About Per SE

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

Is the Malampaya fund the new DAP?

The Department of Energy (DoE) authorities warn of rotating brownouts in Luzon ranging from two to seven hours this summer. The reality is that crisis may or may not happen. So, is the energy crisis for real? Or is it just a smokescreen to cover the raid of the Malampaya fund?

Currency wars?

One view that has become popular among commentators and pundits is that currency wars are now front row in the global landscape. This is hardly compelling.

Why Alphaland should be grateful to Binay

The whole thing started with the overprice of the Makati Parking Building, but it has gone far beyond that to include the seeming pattern of overprice for other buildings, “Hacienda Binay” in Batangas, and now the Boy Scouts of the Philippines/Alphaland issue. Who knows what other matters may come up?

Euro zone — Greek exit less likely?

For the European Union, the Greek economic crisis is a major issue that needs a solution. Should the crisis lead to Greece exiting from the euro zone, a wider financial turmoil could bring about more risk and economic uncertainty in the international economy.

Humpty Dumpty’s great fall

As a consequence of the Mamasapano debacle, and the ongoing cover-up, President Aquino III’s presidency had a great fall. Can the bumbling President’s men put his crumbling presidency together again?

Peace is the answer

Let us not get distracted from the ultimate objective: peace. And if anyone says we have to make war to gain peace, my reply is that we tried that, too (with our major counteroffensives by Marcos and Estrada). It got us nowhere, at the tremendous costs.

The UP School of Economics and the future

Looking forward to the next fifty years, what UPSE do we want to see? My ruminations will come under three headings: public engagement, academic excellence and teaching.

Retail competition at the gas and diesel pumps

The Oil Deregulation Law – or Republic Act 8180 – was signed on Feb. 10, 1998. This week then marks the 17th year of implementation of a law that takes away from the government the direct fixing of fuel prices.

DAP ruling: bad for the authors

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has ruled with finality that the President cannot rewrite the budget as approved by Congress. Its original ruling on the DAP on July 1 last year was upheld with one modification: it narrowed the scope of legal liability to DAP’s “authors” and removed “proponents and implementors.”

Why Has Latin America Sped Up Ahead of the Philippines in Economic and Political Reform?

This paper compares trends in key economic, political and social development outcomes in the Philippines with those of Latin America, particularly since the 1990s. The paper finds that Latin America is not only at a higher level of development, but has also made faster progress in most areas than the Philippines.

Resignation at what cost?

To those who are calling for P-Noy’s resignation: Are you out of your minds? Rational behavior requires an action, or decision, to be “worth it”—that the extra benefits arising from that action should exceed the extra costs. I challenge them to show that this is the case in P-Noy’s resignation.

UP School of Economics at 50 — the GPS Awards

I pay homage to my home institution. It was fifty years ago when the School of Economics was founded as an independent academic unit, although economics as an academic offering had been around much longer though in the university.