Features

On military modernization: Money for nothing

September 16, 2021

There have been a series of mishaps lately, involving newly acquired AFP aircraft. Yet, the Duterte government continues to prioritize defense in the 2022 budget, particularly AFP modernization.

Ayuda urgently needed to mitigate worsening poverty

August 21, 2021

The government has just announced the transition from ECQ to modified ECQ so the economy can supposedly recover. But the Duterte administration’s over-reliance on destructive lockdowns without effective and substantial health and economic response, like much-needed ayuda, is what’s really worsening the crisis and pushing more Filipinos into poverty.

Duterte administration’s shift to MECQ meaningless without urgent COVID-19 steps

August 20, 2021

The government has announced the easing of community quarantines. But new cases are still rising and there are no signs of government taking additional measures to fix the health system during the last two weeks of stricter lockdowns. If the health system is as weak as ever, what’s our way out of the pandemic?

ODA for SDGs: Partnerships for whom?

August 5, 2021

Sustainable Development Goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) is crucial as it defines the means of implementation and the global partnerships and cooperation that may have to be revitalized to realize the rest of the SDGs. One of the SDG 17 targets pertains to strengthening aid and financial resources, in particular official development assistance commitments. But why is ODA to the Philippines crowding into infrastructure?

What Build Build Build has delivered

July 25, 2021

Nearing the end of the Duterte administration’s term, we don’t seem to be anywhere near the fulfilment of its big infrastructure dream. Build Build Build is supposed to be the centerpiece of what could be a Duterte legacy, but the program’s performance is far from defining a grand exit for the administration.

The ill logic of rice liberalization

June 25, 2021

The economic managers have been using runaway inflation to justify liberalizing rice importation. But government’s obsession with imports liberalization has only worsened the jobs crisis, loss of livelihoods, and farmers’ bankruptcy.

Duterterioration of the Philippine economy

June 3, 2021

Under the Duterte administration,the Philippine economy was already weak before the pandemic and made worse by inept COVID-19 response.

The TRIPS waiver on Covid-19 pharmaceuticals and the Big Pharma

June 2, 2021

There is a raging debate about whether or not the WTO should temporarily waive some intellectual property rights of Covid-19 pharmaceuticals. Developed countries oppose the proposal, but recently the US has announced its limited support, while the EU continues to wrangle over its necessity. For proponents, the waiver would speed up and scale up vaccine production and contribute to a faster vaccination process in poorer countries.

The Filipino elderly are left behind

May 13, 2021

For a nation that supposedly keeps strong traditions of filial piety, it should be a source of shame that many of its elderly are living in poverty and now disproportionately at risk of dying from the coronavirus.