About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Author archive for Gerardo P Sicat

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.

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.

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 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.

How the industrial import-substitution policy became more entrenched — the Magsaysay years

When Ramon Magsaysay was elected president in 1954, the country was already in the midst of import and exchange controls.

Sin tax on salty foods

In the news lately is a Department of Health (DOH) proposal to impose a tax on salty products for public health reasons. The reasoning being put forward is the same as that for tobacco, alcohol and sugared drinks. The tax proposal is a bad idea.

Foundation for Economic Freedom and economic policy reform

I was at the launch of a book made from selected writings of five economists associated with the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF).

Factors that still afflict us in a growing economy

The overall management of the country’s macro-fundamentals in the midst of a higher investment effort has enabled the country to sustain a growing economy. Yet, the country still has many microeconomic and sector issues that need improvement. Indeed, we are faced with many problems that continue to afflict and negate the economy’s forward motion....

The Philippine economy rising

Over the weekend, I was in receipt of a book that was published last year, titled The Philippine economy: No longer the East Asian Exception?

Navigating long life, or the octogenarian decade

One of my grandchildren asked me the ultimate question during a recent family gathering to honor my many years: “What are your immediate plans and what do you hope to accomplish still?”