About Per SE

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

Mining industry in distress

The economy has to grow by 7 to 8% for a decade to make a difference in the lives of the poor. Yet agriculture is growing feebly while manufacturing is operating below capacity. While public construction is picking up, private construction is slowing down. Mining, after a strong though volatile growth in the last 12...

50 days in jail, and counting

Sergio O. Valencia has been in detention in Camp Crame for the past 50 days. He is allowed visits twice a week, but is otherwise incommunicado. And it looks like he will be confined there indefinitely. He is accused of plunder.

Rolly Danao – “Manager”

To the extent that economists persist in using the language of mathematics, they ought to observe its rules. In this sense, Rolly Danao fulfills the indispensable role of the School’s mathematical grammarian and rhetorician.

Virtuous impatience

“Vicious patience” sounds like an oxymoron. We were taught at home or in grade school catechism that patience is a virtue. Indeed, we Filipinos are known to be not only a forbearing and forgiving people, we also rank pretty high in the international happiness index. So what’s the problem?

For constituency or tobacco lobby?

Those responsible for watering down the Drilon sin tax proposal were trumpeting that they were doing it to help the tobacco farmers. If so, that implies the interests of 95 million Filipino people- took second place to the supposed interests of 50,000 tobacco farmers.

How nations grow, or why nations fail

A book published this year represents a breakthrough in the understanding of long term economic development of nation states. It presents a coherent analysis of why countries have large differences in income and economic welfare based on data, history and comparative experience.

For the nth time, pass the RH bill now!

If President Aquino were truly for the RH bill, why isn’t he pushing for it hard enough? If he can only show the same passion and determination he displayed when he had the Chief Justice removed from office, the RH bill should have been approved by Congress a long time ago.

Will tobacco lobby snatch victory from the jaws of defeat?

Had Sen. Recto had his way, his sin tax proposal would have handed the tobacco lobby a third victory. Unfortunately for him/them, the reaction against his pro-tobacco stance was so fierce, and the health lobby counterattack so strong, that he was forced to beat a temporary retreat.

US presidential politics and Philippine destiny

It used to be that electoral contests in the US had enormous significance to the lives of all Filipinos. The outcome is no longer as important today as it used to be. Last week, Barack Obama, of the Democratic Party, was reelected president for a second term over Mitt Romney, the challenger of the Republican...

Too late the hero

"There's sucker born every minute." The statement’s accuracy has been bolstered once again by the latest Ponzi scam in the Philippines -- the Aman Group Philippines, Inc. (AGPI) or Aman Future Trading.

Show me the money!

There is a huge disparity between the promise and the reality. President Aquino would usually announce the promise of more foreign direct investment (FDI) every time he arrived from abroad. Yet, foreign direct investments have yet to come -- two and a half years after Mr. Aquino took over Malacañang.

Grumbling among expats

The inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Philippines plummeted by 83% in August this year. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is hoping a total FDI inflow of $1.2 billion for 2012. That’s low in comparison with the average FDI the Philippines has received in the last 11 years and puny in comparison...