About Per SE

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

Transparency and accountability

P-Noy and his administration have given us all the ammunition we need to make an informed judgment on everything he has promised to do. We just have to look at StatDev13, in the NSCB (National Statistical Coordination Board) website.

DAP as a tool for political domination

Call a spade a spade. The Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is neither a budget reform measure nor a fiscal stimulus.

DAP and its implications – the public expenditure system is broken

The recent overflow of discussion concerning DAP (disbursement acceleration program) of the government which the Supreme Court declared unconstitutional highlights for me two major issues. First is that our system of public expenditure is broken and we need to fix it.

An opportunity to ‘level up’

Future historians will ponder the curious chain of events that provoked profound political changes in the Philippines under Aquino III. The puzzle for them is to understand how formal rules came to be taken seriously and suddenly made to “stick.”

SC’s DAP decision and PH’s budget process

In trying to tie the hands of a too-powerful executive, the high court may have overreached itself when it pronounced that all items in the DAP had no appropriations cover. The Court thought it knew better than the practitioners in the budgeting field, and in effect said the DBM was lying.

University of the Philippines and the nation – why the government needs to ramp up UP budget support

UP is our national university. It has a unique role in the development of science and technology in our country. Our survival in this competitive world (apart from maintaining proper economic policies) depends on upgrading our scientific and technical capacity.

The President as bully

The Filipino must be terribly disillusioned with President Aquino’s demeanor when he appeared on national TV in open defiance of the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is unconstitutional.

PDAF, plunder and the constituency of disease

The arrest in June of three senators for plunder -- two of whom have designs on the highest office of the land and the third considered for 40 years virtually untouchable in Philippine polity -- is a first in our democratic history. It is a reason for hope.

Let facts speak for themselves

To the many sins attributed to the Sandiganbayan, I add another one: partiality in the dispensation of justice. Revilla and Estrada are detained in cells measuring roughly 31 square meters, with private bath. Yet the SB is content to send Gigi Reyes to a “dormitory” she shares with nine other women who are supposed...

Down a road paved with good intentions

Amid the unanimous decision by the Supreme Court that the core of the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) is unconstitutional, President Noynoy Aquino remains stubbornly unapologetic. Budget Secretary Butch Abad, on the other hand, has conveniently disappeared.

Why poor Bicol, Visayan and Mindanao towns are prevented from enjoying Balamban, Cebu’s success

It is sad that poor towns in Bicol and some Visayan islands as well as Mindanao may not be as lucky as Balamban. In my travels to these places, I have seen the magnitude of poverty and the lack of employment opportunities. Unless reforms are introduced, the policy obstacles will bar the opportunities.

So much for friendship

As I look back, I realize that we had a one-sided view of Philippine-American relations, due in no small measure to the fact that they controlled the information that was fed to us for more than two generations. Philippine history since the start of the 20th century was their story—and naturally they were the heroes....