About Per SE

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

How to judge this administration

President Aquino is delivering his last State of the Nation Address on Monday. Does he get a passing mark or a failing mark for his (and his administration’s) performance?

Dear Ben…

Your column raised some good points. Unfortunately, the piece was marred by errors in some of the statistics and computations you use. I'm sorry, but I think we need to correct them for pedagogical reasons.

The discontinued Hanjin project in northern Mindanao: Large foreign direct investments and local governments

In 2007-2009, one of South Korea’s shipbuilding companies – Hanjin – made a bold plan to build a $2 billion shipbuilding operation in northern Mindanao. Local politics and the insensitive acts of local government officials killed the project.

Tweak the constitution to strengthen weakened political institutions

It’s almost three decades since democracy was restored in the land. Each President, including Cory Aquino, was expected to strengthen political institutions. Brick by brick, each President should strengthen the foundations laid down by his predecessor.

Real score on funds for Bangsamoro

The funds to be transferred to the Bangsamoro have been described as an “additional cost” to be borne not by the Bangsamoro but by the rest of the country, whose taxes will support these allocations.

Welcome remarks 2015

Allow me to take this opportunity to thank two sets of parents. One set consists of those who tightened their belts to pay for the out-of-pocket expenses of a UP education.

Philippine monetary history viewed from the Greek euro crisis perspective

The current Greek economic crisis within the euro zone can be instructive for us in understanding our own monetary history since American colonial times. This is now what I will attempt to do.

Justify the P3-trillion budget

Faced with a P3-trillion budget next year, legislators should ask President Aquino’s men how they intend to finance the budget. But first, they may want to ask Mr. Aquino et al. how they can justify such a mind-boggling budget given their history of underspending.

‘Laudato Si,’ urban land abuse and ills

Pope Francis’ newest encyclical, “Laudato Si,” is an overarching document that touches on just about everything that affects the environment and is affected by it. The ills of urban life don’t escape its sweep. He posits that we can have neither nature without humanity nor humanity without nature.

Greek debt default and crisis: painful morning after

The Greek electorate went to the polls in a referendum on how to deal with their debt crisis. The referendum required a “yes/no” vote on the terms of the program offered to them by creditors. A resounding “No” vote was the result, following the recommendation of the Greek government.

We’re losing the war against unemployment

President Aquino III and his economic managers boast that the Philippines is the fastest growing country in the Asia. (Not true, because in reality, China, India, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar continue to outgrow us.) Yet the Philippines remains the poorest in terms of per capita income and the worst in terms of providing decent jobs...


The Binays of Makati are crying that they are being picked on, and that all the charges are only speculation or are misleading, or complete lies, which means the legislature and the Ombudsman are liars.