About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Monthly archive November 2019

Hong Kong and the Philippines: historical perspective on political freedom and economic development

This week, through the ballot and a local election that appears to resemble the mid-year local elections in our country, Hong Kong made a powerful statement to its central government.

The case for CITIRA’s lowering the corporate income tax

That the link between statutory corporate income tax on the one hand, and economic growth and corporate investment, on the other, seems so tenuous was a surprise.

Takeaways from Trump impeachment hearings

Having been glued to the television set for five days watching the public impeachment hearings against US President Donald Trump, live and in full color, I cannot resist sharing my three takeaways from the experience.

The importance of being Ernest

I borrow a title from Oscar Wilde to discuss a different but significant issue, economic nation-building. The immediate inspiration for this title is the recent, unexpected passing of Ernest Leung, a retired, long time career man in the finance department.

Sen. de Lima: 1000 days of incarceration

On Nov. 20, four days from now, Sen. Leila de Lima will have spent 1,000 days under incarceration on charges which can be described, in the kindest of terms, as trumped-up. Why should we care? Gut reaction: If it can happen to her, it can happen to us.

How the industrial import-substitution policy became more entrenched — the Magsaysay years

When Ramon Magsaysay was elected president in 1954, the country was already in the midst of import and exchange controls.

Duterte versus Trump: an update

Yours truly is in the United States, Reader, although I had sworn never to set foot here again until Donald Trump was out of office. But a family reunion trumps (I couldn’t resist that) that vow, so here I am.

Sin tax on salty foods

In the news lately is a Department of Health (DOH) proposal to impose a tax on salty products for public health reasons. The reasoning being put forward is the same as that for tobacco, alcohol and sugared drinks. The tax proposal is a bad idea.

Taking a longer look back on rice imports, palay, and rice prices

Most of the analysis done on the impact of the rice tariffication law make use of fairly recent data, as in what happened to rice imports, palay and rice prices in 2019. It may be useful to look slightly farther back, say in the last 10 to 15 years.

Foundation for Economic Freedom and economic policy reform

I was at the launch of a book made from selected writings of five economists associated with the Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEF).