About Per SE

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

Not just within their lifetime

The Ombudsman asked the Supreme Court to create two special divisions of the Sandiganbayan that would exclusively conduct hearings on the pork cases. The Court still hasn’t decided on the issue, but judging from the negative reactions of the SB and some of the accused, that route to a speedy disposition of the cases...

The inflated truth about our laws

Clarity and uniform interpretation over both time and space are thought to be appealing characteristics of laws. Nothing is as straightforward as the classic “eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth.”

Poverty, reconstruction, and development in Eastern Visayas after Yolanda

After Yolanda, the poor have become desperately poorer along the typhoon.

With poor logistics, how can we compete?

Much has been written about the Philippines’ huge deficiencies in public infrastructure and what needs to be done to catch up with its ASEAN-5 neighbors. That is not the subject of this article, however. Rather, it is the country’s logistics performance.

Who are poor and do they remain poor?

Poverty is most severe and persistent for households with low human capital and the effect of human capital varies substantially across locations. Additionally, low human capital households tend to underinvest in the human capital of school-age members, thus likely perpetuating poverty.

The role of science, technology and research in economic development

[with Ammielou Gaduena and Adrian Mendoza] Technological innovation and economic growth are interactive and mutually reinforcing. To have a fighting chance in the Asean Economic Community competition, the Philippines needs to appreciably ramp up investment spending in science, engineering, and research and development.

Why do people leave bequests? For love or self-interest? Evidence from a new international survey of bequest plans

This paper discusses three alternative assumptions concerning household preferences (altruism, self-interest, and a desire for dynasty building) and shows that these assumptions have very different implications for bequest motives and bequest division.

Rights and capabilities: reading the Philippines Magna Carta of Women from the perspective of the capabilities approach

Where human rights are viewed as ethical demands, the Magna Carta for Women succeeds in giving attention to aspects of women’s lives that require state support.

Justice Carpio tears down China’s historical lies

Justice Antonio Carpio's recent lecture at De La Salle University provides the most lucid and exhaustive exposition of the historical issues in the West Philippine Sea that I have come across. Brilliant.

Joblessness: new numbers can’t hide painful facts

Is the employment picture truly improving? Has the Aquino administration finally found the winning formula for fixing the Philippines’ joblessness problem? The answer is “no” to both questions.

President Noynoy Aquino: an assessment in midstream

In 2010, Benigno Aquino III was elected president. This was an unforeseen event just a year prior, as he did not seek the office then. Three years of this presidency have passed, and the fourth of a six-year term is going on. This is the countdown.

The four-way test of presidential resolve

How is this pork barrel politics going to end? Is there a fair and enduring solution to it? Yes, but the reality is that for all the hysteria and hoopla concerning the current controversy, the bold solution stops at the presidential desk.