Posts about Commentary
  • 20 Apr 2012 On Interest Rates and Mortality

    A limited time on this earth makes time precious.

  • 20 Apr 2012 On Stochasticity

    Sometimes the noise is more important than the signal.

  • 2 May 2012 On that Moment of Choice

    No matter how rationally we try to act, that one moment of choice is still a purely emotional exercise.

  • 23 Oct 2013 On Moving People, not Cars

    With the rainy season in full swing, monstrous traffic jams yet again plague the Philippine capital. There is a lot of blame to go around - some say we're too reliant on private transportation, and others say undisciplined, unregistered, and reckless buses are the real culprit. Let's take a closer look at the data and see if it can provide some clarity.

  • 13 Nov 2013 On True Filipino Resilience

    Super Typhoon Yolanda (international codename Haiyan) struck the Philippine central islands last November 8, 2012.

  • 15 Dec 2013 On Philippine Foreign Trade : USA vs China

    The world is in the middle of an epic struggle for political influence between the USA and China, but what does this mean for Filipinos, who are trapped in the middle, both in the geographic and political sense? We can take a look at the data on one of the avenues of influence, foreign trade, and find out a little bit more.

  • 2 Feb 2014 On Getting to Know the Filipino Informal Settler

    How well do you know the Filipino informal settler? Is he poor and underprivileged? What happens if you force him to pay rent? Well, short of actually starting a conversation with one, we can get to know the Filipino informal settler through data. Read on to find out more.

  • 18 Feb 2014 On Presidents and Priorities : Distilling the Numbers out of the State of the Nation Address

    The President's annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) is a strong indicator of an administration's priorities and accomplishments, but how do we compare across presidents? We can distill the SONA into numbers and count instances of national issues mentioned in the speech to find out and compare. You can also explore the speeches yourself using an interactive SONA word counter.

  • 30 Mar 2014 On Fraud and Fake Ballots : Detecting election fraud through data

    Election fraud in the Philippines is almost always alleged, but never really proven. We can explore an approach that can identify voting data patterns those most likely to be associated with vote padding - adding fake ballots - and find out how the sanctity of the ballot can be preserved by the thoughtful use of election data.

  • 29 Apr 2014 On Delays and Dropouts : A Data Primer on Education

    Using new data from the Department of Education, we can take a look at the current state of Philippine education. Is everyone being educated, is it inclusive, and teachers being paid enough? Find out in this article.

  • 4 May 2014 On What It Means to Be Filipino : Quantifying the Filipino Psyche

    What's important in life? What do you want in a job? Is suicide justifiable? Would you want a drug addict as a neighbor? How many children would you like to have? Do you have confidence in the church? Find out how Filipinos responded to these types of questions using data from the World Values Survey.

  • 18 May 2014 On the Filipino Migration and Remittances : The grass is still greener on the other side

    The Filipino diaspora has been a relatively well-documented phenomenon, as poor circumstances in the domestic economy nudge others to seek greener pastures abroad. But where exactly do these people go, and how have the trends changed since 1990? Also, are there any people coming in to the country? Let's take a look at the data.

  • 1 Jun 2014 On the S&P Credit Rating Upgrade : The Numbers Behind BBB

    Ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has raised the Philippines sovereign credit rating from BBB- to BBB, making it fully in the ranks of investment-grade sovereign debt. Let's look through those three B's and look at the data behind their decision.

  • 4 Jul 2014 On Pork and Plunder : The numbers behind the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam

    In one of the rarest moments in Philippine history, three high-ranking lawmakers were arrested on charges of plunder related to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or pork barrel scam.

  • 13 Aug 2014 On Presidential Priorities (July 2014) : Aquino moves toward legacy

    The annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the President of the Philippines, when distilled using word counts, can provide insight into the pressing issues of the day. We update [our original post ](/2014/02/sona-words.html) to include the latest 2014 SONA by President Aquino.

  • 16 Sep 2014 On the Effectiveness of Higher Sin Taxes : Losing Steam? (2014 Q2 Update)

    We update our assessment on the effectiveness of sin taxes with fresh national accounts data for the second quarter of 2014, and learn that sin taxes may be losing steam - smokers and drinkers may be having a hard time kicking the habit.