About Per SE

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

A Festschrift for Jim Roumasset

We are here to celebrate two things: a book and a person. The two, of course, are inseparable, since the book will not have existed without the person. But let me say something about each.

Why wheels of justice grind ever so slowly

"After 18 years, 9 found guilty in Ozone inferno.” That was the headline on the front page of this newspaper yesterday, exposing the shamefully slow dispensation of justice in the Philippines, in our antigraft court, the Sandiganbayan.

Vicente T. Paterno’s autobiography

Vicente T. Paterno, former chairman of the BOI, Minister of Industry, and Minister of Public Highways, Senator of the Republic, and, now, private businessman, as founder and chairman of the Philippine Seven Corporation, has written a book about himself, his beginnings and his achievements.

When is savings real savings?

The brazen attempts of the Aquino III administration to redefine savings is an insult to the intelligence of senators and congressmen, and indirectly the common sense of Filipinos who elected the latter to office.

Is PNoy being soft on Binay?

Ona will reportedly be on leave for a month. Why isn’t Binay being given the same treatment? Especially since the stakes are so much higher in his case, because he wants to be president?

How economic policy evolved

A new book, Cesar Virata: Life and Times Through Four Decades of Philippine Economic History (UP Press, 2014) by Gerardo P. Sicat provides a broad sweep of post-war economic history. Yet it details important aspects of how economic policy evolved.

How to harness the opportunities from Asean Economic Community 2015

Being part of the AEC will bring in some gains for us. But the important issue is how we can harness the greatest amount of gains from the opportunities that are being opened to us within Asean.

Government corporate reform: all for show?

When the late President Cory Aquino took power in 1986, she was shocked by the sheer number of government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs). If my memory serves me right (sorry, but it’s been a quarter of a century), Mrs. Aquino succeeded in cutting the number of GOCCs significantly as part of her overall public sector...

Oil prices down: Time to raise taxes on oil?

Filipino consumers should not get used to cheap oil since the country is heavily dependent on imported oil.

Hunger, inequality, and saying Grace

"There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies,” is the more famous Winston Churchill’s version of Senator Grace Poe’s thesis on hunger and child malnutrition.

Opportunities and risks in falling oil prices

Oil pricrs are forecast to fall to around $80 per barrel from over $115, and the lower prices are expected to persist at least in the medium term. This dramatic shift has global consequences. Some governments welcome it with glee, others with fear. There are winners and losers, risks and opportunities.

Ready for ASEAN Economic Community 2015?

The government, through Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alberto del Rosario, says we are 87.5 percent ready. Have we done enough reforms so that we can realize maximum gains from the ASEAN Economic Community? That should be the ultimate task for preparedness. Let us judge whether we are indeed ready at this point to gain as much...