About Per SE

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

What the latest poverty data tell us

The Duterte administration must be congratulated. The latest poverty estimates, based on the 2018 Family Income and Expenditures Survey , show that the percentage of families who fall below the poverty threshold fell from 17.9 percent to 12.1 percent,

A fable for our times

This is a work of fiction. However it is not guaranteed that the characters will not resemble actual persons, living or dead, and that the places are unreal.

Poverty reduction, economic growth, and income inequality

The government recently released information analyzing the latest income and expenditure household surveys which show that the country’s poverty reduction program is on track and is even partly ahead of target.

What’s needed for education to improve?

The news that the Philippines is No. 79 out of 79 countries in reading literacy, and number 78 in mathematics and science literacy—the bottom in one and second to the bottom in the other two—brings a sense of déjà vu.

Across the decades: economic development of the Philippines and Hong Kong

The sustained economic rise of Hong Kong under British colonial rule is one of the most remarkable stories in recorded economic development.

The PSSC years of Loretta Makasiar Sicat

The invitation of current PSSC Executive Director Virginia Miralao to write a piece for the 40th anniversary of PSSC gives me a chance to pay tribute to Dr. Loretta Makasiar Sicat in a personal way. This is decidedly a biased biography of her.

Thank you, John and Elizabeth Gokongwei

Having been out of the country for four weeks, I have missed many landscape-changing events. One of these is the death of John Gokongwei, followed within the week by that of his wife, Elizabeth.

Hong Kong and the Philippines: historical perspective on political freedom and economic development

This week, through the ballot and a local election that appears to resemble the mid-year local elections in our country, Hong Kong made a powerful statement to its central government.

The case for CITIRA’s lowering the corporate income tax

That the link between statutory corporate income tax on the one hand, and economic growth and corporate investment, on the other, seems so tenuous was a surprise.

Takeaways from Trump impeachment hearings

Having been glued to the television set for five days watching the public impeachment hearings against US President Donald Trump, live and in full color, I cannot resist sharing my three takeaways from the experience.

The importance of being Ernest

I borrow a title from Oscar Wilde to discuss a different but significant issue, economic nation-building. The immediate inspiration for this title is the recent, unexpected passing of Ernest Leung, a retired, long time career man in the finance department.

Sen. de Lima: 1000 days of incarceration

On Nov. 20, four days from now, Sen. Leila de Lima will have spent 1,000 days under incarceration on charges which can be described, in the kindest of terms, as trumped-up. Why should we care? Gut reaction: If it can happen to her, it can happen to us.