About Per SE

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

A (common?) horror story

As my last column for the year, I was going to narrate a horror story that I thought had a happy ending, which would be appropriate for the season (not the horror story, but the happy ending). But I had thought too soon.

Economic tidings of cheer for Christmas 2012

Good tidings for the nation on Christmas 2012 will further bring promising economic news for 2013 and beyond. Toward the third year of Benigno Aquino III’s six-year presidency, concrete signs of the national economy’s growth prospects and better living standards appear to be in our future.

Inaccuracies and false choices

The pastoral letter of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) titled “Contraception Is Corruption: Seeking Light and Guidance on the RH Bill,” which was read in churches last Dec. 16, raises more questions than it answers.

Job-shedding growth

Here's a puzzle for policy makers: If the economy truly grew by 6.5% in the first three quarters of the year, why did the number of employed persons decline by 882,000, and the number of jobless workers rose by 120,000, from October 2011 to October 2012?

The end

Finally, after more than four and one-half years of legal battle, and the expenditure of every penny of her life’s savings, Mila Espinosa has emerged victorious, her honor vindicated. Truth and justice have triumphed. The case of a poor widow winning over the combined power of a conjugal dictatorship.

The Arab Spring and the world (and Philippine) economy

The Arab Spring of 2011 is just a chapter in the political and economic development of the region. These political changes appear to be like echoes of past events rather than a sharp departure from them. If this is the case, then the more things change, the more they remain the same.

RH bill over the hump?

By a decisive vote, the Houseand the Senate approved on Monday evening the long-awaited Reproductive Health (RH) bill. I expect the reconciliation process to be short and sweet, and the two chambers might be ready to vote, as early as Wednesday, on the reconciled version of the RH bill.

A killer app for higher ed

A promising game-changer in the problem of congestion in Philippine universities is the current object of a great deal of interest: MOOCs, or “massive open online courses”.

Prosecution’s cavalier treatment of facts in Valencia case

The corporate secretary of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office faults me for failing to do my duty to the public as a journalist because I did not check the facts before writing my column on Sergio Valencia

The peso appreciation and monetary-fiscal coordination

The paper tracks the exchange rate experience of the Philippines with four other East Asian neighbors and finds that the Philippine appreciation is most severe. The paper asserts that exchange rate policy is a matter of policy discretion even under the regime of market-based exchange rates.

US economic recovery and the ‘fiscal cliff’

The US fiscal cliff came about when the US Congress passed a law specifying the amount of fiscal deficit level but postponed enacting the details of those measures until after the next presidential election.

Infra spending: good news, bad news

First, the good news: infrastructure spending in the first 10 months of 2012 was higher than the ₱100.4 billion recorded in the same period last year. Now, the bad news: actual spending this year is only slightly above half of the full-year target of ₱298 billion.