About Per SE

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

Injustice in UP

Almost five years ago, I wrote a letter to the chancellor of the University of the Philippines Diliman. It was the only letter I wrote, in my more than 40 years as a faculty member, to a UP official. I am reproducing it in toto below because in my quixotic attempt to “protect” the university...

Mindless, willful act?

Maybe historians will be able to say how or why the tradition started -- that of appointing the most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court to succeed the retiring/deceased Chief Justice. But certainly, beginning with the retirement of Cayetano Arellano, the first CJ, in 1920, it seems that that has been the practice....

Strong first half, weak second half

The 5.9% growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in the second quarter of 2012 was slower than the first quarter’s growth (adjusted from 6.4% to 6.2%). While it beat most expectations, it nevertheless signaled a

Memoir of a study of the Philippine economy during the Japanese occupation

Sometimes a topic of peripheral importance to a career becomes a turning point for an interesting adventure. This is exactly what happened to an incidental study that I made on the Philippine economy during the Japanese occupation.

A child’s “kidnapping”

The brouhaha over the alleged kidnapping of the granddaughter of Cecilia Seares Luna, a “queenpin” of Abra, has once again exposed the soft underbelly of the Philippine justice system.

Regional development and urbanization

“Regional development” used to be a buzzword in academic and policy circles from the late 1960s through the 1980s. That it has faded in recent years reflects perhaps a general sense of disappointment with the country’s regional development that has become more lopsided than balanced.

Peso exchange rate: alternative paths

Why should the peso keep appreciating? Many Philippine export industries have been complaining that they could lose their market position. Some might even be forced to quit. This would be injurious to the nation given the high level of unemployment and underemployment and the widespread incidence of poverty.

The central bank’s offer the NG should not refuse

The Bangko Sentral has offered to sell to the government all the dollars it needs to service its foreign loans. It’s a triple win situation: it minimizes the national government’s foreign exchange risks, it reduces the BSP’s costs of siphoning excess liquidity in the system, and it eases the economic misery of exporters. ...

Get real

If memory serves, I can count on the fingers of only one hand the number of times I actually came face to face with Jesse Robredo. So obviously Jesse and I were not bosom buddies. And equally obviously, the highest degree of respect and admiration with which I held and still hold him had nothing...