About Per SE

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

Underspending: a bad habit that’s hard to break

The recently released budget numbers showed an administration that’s having a hard time breaking a bad habit: underspending. Not surprisingly, the release of the 2015 fiscal numbers was delayed.

Presidential politics and reflected glory

Great presidents and popular leaders often start a line of politicians within the family and through generations. Popularity renders a consequence that is either planned or unintended.

This is transformational leadership?

Are we going crazy? Dudirty makes a really gross, tasteless, unfeeling, thoughtless comment about a foreign rape victim, and we, or the people listening to him, laugh—an equally gross, tasteless, unfeeling, thoughtless reaction.

Presidentiables sans the spin (2)

As for Grace Poe and Mar Roxas, we continue from last week.

The next President should reform the tax system

Without question, it is the economically smart thing to do. Any presidential candidate who promises not to reform the Philippine tax structure does not understand the enormity of the country’s economic problems and is not getting honest and competent advice from his or her economic experts.

Dado, flight of tradables, and innovation

In one workshop organized to ruminate over possible futures for the Philippines which has been mired in the last 40 years, as it were, on south side of mediocrity, I was gladly surprised that Diosdado ‘Dado’ Banatao was a resource person.

Presidentiables sans the spin (1)

It is exactly one month to Election Day 2016, and among the most important choices that will be made by the Filipino people are who they will choose to lead the country—the president and vice president. And on that choice will depend whether we will go forward as a nation, no more the sick man...

The UP Faculty Center fire

Two major fires hit the University of the Philippines and University of the East and a bomb threat was received by the Ateneo de Manila University within days of each other last week. The fire damage was large and incalculable, far beyond just the physical worth of the structures and their contents.

Large-scale smuggling of agricultural products is anti-poor

The level of smuggling in the Philippines has reached horrendous heights. Large-scale smuggling of agricultural products retards farm output production, limits manufacturing, and increases income inequality.

Regional growth, poverty reduction in an open economy

While globalization has been around for some time, and many countries have been part of it in one way or another, economic openness has assumed greater significance for the Philippines with the Asean Economic Community officially in full gear since end-2015. This makes the question whether and how the country’s subnational regions can benefit from...

Nothing capricious in Comelec rulings on Poe

Fifteen justices of the Supreme Court deliberated on the case involving Sen. Grace Poe. The issue was whether the Commission on Elections had committed grave abuse of discretion in disqualifying her from running for president.

The ABCs of budget preparation and execution

The recent case of Grace Poe ripped the Supreme Court into two camps. Though the court had decided to let her run for president, it was a close call.