About Per SE

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

Citizen power needed

It takes the Sandiganbayan (SB), on the average, six and a half years to resolve a case from start to finish. That estimate was made in 2003, and apparently it has increased to maybe eight years. That’s the average.

Wage policy and labor regulation have produced an army of poor and low productivity workers

A new study that addresses jobs expansion and development strategy was recently completed at the government think tank, PIDS . The study’s findings support many of the points that I have been saying for ages about the ill effects on employment and on our development performance!

Selective justice is no justice

The fight against corruption has to be credible and enduring. But to make it credible, it has to be fair, and perceived to be fair. A successful fight against corruption has to inflict pain on all grafters -- friends, foes, and families alike.

Power and the pursuit of equity

The Piketty thesis is being subjected -- as it should be -- to a spirited academic debate. But whatever the final verdict on the thesis, the inequality aversion it triggered is now a global staple.

He returned the money, with interest

"Around 2000, I was introduced to then Congressman Florencio Abad by Mr. Manuel Jarmin. We met at the Japanese Restaurant in Edsa Shangri-la Plaza Hotel. In that meeting, he told me about a project worth 10 million pesos. He showed me the Special Allotment Release Order (Saro) then explained to me what it was...

Six months after Yolanda — Tacloban, Guiyan, and Eastern Visayas

The growth of the Philippine economy on a year-to-year basis fell in the first quarter. The downturn in growth is not unexpected. The economic devastation brought by Super-Typhoon Yolanda was a major factor.

Disappointing GDP figures: Don’t blame Yolanda

The weaker-than-expected first-quarter GDP growth of 5.7% disappointed a lot of people. It is significantly lower than the official government forecast of 6.5% to 7.5% and the consensus private sector forecast of 6.3%. Government authorities were quick to blame super typhoon Yolanda as the culprit of the economic slowdown. Seriously?

Iloilo — moving gently towards a bright future

As a major city in the Visayas, Iloilo has shown signs of great awakening. Eclipsed for most of the decades after the country’s independence, by Cebu and even by Bacolod, Iloilo has achieved quiet progress in the last two decades.

Not changing my mind on Vitangcol

About two months ago this column gave Al Vitangcol excellent marks as general manager of the Metro Rail Transit. Have I changed my mind after reading what has been said about him this week? Not an iota.

RP competitiveness ranking nosedives

It's back to reality for President Aquino and his economic managers. After their fleeting euphoria during the World Economic Forum extravaganza that ended last Friday, came the bad news that the Philippines’ competitiveness ranking nosedived in 2014, reversing last year’s gains.

Sour grapes, and sweet, on RH Law

The verdict by the Supreme Court on the Reproductive Health Law begot not one but two sweet surprises, seemingly gratifying both sides of the RH divide.