About Per SE

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

On aging and exercise

When we are young we take exercise for granted. We postpone that call for the easy way out in favor of work, work, work, and partying and less demanding leisure.

What I like about Simbang Gabi

The nine days of waking up at 4:30 in the morning to be at Mass at 5 (I am a fast dresser—and would you believe that period includes a bath and a half-mile walk to church?) may be a pain in the behind, but that’s all a part of the preparation.

Implement the Reproductive Health Law fully

President Duterte, in his State of the Nation address, said the government would undertake full implementation of the law. In fact, family planning as envisioned by the law is one of the 10 points of his economic program. Lack of attention might have happened due to the focus on the war on illegal drugs.

Not human

The true scandal of the current drug war is that it is run by old men who operate on old ideas and obsolete knowledge. It therefore subjects citizens to what is ultimately an unnecessary—and therefore unjust—ordeal.

‘Kingmaker’ at CHEd

Where does Commission on Higher Education Executive Director Julito Vitriolo get off trying to bamboozle CHEd and Malacañang to force its chair, Patricia Licuanan, to resign and replace her with newly appointed CHEd commissioner Prospero de Vera?

Uncertain international economy under a Trump-led US

The international economy faces uncertain prospects in 2017. The march toward globalization and prosperity has been interrupted by a series of surprise events as 2016 is closing.

Government “underspending” in perspective: Incompetence, inertia, or indigestion?

The measured underspending over the last 5 years has more to do with ambitious targets rather than apathetic or incompetent bureaucrats.

This is a national problem

The President’s mental and physical health is certainly cause for grave concern for the Filipino people. Who are his doctors? What do they say about it? And this is not an invasion of his privacy, either. The President’s health is everybody’s business.

The tax reform program: social and economic implications

More elaboration is coming out from the Duterte government concerning the tax reform package now in Congress. In particular, I refer to Tax Reform Package 1.

EJKs: crunching the numbers

In a recent interview with Senator Gordon, chair of the Senate subcommittee investigating EJKs, he could not or would not answer the question of whether EJKs in the Philippines had increased under the Duterte administration. I did not pursue the matter.

Peso depreciation: causes and implications

Last week, the peso breached 50 pesos per one US dollar. Until August, it was 46 pesos to the dollar on average. This means the peso has depreciated by as much as 8.7 percent since August. One thing is sure, the peso rate will fluctuate some more.