Well I think PHP5 is a genuine OO language with features such as private and protected data, so used properly it is a reasonable programming language. Both Perl and PHP can be written well or poorly.
Rather than Perl being a direct help, I think a CompSci/Maths degree and 20 years+ experience helps. Doing a lot of C and assembly language encourages economy of code. :-)
If you spot any bugs in my solutions, it's because I've deliberately left them in as an exercise for the reader! :-)