About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Monthly archive February 2014

‘Manny Sundalo’ shows the way

The story of “Manny Sundalo” is such a breath of fresh air amid the “hindi mo ba alam kung sino ako” variety, that it deserves telling and retelling—in the hope that it will inspire our leaders to remember that they are servants first and foremost.

A country like any other, Chs. 17-18

Chapter 17: History and memory

Chapter 18: Outsiders

A country like any other, Chs. 15-16

Chapter 15: Life and death in Gaza

Chapter 16: The loneliest people in the Holy Land

A country like any other, Chs. 13-14

Chapter 13: Shabbat conversations

Chapter 14: Jerusalem stories

A country like any other, Chs. 11-12

Chapter 11: Violence

Chapter 12: Fear

Focus on agrarian reform: how do we proceed next?

A central component of Philippine agricultural policy is tied up with the agrarian reform program. After many years of implementation, the program is nowhere near the objective that land reform in the country was set out to fulfill.

Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program: time to let go

As a program for land asset equity, CARP by 2014 shall have accomplished 99% of its target, a whopper of a success for a government program. As a program to advance the economic welfare of farmers, it has accomplished the opposite of its stated goals.

Investing in an uncertain and slower world

There is a small group of wealthy Filipinos who are in search of investment opportunities. They might find an economy that is expanding, albeit at a slower rate, a stock market that’s less vibrant than before, and a real estate market that’s losing steam. In brief, potential investors may have to be more cautious, selective,...

The marrow, not the skin

The brouhaha over the shift in the academic calendar is an unnecessary and tedious distraction. For the change contemplated is unlikely to accomplish what its proponents say it will, i.e., impart an “international character” to Philippine higher education.

Does the academic calendar matter?

Three cheers for University of the Philippines Diliman. It refused to be rushed into approving the proposal to change the academic calendar and, when it was discussed in its University Council, disapproved it, calling for careful study.

Why Asian firms hold cash

[with Akiko Terada-Hagiwara]. Existing literature concludes cash remains ‘king’ and that debt capacity does not provide the same degree of downside protection. We consider why firms hold cash, and what determines how much cash firms hold, with particular attention to Asian firms.

Rice farming — high tariffs, smuggling, and protectionist policies

Last week, I made the point that smuggling, corruption and protectionist policies are almost the same thing. Where one of these activities is prevalent, chances are it is because the other two elements are also there as partners in misconduct.