About Per SE

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

Who wants to be president?

I predict that after the dust has settled, four serious presidential contenders would emerge, namely: Vice-President Jejomar C. Binay, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, former Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” A. Roxas II, and Senator Grace Poe.

The best lion-tamer we have

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales seems to be on a rampage these days, doing an excellent job of leading the country in its fight against corruption, and giving it a well-deserved shot in the arm in the process. The decisions she has made lately would make your head spin.

Excessive public holidays hurt the economy and the financial system

It is also not often understood that intermittent and unplanned holidays can cause damage to the efforts designed to make the country’s financial and capital markets catch up with global trends.

How committed is the Comelec?

“Tamang Pagboto” and “Tamang Pagbilang” are snappy slogans with a lot of zing, and I wanted to find out how committed the Comelec was in achieving the project’s objectives. But you be the judge, Reader.

Wanted: A forward-looking, competent and compassionate leader

The Philippines' biggest challenges today and in the future are unemployment and poverty. The number of jobless workers continues to rise. Worse, the latest improvement in the unemployment rate is due mainly to fewer people looking for a job, as they become more pessimistic in finding one.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership

Last week, 12 nations in the Asia and Pacific region concluded a major treaty on trade and investment. This agreement is likely to be of far-reaching impact for the member countries of the group known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The Mining for Development Framework for the Philippines

Mineral extraction alone is not sufficient to trigger sustainable development in developing countries. The mainstream paradigm on mining for development suggests that mineral-rich developing countries need to formulate a fiscal policy that can balance the need to maximize fiscal revenue while ensuring that the country has an attractive investment climate.

‘VP-ables’ gallery

We must be the only country, among those with presidential or semipresidential systems, where the number of vice-presidential candidates exceeds the number of presidential candidates.

Cutting income taxes is good politics and good economics

President Benigno S. C. Aquino III balked at the idea of having the 19-year-old personal income tax system reformed. I think he’s seriously ill-advised.

To long life!

I know someone who turns into an octogenarian this week and who still is OK.

Current Structure and Future Challenges of the Agricultural Sector

This chapter provides an overview of the patterns, composition, policies and institutional environment that have influenced the performance of the agriculture sector in recent years.

First step, choose wisely

Only think, Reader: The corruption issue in the Philippines has become routine (“hindi na maaalis yan”), the Filipino people in general have become numb to it (“manhid na”), our Congress has not taken the action it needs to take to solve the problem, and obviously, our thoughts and prayers are not enough.