About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Monthly archive May 2013

Pointed questions for the Comelec chair

Commission on Elections Chair Sixto Brillantes has the right of it when he says that the 60-30-10 pattern of voting that was observed by concerned netizens in data posted by the Comelec’s transparency server for the senatorial race was not indicative of fraud. But then he spoils it all when he explains his reasoning.

Freedom of Information Act : quo vadis?

What's the future of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill? During the 2010 presidential campaign, then presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III was in favor of the FOI measure. Yet halfway in his presidency, the FOI bill has remained a promise.

Don’t blink, PNoy

I read with great pleasure the newspaper accounts of PNoy’s reactions to a) yet another move to change the Constitution (Cha-cha) and b) China’s (Taiwan not far behind) bully tactics. I agree with him completely on these two issues.

A maturing democracy is good for development

The elections were peaceful and were conducted in an efficient manner. There were some areas where the outcomes were close and therefore tense. There were shortcomings expressed about how some candidates had bought their way through. All these, however, were not anywhere near as close to the problems encountered in the electoral process of the...

Science and heaven

I dropped by Barnes and Noble in San Francisco to check out what I could read on the long flight back home the next morning. What quickly caught my attention among the new releases was Proof of Heaven (2012), the #1 New York Times Bestseller.

Of proclamations and dynasties

An ego as big as all outdoors. And an unfamiliarity with the parameters of accuracy. Those are two reasons one can think of that would explain Commission on Elections Chair Sixto Brillantes’ pronouncements.

The carabao’s future for the Filipino — dairy and meat

I dropped by the Philippine Carabao Center to venture a talk with a responsible officer. Luckily,the director, Dr. Libertado C. Cruz, was on the premises. I was glad that he received me.

The ball is in Malacañang’s court

The premise that the outgoing Senate has been the overriding constraint to economic growth, and thus has to be replaced by one more friendly to Malacañang, is dead wrong.

Random thoughts on the 2013 elections

The blazing finish of Grace Poe Llamanzares in the senatorial race caught a lot of people by surprise (a pleasant one, at least for me). But, as it turns out, it shouldn’t have...

Democracy and inclusiveness

A penurious voter who worries about tonight’s meal for the family is also exercising good judgmental competence when he/she accepts ₱1,000 in exchange for his/her vote. Worse, and going beyond JS Mill, it is not a given that the poor or anyone else necessarily discern what is truly inclusive

Evaluate candidates carefully, junk the dynasts

We go to the polls to cast our vote for 12 senators, two representatives, a mayor, a vice mayor, and councilors . In a province, we also vote for a governor, a vice governor, and provincial board members. Once “hired,” they are not easy to fire, which makes it even more important that we...

Credit upgrade: OFW blood, sweat and tears

FDIs follow the promotion to investment grade of any country. True, false or uncertain? As in many questions in Economics, the answer is it depends. It depends on whether the government of the day has the political will, perseverance and competence to carry out more serious policy reforms.