About Per SE

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

Evaluating and grading governance

To say that governance in our country leaves much to be desired is one great understatement. This is true for both the national government as it is for local government units. Evaluating and grading governance is a more involved process and a harder task than public opinion surveys. But it’s not insurmountable.


The information we’ve been getting from the Senate hearings on the corruption in Makati and the apparent unexplained wealth of Vice President and ex-Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay is mesmerizing. So I will continue to analyze and comment on it for the duration of the hearings.

On Sicat’s “Cesar Virata: life and times”

As I accumulate years, my consciousness tends increasingly to dwell on the past – finding increasing enjoyment in reading history. One has to of course beware: history is written from many lenses.

Damiana Eugenio, master compiler of Philippine folkloric myths, legends, riddles, and proverbs

Known mainly to a few specialists in the field, she however served a wide national audience. Folklores, myths, legends, riddles and proverbs being part of our national heritage.

Growth targets unchanged: are government economic managers in denial?

The Philippine economy is without doubt losing steam. The three major international institutions -- the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) -- have cut downward their economic forecasts for the Philippines in 2014 and 2015.

Like brothers

Ernesto Mercado has testified to a lot of things other than what he knows about the overpricing of the Makati parking building. He brought to public attention the “Hacienda Binay,” and, once started, will not stop until he has told all of what he knows about Jojo Binay.

Financing our electoral democracy invites corruption and plunder

In less than two years, the next president of the country will be elected. We are in the season of looking for viable candidates prior to the election. The vice president – Jejomar Binay – is the hot frontrunner among potential candidates.

Budget reform: do it now, do it for the future

During his final 18 months in office, President Aquino III should push for a core of budget reforms that would prepare the Philippines for the future.

Local versus national laws: when an impasse occurs

When local governments can veto nationally important projects or craft a legal quasi-blockade of nationally valuable assets within its jurisdiction, the whole nation falls into the “tragedy of nth best”, which flows from the non-use or inefficient use of national assets.

Binay and the court of public opinion

Why the concentration on the overpriced building and Binay? Because Binay has made no secret of his desire to be president of the Philippines in 2016. Therefore, Filipinos should have access to independent information on how he ran Makati, which will help them make up their minds as to whether he deserves to be president....

Alonso i Terme on tax effort and tax reforms

Professor Rosa Alonso i Terme's views on tax effort and tax reform were extensively covered in an article by Amado Mendoza, Jr. writing for the news site, Interaksyon.com.

Europe’s double-dip recession and growth woes

Europe’s recent economic experience is a double dip-recession -- a prolonged recession that continues to this day. Like that of the United States economy, developments in the European economy have an influence on world trade, investments and economic growth.