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Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Monthly archive February 2016

Three important leadership traits from Ferdinand Marcos

At this time since February 1986, the nation engages in ceremonials, speeches and articles bashing the legacy and times of Ferdinand Marcos.

Who are we to vote for?

Any number of times over the past three months or more, the question has been posed to me: “Who are we to vote for?”

The presidential candidates and the economic issues

With the presidential campaign having started in earnest, the economic issues the candidates vow to pursue should indicate with clarity their action program.

Efficient and effective government is a public good

The management of the government is one of the most important public goods. We all benefit from an efficient, effective, and responsive government. But we all suffer, if the government is inept, ineffective, and unresponsive.

Cynch pays tribute to Dondon

This tribute was read at the UP School of Economics’ Tribute in honor of Dr. Cayetano Paderanga, 12 February 2016; UPSE Auditorium.

Poe, Duterte, Binay: opening salvos

The subject of this column has to be the opening salvos of three presidential candidates in the rallies marking the start of the “official” campaign period. And this columnist has a lot to say about them.

Remembering Dondon Paderanga

Let me break it at once to you: Dondon Paderanga was to me a colleague, a friend, a brother, and a mentor all rolled into one.

OFWs: Who they are, where they work, and what they do

What do we know about overseas Filipino workers (OFWs)? They work abroad but their families live in our country. OFWs send remittances homeward periodically. These foreign remittances have provided a steady source of dollar earnings, much like the exports we sell to other countries to earn dollars.


In the well-received film Heneral Luna, the eponymous hero asks the question: “Negosyo o kalayaan? Bayan or sarili? Pumili ka!” This quote is now regarded as the definitive meme for patriotism -- ethical behavior is equated with self-abnegation, the sacrifice of individual well-being.

Agriculture a must issue in 2016 presidential election

I am most interested in what the presidential candidates' agricultural policies are and so, presumably is the nation, because one of the main topics of the Comelec's first presidential debate (to be held in Cagayan de Oro) this month, is precisely agriculture.

Memo on the economy for the next Philippine president

Obviously, I address this open memo to the presidential candidates, one of whom by the grace of the electorate, will be elected the next president.

Slowing growth, sluggish agricultural sector

In the Philippine setting, the inconvenient truth is that growth can’t be truly inclusive for as long as agriculture and the rural sector are left behind.