About Per SE

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

Screwed coming and going

The decision of the Supreme Court on Hacienda Luisita was announced on Tuesday, April 24. My information is that the discussion of the high court en banc on Tuesday needed to be properly reflected in both the majority decision and in the dissenting opinions, and so some amount of rewriting had to be done. ......

Eroding public approval

The Filipino people’s public approval of the Aquino III administration has been seriously eroded. And they have a clear message to their elected Chief Executive: shape up, and focus on easing poverty, creating more jobs, managing well the swelling population, and moderating prices.

Just compensation

Well, it is final. Or as final as a “final and executory” Supreme Court decision can be in this country, given the seemingly increasing predilection of that body to change its mind. And as final as the statement of Hacienda Luisita can be that it will abide by the SC decision (the last time it...

Out of poverty with job creation

Viewed historically, the recent performance of the Philippine economy has actually been reassuring: Favorable trends include a declining public debt and fiscal deficit, recurring current account surpluses, low inflation, a healthy banking sector, and recent and forthcoming credit rating upgrades.

Crude oil prices (I): a historical perspective

Crude oil prices have affected the Philippine economy adversely since the 1970s. A full review of what drives crude oil prices is vital. Factors that cause crude oil prices to fluctuate are mainly political in character. Of course, many other developments – economic and otherwise in nature – could also initiate short run fluctuations....

Reasons to renew Gus Lagman’s appointment

In the interest of justice and fair play. In the interest of safeguarding the Philippine electoral system. In the interest of truth. Any and all of the above are reasons to justify the imperative to renew the appointment of Augusto “Gus” Lagman to the Commission on Elections,.

An effective, modernizing president

Last Monday, April 16th, some friends of former president Joseph Ejercito Estrada met at the Enderun Colleges to celebrate the launching of a book, "Ito ang Pilipino: A Tribute to Joseph Ejercito Estrada". This is part of a week-long celebration of Erap’s diamond year as he turns 75 on April 19th.The book was written, compiled...

Lagman must stay in Comelec

The bare story is that Gus Lagman’s ad interim appointment as Comelec commissioner was not renewed by President Aquino. This, in stark contrast to the SOP where the president renews these appointments until such time as the Commission on Appointments (CA) has held hearings and then decides whether to confirm or reject (bypass) a nominee’s...

The lost decade

Who’s the better economic manager -- the academically trained economist Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo or the college dropout Joseph Ejercito Estrada? The answer can be gleaned from my second essay, “The Lost Decade,” in the book, Ito and Pilipino: A Tribute to Joseph Ejercito Estrada.

Why electricity price is high: a historical explanation

Philippine electricity price is high. Such a price affects everyone’s consumption budget. But it also drives up the country’s costs as a site for industrial production and makes the economy less competitive. The government has an obligation to bring down the electricity price so that it is brought at least at par with the costs...

Giving credit where it is due

The latest (February) data on the performance of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) should provide more than a small amount of comfort to those who are beginning to despair over the Aquino administration’s competence. While one month’s performance of these agencies is obviously no indication of a trend,...

The Philippine economy (V) — revitalizing the economy with FDI

The Philippine economy has succeeded to attract foreign direct investments, but not nearly as well as other neighbors. Despite economic reforms that allow more import competition, the domestic economy continues to harbor restrictive provisions against FDI.