About Per SE

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

Can the Aquino administration transform itself overnight?

The revision of the PDP is an implicit admission by Mr. Aquino and his Cabinet that the old PDP was not clicking. Despite the economic growth of 6.8% in 2012 and 7.2% in 2013, the island republic’s unemployment rate continued to rise and more Filipinos became poor.

College-trained unemployed workers deserve attention too

The severity of joblessness in the country should be a grim reminder for policy makers that all’s not well in the economy. One gets the uneasy feeling that things are not benefiting a great number of Filipinos, that many are left behind in the growth process.

Income inequality, growth and economic systems

A careful reading of the statistical picture of income inequality among countries leads to the conclusion that income inequality is partly, but strongly a consequence of growth and development.

Economics education for a future middle class

Instead of emphasizing how students should think of and form opinions on public issues, economics education for high school is likely better focused on helping students help themselves -- i.e., escaping or staying out of poverty.

Win or lose?

This newspaper’s headline was “SC ruling on RH: Win-win,” based apparently on the reactions of both the pros and antis to the Supreme Court’s decision on the Reproductive Health Law, or to the announcement of the decision. No copy of the decision was released then. I decided to wait until I could read the decision...

Income inequality — a helicopter view

One of the most glaringly charged of all social issues concerns income inequality. A deep chasm divides opinion on how to address this issue among those who want to reform society.

Can PH face up to AEC challenge?

A plethora of explanations has been advanced why the Philippines (PH) has fallen well behind the other four Asean originals. This ranges from the protectionist policies for so-called infant industries from external competition, political instability particularly in the 1980s that practically shooed away Japanese FDIs to the country’s neighbors, weak governance and dysfunctional institutions,...

Fighting yesterday’s war

The New Central Bank Act of 1993 which circumscribes the monetary policy of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is in the process of being recast. It is long overdue.

Sticking my neck out

The operation of the MRT is on the hot seat, and so is its boss, Al S. Vitangcol. I may be sticking my neck out, but if this man is corrupt, I am blind, deaf and dumb.

El pais del abaca: Rizal’s aesthetic injustice?

Rizal’s use of thinly disguised references to real-life characters, places, and events in his novels is well known. But just how much Rizal revelled in deploying real-life material can be seen in his use of the device in even the most trivial and incidental details.

Raising the quality of private higher education — CHED’s mandate

Raising the quality of education in all the higher private educational institutions in the country is a long term task. It takes some years for a young plant to become a tree and then to yield its first fruits. Similarly for institutions of learning.

Should NGOs have access to public funds?

For NGOs, having direct access to public funds is out of character. They are supposed to raise their own money to finance projects that would benefit their local constituencies.