heavy recounting of the previous year’s developments and achievements with a plethora of statistics, he zeroes in on actions being undertaken.

An anti-poor tax package

So the question is: How can a 95-5 split of the direct benefits of the TsT in any way represent a “the poor will benefit the most” situation, between the “middle” and “low” income groups? Ask any child: If candies are split 19 and 1 between two children, is that fair? Is it most beneficial...