About Per SE

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

Explaining the euro currency crisis

The euro monetary union is under threat of breaking up with the weight of the combined Italian, Spanish, and the Greek problems pressing for support. The European Union could solve this problem by creating a fiscal union to match the monetary union.

Revisit the revision

Two quick points on the 3rd quarter GDP results that were released last Monday, showing a somewhat tepid 3.2 percent growth from the previous year: The first point is that it indicates the integrity of our national income accounts (NIA) and the people in charge of their computation.  By this I mean that the National...

SC’s downslide and verdict on Hacienda Luisita

It is an indictment of our Supreme Court that their decisions/resolutions are being viewed with suspicion, if not hostility or downright disgust, by the general public. The only other time I can remember that they were held in such contempt was during the Marcos years (that’s how long in the tooth I am)...

Regional economic cooperation — ASEAN

Two meetings in the last week of heads of government happened one after the other in two distant places that also claimed the schedule of our President Aquino. One was in Hawaii and the other in Bali, Indonesia.

Why are Boys Falling Behind Girls in Schooling?

(with Kristine S. Canales, Kevin G. Cruz, Jan Carlo B. Punongbayan) The paper tries to explain why women in the Philippines, as yet a low middle income country, obtain higher levels of education than boys. Four empirically based reasons are posited – the substantial expansion of the education system, the growth of job opportunities, the culture that...

Searching for the balance between flexibility and workers’ security (Is it time to reform labor market policies?)

The protection of labor and the regulation of labor-capital relations are fundamental elements of Philippine labor policy. This protective posture is enshrined in the Constitution (Art. XIII), and reaffirmed in the Labor Code of the Philippines which provides the legal basis for all existing labor market policies and regulations. In recent years these policies and regulations...

Another very black eye

That spectacle of former President Arroyo being barred from boarding her flight, in spite of the fact that the immigration authorities were furnished with a certified true copy of the Supreme Court’s TRO, was, without a doubt, another very black eye to the administration’s already very much battered reputation regarding their upholding the rule of...

A builder and contemporary hero — David Consunji at 90

ome countrymen are in my book of contemporary heroes. My definition of a hero is a person who has contributed to the nation’s progress in terms of his ideas, the immensity of his achievements and the example that he sets for others. David M. Consunji is such a hero.

The economic legacy of Marcos

Ferdinand E. Marcos was the Philippine president from 1966 to 1986, a period exceeding twenty years. After serving as a two‐term president of the Philippines from 1966‐1972, he declared martial law under the constitution to assume dictatorial powers to tame the political chaos that was then engulfing the nation. In 1981, he ended the martial...

The world at 7 billion: does it matter?

As heralded by the media, Oct. 31, 2011, marked the day when the world’s population hit the 7-billion milestone. To some, the number may be meaningless and so easy to shrug off; to others, it may be good news since more babies are considered a blessing. To still others, it depends on where the new...

Euro debt crisis once again

The euro zone debt problem is not likely to leave seemingly remote countries like us unaffected. The financial horizon will be clouded until the danger of contagion to other countries with which we have significant relations is gone. Financial instability threatens the real economies of all countries involved.
Monetary management

Monetary management

The last five years have provided economists with ample occasions for great humility. Just when things were getting simpler and prosperity becoming our birthright, the Great Recession forced a deep reexamination of accepted certainties on how real economies work and how the monetary authorities should respond.