About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Posts tagged "regulation"

High cost of power plus the shocking Meralco bill

A recent electric shock jolted all customers of the Meralco franchise area. Their bills would rise by P4.15 per kilowatt-hour of consumption. The normal electric bills that we pay are already among the highest in East Asia. When Meralco’s surprise additions are added, we have a truly high cost of electricity.

Who’s responsible for power price spike?

My knowledge of the electricity market amounting to not much, I decided to bone up on it before adding my voice to the cacophony of opinions, and recommendations. Here’s what I found...

Worse than the pork barrel scam

Public attention is now focused on the pork barrel scam, as well it should. Alas, there is an even greater scam that is being perpetrated on the Filipino people, beside which, in terms of orders of magnitude, the pork barrel pales in comparison.

Screwing the customer?

Had not MWSS figuratively blown a whistle, customers of Maynilad and Manila Water (Concessionaires of MWSS) would not have known that they were being billed for the corporate income taxes being paid by the corporations. Not surprisingly, the reaction was outrage.

Informal settlers and water rates

I haven’t done an actual count, but it seems that the past week has had more than its share of news stories worthy of comment or analysis, and I don’t want to pass up the chance to get in my licks. So I ask the Reader for her forbearance as I tackle more than one...

How college textbooks became affordable (A memoir)

There was a time when college textbooks were very expensive. Today, college textbooks are more affordable and available for the country’s youth and teachers. current state of affairs just described did not come about naturally. It was paved by a law that made possible the printing of books in the country.

Opportunism, governance failure — 3

The emergence of the PDS Group as a trilateral monopolist lording it over the secondary trading of government securities could not have come about without the active support and assistance of the BSP, the SEC, the Department of Finance and the Bureau of the Treasury.

Opportunism, government failure — 2

Subsequent actions show that the BSP, in connivance with SEC, actively provided the PDS Group the fig leaf of legality which allowed it to virtually monopolize government securities (GS) trading. With no public discussion and scrutiny, the PDS Group successfully inserted itself in GS trading system where once it did not exist, where it was...

Opportunism, government failure — 1

This is an incredible and deplorable saga of how a bunch of private, financial opportunists (PDS Group), in connivance with top bankers and key public officials from BSP, Department of Finance, Treasury, and SEC, have enriched themselves at the expense of the Filipino people.

Unchecked, and with more variations

"Cculture of impunity” has to describe how people behave when they think they are untouchable or are above the law. Thus, a culture of impunity and the rule of law are antithetical. Through the years, the Filipino people have been witness to this culture of impunity in practice.

Caveat emptor (let the buyer beware)

The Philippine Stock Exchange is planning to take over the fixed-income trading platform under Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. (PDEx). Have the PSE officials done due diligence on their proposed acquisition? Have they checked the controversial birth of PDEx? Are they willing to risk the rising and untarnished reputation of PSE by "buying" a damaged...

Lawyers and economic development, or why we stumble oftentimes

The announcement of the list of new lawyers – law students who took the bar examinations and passed – is one of the most awaited events concerning the profession. Newspapers in the country give this event prominent coverage and use it to twit the competition between the country’s top law schools.