About Per SE

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

Healthy dose of cynicism

With respect to economic issues, anything the World Bank or the IMF has to say is very often swallowed hook, line and sinker. This, also in spite of these institutions having come under fire for their sins with regard to the Asian crisis.

“Sleight of mind”

Heading them off at the pass. That’s what they used to say in the old cowboy-injun movies to describe a move by one group to prevent another group from arriving at their desired destination. And that is what describes the announcement made yesterday (Friday) by President Aquino.

Middle East political convulsions, the world’s energy resources and international trade

With the Middle East political convulsions coming front-and-center on our TV screens nightly, should we be worried about energy issues again as in the past? I am wary but I am less alarmed.

Swimming against the tide

The President may choose to ignore the strong, gathering force for the pork barrel’s abolition at his own peril. He should support an unpopular move if he’s convinced that he’s on the right side of history; that’s strong leadership. But knowingly defending a broken, corrupt, and wasteful pork barrel system is, to put it mildly,...

Scrap the pork barrel

That was a bombshell the CoA report released last Friday, and the entire commission (special mention to the audit team headed by Susan Garcia) should be congratulated for this no-holds-barred, damn-the-torpedoes-full-speed-ahead document.

Learning from Saint Deng

August 22 is Deng Xiaoping’s birthday. Deng engineered Mainland China’s still-unfolding economic miracle which graduated over 500 million from poverty. He is a saint in my book. August 22 should be a Deng Xiaoping Thought Day

Of fairness and feud

Unbelievable. But unfortunately true. And from my point of view, wholly unjust. I’d been following, off and on, the travails of former UP Diliman Chancellor Roger Posadas and his Vice-Chancellor Rolando Dayco. It has been 17 years since the initial charges against them were filed. And now the two of them are facing 14-17 years...

Military pension

Here’s what I call the big elephant in the room -- the huge and ballooning military pension. Nobody’s contributing, yet the number of claimants is rising. And no one wants to talk about it.

Unique consequences of the Philippine ‘labor surplus’ story

The relative failure of home policies brought about an accidental success to the Philippine economy through the migration of Filipino workers where capital is more abundant and where wages, as a consequence, are higher.

Worse than the pork barrel scam

Public attention is now focused on the pork barrel scam, as well it should. Alas, there is an even greater scam that is being perpetrated on the Filipino people, beside which, in terms of orders of magnitude, the pork barrel pales in comparison.

The Philippine ‘labor surplus’ story

The impressive economic growth of East Asian countries could be explained by the labor surplus model of growth. The phrase “labor surplus” is merely descriptive and has no disapproving or judgmental significance.

Reading the Chancellor’s Report on Enrollment and Graduation, SY 2012-2013

Chancellor Caesar Saloma’s report is given purely in numerical terms and graphs. The Chancellor presumably wants the figures to speak for themselves and reflect his own concerns relating to faculty quality and operational inefficiencies in the university.