About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Monthly archive October 2011

Cesar Virata at Finance: tax collector and reformer, 1970 to 1986

Cesar Virata’s tenure as secretary/minister of Finance is the longest held by any head of department in Philippine history. This study reviews his contributions to the evolution and reform of the Philippine tax system which were significant, sustained and consistent. His contributions helped to bring the internal and customs revenues of the country toward their...

Why higher education SUCs

A firestorm has been unleashed by the Department of Budget’s cuts in the proposed allocations to state universities and colleges (SUCs), including UP. As a result, the government—though the barbs are directed more at poor Butch Abad—is now accused of abdicating its duty to education in general. Most of the “cuts”, however, really have to...

Stimulating investment and growth in the Philippines: the need for first-order market reforms

We show that the most important barriers to investment and growth in the Philippines are structural and institutional problems that are characteristic of limited access societies, which can be more effectively and efficiently overcome by prioritizing ‘first-order’ market reforms that increase competition and openness, rather than by government regulations that enforce against the distortions.