About Per SE

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

Two wrongs don’t make a right

Personally, I believe that the Court would be better off without say, Corona and at least one other justice who, I am morally certain, is as corrupt as they come. But moral certitude can and should never be a substitute for hard evidence.

Rising disenchantment

Sadly, after showing poor execution skills and with a harsher, slower world economy, the Philippine economy is expected to grow at a much slower pace. Many financial institutions, international organizations, and individual economists have joined those who have earlier predicted a slowdown this year and next.

Lessons on impeachment

If the trial of the one and only US Supreme Court justice ever to be impeached is anything to go by, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile will be playing a pivotal role in what future historians will arguably consider a defining moment in our country’s political history.

What Has Really Happened to Poverty in the Philippines? New Measures, Evidence, and Policy Implications

That poverty is a multidimensional phenomenon is no longer debatable. What remains a contentious issue is whether the various dimensions of individual deprivation should be aggregated–and how these are to be aggregated–into a summary measure of poverty.This study employs the Alkire-Foster aggregation methodology, which preserves the “dashboard” of dimensions of poverty, to systematically assess the...

Cesar Virata at 81: yesterday hefty achievements, today healthy, active and still influential

Cesar Virata’s name occupies an important niche in the country’s development. His contributions were made mainly during the presidency and martial law years of Ferdinand Marcos. Since 1986 – about 25 years ago – his name has receded from the national news.

The end of remittance-led growth?

The country’s dismal growth figures for the third quarter came as a shock even to the most sympathetic economics observers. Third-quarter GDP grew at only 3.2%, gross national income rose at a worse 1.6%, and per-capita income actually fell.

Who’s treating the poor like dirt?

A number of our legislators are waxing indignant at the “magic”/“deception”/“window dressing” practiced by the NSCB to make it appear that poverty incidence had significantly decreased from 26.3 percent to 20.9 percent. And naturally they want to conduct another investigation.

ASEAN’s early years as an economic group — a memoir

Political confrontation described their early post-independence relations. Indonesia had a period of confrontation with Malaysia at the latter’s independence. The Philippines had a tense relation with Malaysia because of the territorial claim to Northern Borneo. Singapore itself had just been kicked out of Malaysia. Thailand, of course, was the immediate neighbor to the Indochinese peninsula...

Infrastructure bonds

The Philippine gross international reserves now stands at about $75 billion and counting. The interest rate on “safe haven” sovereign bonds is close to zero and may be negative in real terms. It is not inconceivable that the foreign placement of our international reserves is now fetching negative interest rates. This is a tragedy. ...

Karma or revenge?

Karma? Sounds okay, until one realizes that the implication is that if Arroyo had just let Estrada go scot-free in 2001, she wouldn’t now be under arrest herself. Which then implies that the moral is: scratch my back and I will scratch yours...

Lynch mob kind of justice

Koko Pimentel has not allowed the four-year delay of his proclamation as a senator to embitter him, much less to get in the way of his legal ethics. He has said there is as yet no solid evidence that Gloria Arroyo was involved in the Maguindanao election cheating,