About Per SE

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

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...

Opportunities lost in government underspending

Recent fiscal numbers suggest that the extent of underspending is getting worse, not better. Is this a case of not learning from past mistakes, or pure incompetence, or poor budget planning?

‘Our place in Batangas’

If any lingering doubts remained about the ownership of the luxury mansion and grounds in Rosario, Batangas, these should have been banished by the Instagram posted by Joanna Marie Bianca and presented by Sen. Cayetano in the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee’s Thursday hearing.

Why we can’t seem to attract investments

The Philippines has attracted the least foreign direct investments (FDIs) among the ASEAN-5 economies. Blame the unattractiveness of the Philippine economy to foreigners to the poor infrastructure, the burdensome tax system, and some restrictive provisions of the Philippine Constitution.

The changing international economic environment around us

The international economic environment is important to us. An economy as open to the world like ours is influenced by the international flow of goods and services through trade (import and exports), through investment and labor flows and through finance.