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Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Monthly archive January 2012

Reminders on the impeachment trial

Whatever may be the result of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, it has become crystal clear that the constitutional requirement of the disclosure of the statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) of all government officials and employees has been honored more in the breach than in the observance,

Domestic factors affecting economic performance this year

In the private sector economy, economic growth is sensitive to domestic and international influences. With respect to domestic factors, what the government does or does not do could be of great consequence. Economic policy and the magnitude of government spending are manifestations of the influence of government on the economy

Unsettling news

If the members of Congress had any sense of shame, their faces would be Cambridge Red with embarrassment. Why? Because, only two members of the current Congress disclosed copies of their SALN in response to PCIJ’s request ; b) the PCIJ obtained copies of the SALNs of only three out of the 188 signatories...

Free fall

Total merchandise exports is on a free fall. From a peak growth of 26.5% in December 2010, merchandise exports continued its contraction in November 2011, registering a 19.4% decline. It’s now been seven months of consecutive fall -- with no bottom in sight.

Hope lessons

I ended last year on a note of hope—and obviously I am not alone, since it seems that 95 percent of Filipinos feel the same way. I start this year on a similar note, by pointing out (crowing may be too much), or maybe reminding, that there indeed has been some small victories in the...

It gets even more complicated?

“There is no heavier burden than a great potential,” says Linus from “Peanuts”.President Aquino started with great potential and high approval rating. But after 18 months in office, a quarter of his term, Mr. Aquino has nothing spectacular to show.

The Philippine central bank

The law enabling the creation of the central bank, Republic Act No. 265, was passed by Congress in 1948. So, the central bank was founded in fact in 1948. This makes our own one of the oldest among central banks of the developing countries of the world.

Safer, more beautiful Philippines?

As the world economy slows and undergoes severe adjustment problems, it may be an excellent opportunity for the Philippines to make up for lost ground. Tthe next five years may be an excellent opportunity for the country to enhance its disaster preparedness and to build a stronger, more beautiful country.

Elite capture?

The question is not whether there is or isn’t elite capture. It is why elite capture becomes developmental in one but anti-developmental in the other.