About Per SE

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


In the well-received film Heneral Luna, the eponymous hero asks the question: “Negosyo o kalayaan? Bayan or sarili? Pumili ka!” This quote is now regarded as the definitive meme for patriotism -- ethical behavior is equated with self-abnegation, the sacrifice of individual well-being.

Agriculture a must issue in 2016 presidential election

I am most interested in what the presidential candidates' agricultural policies are and so, presumably is the nation, because one of the main topics of the Comelec's first presidential debate (to be held in Cagayan de Oro) this month, is precisely agriculture.

Memo on the economy for the next Philippine president

Obviously, I address this open memo to the presidential candidates, one of whom by the grace of the electorate, will be elected the next president.

Slowing growth, sluggish agricultural sector

In the Philippine setting, the inconvenient truth is that growth can’t be truly inclusive for as long as agriculture and the rural sector are left behind.

Eye-openers at SWS survey review

I attended the 2016 SWS Survey Review at the AIM last Wednesday, which covered nine surveys for this year plus comparisons with other administrations. The presentation, by Mahar Mangahas, was an eye-opener.

External uncertainties, headwinds and push factors in 2016 for the Phl economy

At the start of 2016, external factors produced shock waves to the economy. These were the same factors that bothered us during 2014 and 2015, only this time they produced sharper volatility.

Falling oil price: winners and losers

The conventional view is that a big plunge in oil prices would have a positive effect on the global economy; the greater the fall, the more positive the effect. Now there are reasons to believe that such a rosy view of the oil plunge may be wrong after all.

Selected publications 2010-2016

International publications by UPSE Faculty from 2010 (Indexed in the Web of Science )

Menorca, SSS pension hike, etc.: my 2 cents’ worth

I cannot resist putting in my two cents’ worth of comment, or rather questions, on the news reports on what has been going in Metro Manila this week. So here goes.

Populist measures that do damage: SSS pension increase without the means

Of what use is a measure that proposes to do good if it destroys the very institution that produces the goodie? Don’t kill the goose that lays the golden egg!

Political fallout from veto of SSS pension hike was avoidable

President Benigno S. C. Aquino III’s veto of House Bill 5842 mandating P2,000 across-the-board increase in the monthly pension of Social Security System (SSS) pensioners is the right move. Signing it into law would be fiscally irresponsible.

A city is not a country

Size -- whether measured by area or population -- is the biggest difference between a city and a “real country.” Size correlates with heterogeneity in the population, their activities, their environment, and therefore their needs and opinions.