About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Author archive for Toby Melissa C Monsod

Government “underspending” in perspective: Incompetence, inertia, or indigestion?

The measured underspending over the last 5 years has more to do with ambitious targets rather than apathetic or incompetent bureaucrats.

Letter to the Board of Regents on the age requirement for the UP Presidency

There is nothing in the law, the Charter, the Code, or the University's cherished traditions to suggest that advanced age must be a factor in the administration of the University's affairs.

Political Intervention in the Philippine Bureaucracy, 1987 to 2010: How, where and to what effect

This essay revisits the theme of political intervention in the bureaucracy by using updated sources of data to understand how politicization occurs, where it occurs and to what effect across five presidential terms from 1987 to 2010.

Real score on funds for Bangsamoro

The funds to be transferred to the Bangsamoro have been described as an “additional cost” to be borne not by the Bangsamoro but by the rest of the country, whose taxes will support these allocations.

A blow to UP’s honor

We deplore in the strongest terms the violence perpetrated last Wednesday, September 17, by a group of protesters against Secretary Florencio B. Abad outside the U.P. School of Economics auditorium.

Conjecture vs. evidence: a reiteration

[with Sharon F. Piza] This is a reply to RV Fabella’s methodological rejoinder to criticisms of his paper ‘CARP: time to let go’.

Time to let go of CARP? Not so fast

[with Sharon F. Piza] The following note seeks to clarify the appreciation of data pertaining to agrarian reform as used in the discussion paper “CARP: time to let go” (henceforth Fabella (2014)).

Scrap pork, empower provinces

The untranslatable kahindik-hindik is how the Commission on Audit Chair described it. Indeed only the most cynical can read the 453-page COA special report on the allocation and utilization of pork barrel funds from 2007-2009 and not come away appalled.

Population, poverty, politics and the Reproductive Health bill

The population issue has long been dead and buried in developed and most developing countries, including historically Catholic countries. That it continues to be debated heatedly in our country merely testifies to the lack of progress in policy and action. The Catholic Church hierarchy has maintained its traditional stance against modern family planning (FP) methods,...

Is government really solving the housing problem?

(DP 2011-04) Abstract Informal housing arrangements, substandard structures, congestion, and land use conflicts characterize the urban housing problem in the Philippines. The record suggests that the response of the State, especially its reliance on below-market priced mortgage loans, has aggravated rather than helped solve the situation. If the housing problem is to be solved, government...