About Per SE

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

Disastrous for the ecoomy

It was a disastrous third quarter for agriculture, hunting, fisheries and forestry, according to the latest National Income Accounts estimates—a minus 2.7 growth rate (meaning a contraction). Disastrous for whom?

Disturbing developments in Japan and China

Japan and China are important growth drivers for our economy. Their significance in this role came and evolved in succession. This role plays out for other Asian economies as well, and to the world economy. In recent weeks, some disturbing news from both economies adds a negative accent to the short run outlook.

Fiscal autonomy loses, political patronage wins

By now, President Aquino should know what he wants to do for the rest of his term. Yet, his 270-page Errata, and the hazy 2015 supplemental budget, are solid proof that the 2015 budget was crafted haphazardly.

The drag on the economy

There is a strong likelihood that Philippine authorities would miss even the lower end of its 2014 gross domestic product (GDP) goal of 6.5% to 7.5%. Analysts attribute this to the government’s continued underspending, weak agriculture production, and lackluster industrial output.

A Festschrift for Jim Roumasset

We are here to celebrate two things: a book and a person. The two, of course, are inseparable, since the book will not have existed without the person. But let me say something about each.

Why wheels of justice grind ever so slowly

"After 18 years, 9 found guilty in Ozone inferno.” That was the headline on the front page of this newspaper yesterday, exposing the shamefully slow dispensation of justice in the Philippines, in our antigraft court, the Sandiganbayan.

Vicente T. Paterno’s autobiography

Vicente T. Paterno, former chairman of the BOI, Minister of Industry, and Minister of Public Highways, Senator of the Republic, and, now, private businessman, as founder and chairman of the Philippine Seven Corporation, has written a book about himself, his beginnings and his achievements.

When is savings real savings?

The brazen attempts of the Aquino III administration to redefine savings is an insult to the intelligence of senators and congressmen, and indirectly the common sense of Filipinos who elected the latter to office.

Is PNoy being soft on Binay?

Ona will reportedly be on leave for a month. Why isn’t Binay being given the same treatment? Especially since the stakes are so much higher in his case, because he wants to be president?

How economic policy evolved

A new book, Cesar Virata: Life and Times Through Four Decades of Philippine Economic History (UP Press, 2014) by Gerardo P. Sicat provides a broad sweep of post-war economic history. Yet it details important aspects of how economic policy evolved.

How to harness the opportunities from Asean Economic Community 2015

Being part of the AEC will bring in some gains for us. But the important issue is how we can harness the greatest amount of gains from the opportunities that are being opened to us within Asean.

Government corporate reform: all for show?

When the late President Cory Aquino took power in 1986, she was shocked by the sheer number of government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs). If my memory serves me right (sorry, but it’s been a quarter of a century), Mrs. Aquino succeeded in cutting the number of GOCCs significantly as part of her overall public sector...