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

Sicat interviewed by ANC

UPSE Professor Emeritus Gerardo P. Sicat was interviewed by Coco Alcuaz on the ANC program "Inside Business" on a wide range of topics.

Many shades of corruption – public vs private, grand vs petty

The nation’s focus during the last few weeks has been on the problem of corruption emanating from the use of public funds. Only the big disaster of Bohol’s earthquake, and its aftermath, has overridden this matter. The cliff-hanger that was the US debt limit hardly made a dent on pork barrel issues at home.

The Great Deodorizer

The Aquino administration is using the sad plight of the people of Bohol and Cebu as a way of deodorizing the much-criticized and legally flawed Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP). What remains of the P7.5-billion Calamity Fund and the P3.7-billion Quick Response Funds embedded in the budgets of seven agencies? There is no need to augment...

US debt limit problem and its implications

The US economy being so big, the world economy is highly dependent on it – its actions and inactions. The current debt ceiling issue mandating the limit of government debt illustrates this pointedly.

Brinkmanship in the US, boorishness at home

The partial government shutdown and the threat of a US default has gripped Washington during the last few days. But optimism for a possible compromise to end the political impasse and economic disaster is in the air. The solution could be a brief respite or a more permanent one, but it is imminent nevertheless.

Savings and augmentation

How huge was the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program of 2011 (DAP 2011) and how was it put together?

Moody’s credit upgrade is a strong positive factor for us

One strong positive factor for Philippine development materialized with the release a few days ago of Moody’s investment grade credit rating for Philippine sovereign debt.

DAP as ‘fiscal stimulus’ a misnomer

When the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) was announced in October 2011, it was represented as a fiscal stimulus plan. A few days later, I wrote that the DAP as fiscal stimulus was a misnomer. I was one of the few who raised questions on the propriety of what I consider to be a “budget within...

A permanent solution to the broken budget system

The present budget system is broken and dysfunctional. No less than a serious, comprehensive budget reform is needed to make it workable and in step with the Philippine Constitution

A book on Philippine economic policy issues is born!

I have news for readers who have been following this column. A book collecting most of the essays dealing with my comments on economic development policy has just been released by Anvil Publishing. I hope it is now in bookstores.

Unemployment has no welfare significance

If the principal concern of the government and its critics is to relieve the poverty of the vast majority and to pull them into the middle class, then the unemployment rate is actually a bad statistic to focus on.