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

The idiocy of a re-enacted budget

No president would willingly have a reenacted budget in place of a new one. Such behavior is irrational, indefensible and idiotic.

The Bangsamoro’s labor market policies: how to promote more employment and eradicate poverty

Provinces in the Bangsamoro region are among the poorest areas in the country. There, poverty is severe and unemployment(including underemployment) is a big problem.

A premature campaign speech

They did not call it a press conference, as indeed it was not, because the speaker did not answer any questions, leaving it to underlings to do so. He merely read his speech which, it was reported, he had written himself and subjected to about 20 revisions. All by him. And then he left.

Mining: Fixing the groundwork

Natural resources are important to national development. The mining industry, however, misleads the public when it argues that the competitiveness of the mining industry will lead to economic development and poverty eradication.

Consumer pessimism the worst in four years

Some things really never change. Overall consumer confidence index (CI) rose to -26.3% -- the weakest in 17 quarters or since the -28.7% registered in the second quarter of 2010, or approximately before President Aquino took office.

A blow to UP’s honor

We deplore in the strongest terms the violence perpetrated last Wednesday, September 17, by a group of protesters against Secretary Florencio B. Abad outside the U.P. School of Economics auditorium.

Is the economy Binay-resilient?

The prospect of a Binay presidency must be the administration’s major nightmare. Else why would PNoy squander his political capital on the striptease of a re-election via Charter change?

Power of one, and a camera

Armed with her trusty camera phone, the citizen can capture scenes like the vacant desks at noontime in a government office, or an employee asleep at the job. Or, with a video component, she can record the manner and voice of a discourteous employee, etc. Or maybe even capture a bribery on the make. ...

We can’t ignore a likely economic slowdown

Economic growth in the first half of 2014 is slowing rather than picking up. The unusually strong growth of 7.2% in 2013, an election year, is unlikely to be replicated in 2014 and 2015.

Aquino government’s claim to fame is …

What will be the Aquino III administration’s claim to fame? The crumbling infrastructure, rising criminality, increasing misery of victims of natural and man-made calamities, high and persistent joblessness, and deepening poverty -- these are what Mr. Aquino will bequeath to his predecessor as he steps down on June 30, 2016.

Benito Legarda Jr. on Cesar Virata

Below are excerpts from Dr. Legarda’s remarks which dealt with little known aspects of Cesar Virata’s contributions to economic diplomacy.

Grains and Gilas: Geography, genes, dashed dreams

In life, swimming against the tide can be disastrous. Basketball is at least fun and costs the taxpayer no money. Not rice self-sufficiency. In the annals of myths, rice self-sufficiency stands out as the most enduring. Dreams repeatedly get bludgeoned here, but they do not die.