Friday, 30 September 2016 16:04

PH, Vietnam to forge six-year action plan

DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Vietnam president Tran Dai Quang have agreed to establish a six-year action plan that will take effect beginning 2017 that will shore up the cooperation and boost strategic partnership of the two ASEAN countries in areas of security, defense and trade.
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Where does economic value added really come from? A good economist will tell you that value added ultimately comes from human ideas, which in turn come from learning based on actual results, what is fashionably termed now as “evidence-based.” And what is the mother of all inventions? Necessity.

Published in Commentaries
Thursday, 29 September 2016 11:15



Our economic managers fully intend to move our economy to a higher growth plane between now and 2040. From 2017 onwards, we intend to maintain a GDP growth rate of 7% or more.

On a sustained 7% growth rate, the Duterte administration committed to bringing down the poverty rate from the current 26.5% to just 17% by 2022. We expect to see a shift from consumption-led to investment-led growth, driven by low inflation and interest rate.

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Duterte Administration is putting its money where its mouth is.

Budget Secretary Ben Diokno turned over to Congress the proposed ₱3.35 trillion budget for 2017, which is 11.6% higher than this year's budget.

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Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. on Saturday called on the United Nations (UN) and the rest of the world to allow the Philippine government to deal with its domestic challenges in order to achieve its national goals without “undue interference.”

“We have not and we will never empower our law enforcement agents to shoot-to-kill individuals suspected of drug crimes. Extrajudicial killings have no place in our society, and in our criminal justice system,” Yasay told the 71st session of the UN General Assembly.

Published in News
Saturday, 24 September 2016 10:29

‘Daang Duterte’

The Duterte administration will complete its first 100 days two weeks from now, but even now has made it undeniably clear that change has come—and how! Perhaps many would view these first 100 days as unprecedentedly replete with fundamental changes in elements of governance. Some changes are both stark and startling, dislodging some from their comfort zones and challenging preconceived notions simultaneously on several fronts.

Published in Commentaries
Tuesday, 20 September 2016 11:56

Saving Duterte

“THE STRONG do as they will... The weak suffer as they must.”

The Greek historian Thucydides made that memorable observation to describe the behavior of states as they struggled for power and survival in the Aegean region in 416 B.C. One could easily connect this dictum to President Duterte’s perspective on how to rule and transform the Philippines: by using a mailed-fist “might is right” approach to law and order—a merciless view that is governed by no scruples except the morality of realpolitik and desired results.
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There are voices in the Philippine discussion about federalism who predict a disaster if ever a federalist system is established.

I am afraid they are right. As a German, I strongly believe in the advantages of a federal system for a huge, multi-ethnic island archipelago like the Philippines. But a federal government structure is a complex entity that needs sound democratic fundamentals to work for the benefit of the ordinary citizens. Without inclusive democratic participation, it will be controlled by the traditional oligarchic elites and will lead to powerful regional dynasties, using their dominance to oppress the people and to put themselves above the rule of law.

Published in Commentaries


First of Two Parts

This is how bad our country has become. The newest, yet hidden oligarch in the Philippines isn’t even a Filipino: He is the Indonesian magnate Anthoni Salim.

If President Duterte tries to make a list of oligarchs in the country — the few who rule the commanding heights of the economy — he is likely to miss Salim, for he may not have read his name in the country’s biggest newspapers.

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MANILA — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Tuesday officially opened its 24/7 call center or “Hotline 1349″ that is expected to ease up the reporting of queries and complaints.

Hotline 1349 is housed at the 4th Flr. of the DOLE building in Muralla St., Intramuros, Manila.

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