About Per SE

Commentary and research on current events and public policy by economists from the University of the Philippines
Latest entries

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).

Raul Fabella’s response at the book launch of “Momentum”

Response delivered in behalf of the authors.

Weaponizing the rule of law

Permit me, Reader, to comment on two recent events that I passed up because of my concern for the University of the Philippines.

UP Beloved is in trouble

Is the University of the Philippines going to pot? Not as in marijuana, Reader. Rather, as in losing all its good qualities, because no one is taking care of it.

Factors that still afflict us in a growing economy

The overall management of the country’s macro-fundamentals in the midst of a higher investment effort has enabled the country to sustain a growing economy. Yet, the country still has many microeconomic and sector issues that need improvement. Indeed, we are faced with many problems that continue to afflict and negate the economy’s forward motion....

Open and affluent societies: Angst in Paradise

They have become a little bit like us, blemished, threatened and conflicted. Welcome to the human condition!