About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Monthly archive January 2017

A law that produces criminals

The recent revelation that rogue police have been using the “war on drugs” as a cover to extort from business people is more than enough reason for the administration to pause and radically rethink its whole approach to the drug problem.

Liberating the lake

At last. A promise made by President Rodrigo Duterte, the accomplishment period of which he hasn’t pushed back. Some things are beginning to look up for 2017. I refer to the “reclamation” of the Laguna de Bai.

Routine government services in large shopping malls

The government has been making gains in easing what used to be burdensome, uncomfortable and time-consuming encounters between common citizens and the government for transactions.

A scarce commodity in the House

If the order in which problems are tackled indicates their relative priority, then the House of Representatives gives the highest importance to reimposing the death penalty for heinous crimes. Because that is what House Bill No. 1, which calls itself the proposed “Death Penalty Law,” is about.

Crossed lines

This following question could come up if a student is particularly bright and observant, or if she just wants to make trouble...

Road to self-sustaining economic growth and President Duterte’s lament (continued)

Last week’s essay closed by emphasizing the need to pass the comprehensive tax reform program to provide the proper non-inflationary financing for the 10-year development plan that involves higher infrastructure investments and other public spending program.

Manufacturing, quality of growth, and poverty reduction

The economic cluster of the Duterte watch has been making noises about the revival of Manufacturing and bringing its poverty reducing bonanza to the regions. That is unequivocably a correct strategy. The recent past points to its validity. That recent past is the poverty reduction performance of the Aquino watch.

Duterte and Trump: a close call

I would rather be in the Philippines contending with a narcissistic-personality-disordered man like Duterte than in the U.S. contending with a narcissistic-personality-disordered man like Trump. What are the odds of the two countries electing similarly afflicted personalities? I cannot venture to say.

President Duterte’s lament and the road to self-sustaining economic growth

The true test of whether the Duterte government can take the road to self-sustaining growth revolves around the recently announced tax reform program. If this bold reform program gets approved, the goal of achieving sustained growth would be near in sight.

Let’s look at Thailand’s war on drugs

Will this war on drugs be successful? And the answer that I give is a resounding NO. What is the basis for that answer? My basis is the experience of Thailand,

Hal Hill’s review of the Cesar Virata biography

As I am on a brief vacation, I take the liberty of using my column space to present a work of Professor Hal Hill, who is H.W. Arndt Professor of Southeast Asian Economics, Australian National University. He reviewed my book: Cesar Virata. Life and Times through Four Decades of Philippine Economic History (UP Press, 2014)....

2016, pluses and minuses

The polite word to describe this past year is: Challenging. For me, personally. For the country. And for the world.