About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Author archive for Ernesto M Pernia

Knowledge capital for self-sustaining, inclusive development

That education is indispensable for personal advancement and national progress is widely acknowledged. Good education that’s widely shared results in higher productivity and entrepreneurial skills and, hence, lower levels of poverty and inequality.

Regional growth, poverty reduction in an open economy

While globalization has been around for some time, and many countries have been part of it in one way or another, economic openness has assumed greater significance for the Philippines with the Asean Economic Community officially in full gear since end-2015. This makes the question whether and how the country’s subnational regions can benefit from...

Do Regions Gain from an Open Economy?

This paper looks into whether and how sub-national regions can benefit from a country’s economic openness. Using data on the Philippines, it first notes marked disparities across its regions as reflected in economic and social indicators.

Maritime transport critical to regional development

DESPITE MUCH research and repeated policy pronouncements on the importance of regional development, the country’s spatial growth has actually become more rather than less skewed. With climate-change-induced disasters in addition to increasing sociopolitical restiveness in the regions, the subject of spatial inequalities has assumed renewed relevance. Indeed, the issue is figuring prominently in the run-up...

Science a sine qua non for human progress

Science is a soft—hence, often unheralded—infrastructure for progress. But much of history is about this dynamic, especially since the Industrial Revolution when science and technology (S&T) played an increasing role. Nations strive to invest in human capital, deemed a key factor in sustaining progress.

DOTC as public disservice

MOBILITY AND connectivity are, in this day and age, part of basic human needs. The DOTC, by definition, provides these public services that directly impact the quotidian wellbeing of practically every citizen.

Solar Power’s Rise and Promise

Time was when solar energy was facilely dismissed as impractical, inefficient, and pricey. In recent years, however, innovations in technology, regulation, and financing have resulted in remarkable efficiency improvements and price reductions, thereby reversing the skepticism about this renewable energy (RE) source.

‘Laudato Si,’ urban land abuse and ills

Pope Francis’ newest encyclical, “Laudato Si,” is an overarching document that touches on just about everything that affects the environment and is affected by it. The ills of urban life don’t escape its sweep. He posits that we can have neither nature without humanity nor humanity without nature.

The sun rises and falls

Not too long ago, solar power was facilely pooh-poohed as a nonstarter. It was casually dismissed as impractical, space-intensive, inefficient and expensive. In terms of social desirability, it was generally regarded a cellar-dweller among the various renewable sources.

Skewed regional development

REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT used to be at the forefront of policy and academic discourse from the 1960s through the 1980s. That it has since faded only attests to a general sense of frustration with the country’s regional development that has become more lopsided than balanced.

Poverty’s end as chimera

The Philippines’ official poverty incidence at 25.2 percent (2012 average) hasn’t fallen much from 33.1 percent in 1990. Halving it to 16.5 percent by end-2015, which is the Millennium Development Goals’ target, seems well nigh impossible—short of a miracle!

Coupling faith and morals

As has been publicly noted, all sectors of Philippine society deserve the warmest congratulations for the success of Pope Francis’ historic visit. It’s now time to reflect on his sermons, following the admonition of the bishops. Apart from the overriding theme of “mercy and compassion,” among the key words often uttered by the Holy Father...