About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
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Check out the evidence

What does the evidence show? That’s what you, Reader, should be asking, so that you can make an informed decision about whether to vote for or against the proposed changes in our system of government.

The weakening or depreciating peso

It is taking more pesos to exchange for one US dollar. This weakening or depreciation of the peso is a phenomenon that is not easily understood. (For one thing, not only do we have a changing peso value to the US dollar. The US dollar itself is changing its own value as a currency!)

Knives out for Sereno

Poor, battle-scarred and weary Meilou Sereno. It is not only the executive branch (from the President down to the Bureau of Internal Revenue) and its lapdogs in Congress who have their knives out for her; it seems the majority of her Supreme Court colleagues also do.

A global trade war is possible

President Donald Trump’s announced plan last week to raise steel and aluminium tariffs were designed to disrupt the trade in steel in which the US is the major importer. This announcement has caused immediate and adverse reactions from steel supplier countries.

Farce in the House

At long last, the impeachment hearings on Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno are ending. There is no doubt, and there was none from Day One, that the House of Representatives will impeach her.

An independent or vulnerable judiciary?

Today marks the first anniversary of the confinement of Sen. Leila de Lima in the PNP jail in Camp Crame. Tomorrow marks the 32nd anniversary of the People Power Revolution at Edsa.

OFW remittances: Where they come from

The Philippines today ranks as the third largest generator of international worker’s remittances, behind only India and China. Recently, it surpassed Mexico by a margin to become the third largest remittance receiver country.

And do our politicians care?

"The Philippines will continue to be the fastest-growing economy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations despite some stabilization of investment growth.” That’s from the World Bank’s Global Economic Prospects (GEP) which came out last month.

Managing inflation, or rising prices

The Philippine Statistics Authority reports that prices in January compared to those of the same month last year, rose four percent. While this is a moderate inflation rate, new conditions are creating inflationary pressures. Monetary authorities will face these challenges as they try to stabilize prices in a time of sustained growth effort.

Who put De Lima in detention?

Who are the persons responsible for Sen. Leila de Lima’s incarceration of almost a year? As I mentioned in last week’s column, her reputation was most enviable in her law practice and public service. Somehow, it started deteriorating in mid-July 2016, when she introduced a resolution in the Senate calling for an investigation of the...

New external shock: US stock market plunge

A new external shock to the world economy happened. The US stock market has suddenly turned southwards yesterday after a sustained period of climb.


In Shakespeare’s Act III of Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony joined the funeral of, after Brutus and kindred souls had done the Ides of March number on, Julius Caesar. The starting line of his famous spiel included: “I came to bury Caesar, not to praise him.”