About Per SE

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

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.”

Fearless and principled

In three weeks, Reader, Sen. Leila de Lima will have spent one year under incarceration. A duly elected senator of the Republic, elected without the help of a name ripe with political recall. Not a name tarnished by corruption, but a name that sparkled because of her excellent service to the Filipino people.

External factors affecting the 2018 economy

External developments are often the X-factor that bring surprises to our projections of the economic future. Using the language of sailors, we can only sail against the prevailing wind which only nature controls. Such external developments could be due to the forces of: (1) nature; (2) geopolitics; and (3) global or social trends.

To lead a modest life

Article XI of the 1987 Constitution on the Accountability of Public Officers provides: “Section 1. Public  office is a public trust… Public officers must at all times be accountable to the people and serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, … AND LEAD MODEST LIVES.” (emphasis provided)

The case for a federal form of government

There is no magic wand in the choice of form of government. Effective governance results from the actions of leaders to adopt the appropriate policies and to make the right choices of actions to respond to the challenges they face.

Rappler and two other issues

Three topics vied for the attention of this column this week: the desire of Congress to constitute itself into a constituent assembly, the 60th birthday bash of Speaker Alvarez in Davao, and the government’s attempt to close down Rappler.

Constitutional amendments – Senate hearing concerns

In connection with the hearings being conducted by the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Codes, I have been asked for my views on the proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution. I am answering all the questions posed by the committee in this column.