About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Monthly archive January 2015

Is Binay-BSP relationship mutually beneficial?

Please, let’s keep our eye on the ball. The Senate blue ribbon subcommittee headed by Koko Pimentel resumed its hearings last Thursday, and out came some revelations that presumably will be investigated in due course. What are we citizens to concentrate on?

The Pope on ‘the poor and corruption’ — the government’s poverty reduction program

When the Pope pointed out the phrase “the poor and corruption” as a conjunction, he was making an ethical reminder that corruption not only hurts a nation, but also increases the number of the poor.

You bet it’s worth it

"Papa Kiko.” That was what the crowd on Roxas Boulevard on Thursday had decided we would call out to Pope Francis when his motorcade passed us. It was not as if there was a formal meeting, or a show of hands, you understand. We were just marking time, waiting for our chance to see him...

Securing the Pope and the nation’s business

The visit of Pope Francis from Jan. 15 to 19, 2015 is the most delicate high security issue the country will face for an official visitor for some time.

Tax system: make it fairer, simpler, and more efficient

The existing tax system is complicated, inequitable, inefficient and inadequate to sustain the massive public expenditure needs of a growing economy. Despite the best effort by Bureau of Internal Revenue commissioner Kim Henares, tax effort, the ratio of taxes to gross domestic product (GDP), remains mediocre.

Metro Manilans are the favored offspring

The following information may help to shed more light on the raging controversy over the LRT and MRT fare increases. These are the cold, hard facts.

China surpasses US GDP, is now No. 1 in world economy

As we commence 2015, China’s GDP, the measure of an economy’s total output in equivalent purchasing power, was valued at $17.6 trillion, surpassing that of the United States, which was at $17.4 trillion. These are very large numbers. Philippine GDP is below $1 trillion, around $700 billion.

Last two minutes, still a lot to do

Benigno Aquino III’s term is winding down. It’s down to the last 18 months. On the economic front, there are a few things he can boast of: the strong growth in 2012 and 2013, the numerous investment upgrades, and his budget reforms.

Turnoff from ‘Fun in PH’ reprised

A year ago my family and I went off to Bohol and thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. But what started sweet ended sour owing to our return that went awry.

A bit of housecleaning

Before we get on to the New Year, its prospects, its challenges, its potential, we have to do some housecleaning first. This has to do with last year’s last two columns, which contained a couple of errors. In the interest of fairness and accuracy, and in starting the New Year right, they have to be...

Calendars, our native birds (common, resident, migratory, rare and threatened) and our environment

As we are still enjoying the holidays, I deviate from very serious topics and discuss a pleasurable subject. Given the proper frame of mind, it is also integral to our social and cultural development as a nation.