About Per SE

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

Federalism 101: meaningful autonomy, virtues and frailties

What are the possible virtues and frailties of meaningful federalism? My perspective will be economic and will be limited. Everything depends upon meaningful autonomy.

Big power behavior, the Law of the Seas, and our interests in the West Philippine Sea

The economic resources involved for us are enormous, yet undefined since such resources are still to be fully discovered and accounted for. Since sovereign control over resources are for all time, their immediate future value for the nation cannot be fully fathomed.

How sweet it is (1)

We won. How sweet the taste of victory, and against a giant at that. And then we must also take care that this victory doesn’t turn into ashes in our mouth due to neglect, or because private, individual, or corporate interests have taken precedence over national interest.

President Durerte’s inaugural address deconstructed for actions and directions

President Rodrigo Duterte’s inaugural speech was brief, simple and meaningful. There is no soaring rhetoric, no prose masquerading as poetry. It focused on the essentials, on actionable programs and intents.

Encomia and potshots

Bottom line: PDu30, we are behind you in cleaning up the country’s drug problem. Your shock-and-awe tactics may be impressive at first glance, but the honeymoon will soon be over.

Macroeconomic directions: Duterte vs. Aquino

What can we expect to be the macroeconomic path of the Duterte administration? Useful hints can be pieced together from recent developments.

Beyond responsible mining

Cynics have been claiming that Gina Lopez's appointment could spell the end of mining in the Philippines. This may be an exaggeration. So long as there is demand for raw minerals there will be mining, legal or illegal.

With their similarity of purpose…

Most of us watched and listened as President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo were sworn into office and delivered their respective inaugural addresses. I attended Robredo’s swearing in. I watched Mr. Duterte’s on TV. Let’s talk about the similarities and differences between the two events.

Brexit — what it means for the world and us

An event of seismic proportions happened last week that affects a large part of the developed world, in particular, Europe. It is, however, of little significance for us here in the Philippines – at least as far as immediate influences go.

Gina Lopez’s appointment a good decision

The appointment of Gina Lopez as head of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources was like an earthquake that rocked Big Mining and sent the value of mining stocks plummeting. But for me, Duterte must be congratulated for his decision.

Options to improve labor market policies and mulitply the ‘good’ jobs’ — Part II

In last week’s column, I presented the discouraging aspects of employment generation in the country using a recent World Bank analysis of the problem. If these facts are recognized at the start of a new president’s term, the stage could be set toward a proper reform of labor market policies.

Squaring the circle and ‘buang’

I must confess to an unabashed glee over Leni Robredo’s victory in the official tally. Finally, another widow beat back another Marcos.