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

Governors, mayors, dynasts, reelectionists, and last termers: local elections and competitive challenge

The Philippine electoral season has just started. All candidates are trooping to the Commission on Elections to file their candidacies for office. It is not only a national election for mid-term senators of the nation. All the positions for local office, from that of governor and mayors to local council members, are up for electoral...

Reformer or promiser?

Is President Benigno Aquino III a reformer or, simply, a promiser? More than one-third of his presidential term is gone. Does he still have the time to deal with the more challenging high-hanging fruit before the end of his term?

Political dynasties: cause or consequence?

Philippine politics is not broken because dynasties are strong; rather, dynasties are strong because politics is broken. Prohibiting dynasties merely prevents some organizations from playing. What we really need is a change in the rules of the game,

Voters must stop the political dynasties

The 1987 constitutional provision is clear: “The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.” Yet up to now, 25 years later, the legislation required by this state policy has not been produced.

Earmarking of State revenue is overrated

The proponents of a higher tax on sin products argue that earmarking of incremental revenues is one way of ensuring the adequacy of government spending for basic health care. While I agree the government does not spend enough for health, I doubt that earmarking would be a game changer.

Worker remittances and the Philippine economy

The Philippine economy is in a sound position today in part because of the steady growth and size of remittances of OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) to the country. The volume of these remittances has continually grown over time as more and more Filipino workers have found jobs abroad.

Reality check

October being National Statistics Month, it is particularly timely to give credit where it is due: to the Philippine Statistical System and the NSCB in particular, for doing a great job in spite of the tremendous financial and personnel constraints under which it is operating.

Jobless, non-inclusive growth

The economy grew 5.9% in the second quarter of 2012, after a surprisingly strong growth of 6.3% in the first quarter, or a first semester GDP growth of 6.1%. Yet, unemployment remained stubbornly high at 7%, while underemployment soared to a six-year high of 22.7%. How can such a strong growth result in so much...

Bernanke, Volcker, and Marcos

Last week we commemorated, with a view to averting the same nightmare in future, the sufferings of the heroes who fought the Marcos dictatorship. Few recall that the seed of the collapse of the Marcos regime was partly sown by the triumph of one monetary world view championed by the Milton Friedman over another championed...

Why is Heidi Mendoza still unconfirmed?

Heidi Mendoza is an attack dog unleashed in a political demolition job against Vice President Jejomar Binay by his foes. Heidi has become obsessed with the Binays, or has a history of animosity toward them Or at least that’s what the Binay camp would like to have us believe.