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100 days later

Typhoon Ketsana accumulated rainfall in Philippinesis too early to give a judgment, even preliminary, of the new Philippine administration. Only an impression is possible, which of course will be one’s own point of view. Three areas matter the most:

  1. Foreign policy. Aside from all the theatrics, there is a definite shift. Joint patrols with the USA have been stopped, US forces seem to be leaving Mindanao. EDCA treaty is still effective. Negotiations for TPP with the USA as well as a free-trade agreement (FTA) with the EU continue. The President will visit China, and that country is opening its market for Philippine bananas and pineapples. Seems Russia may also be a market for Philippine bananas. China seems to have contributed to a drug rehab center in Fort Magsaysay. Trips to Indonesia and Vietnam.
  2. Law/order policy. Aside from the controversial war on drugs with its high casualty rate, there is the state of lawlessness declared after the Davao bomb blast. Checkpoints everywhere it seems, and of course Oplan Tokhang (knock and plead), drug lists created by barangays, national drug matrixes. And a suspended Senate hearing plus a Congress hearing on Bilibid drugs. Senator Pangilinan made a sensible proposal to reform the justice system to speed up delivery of justice. The proposal to revive the Philippine Constabulary seems to be dead for now.
  3. Economic policy. No substantial progress on ending endo = end of contract. A possibility would be to force employers to pay social security (alone!) even on short contracts, because endo is usually done to save on that. A similar policy on part-time, 10 hour a week jobs worked in Germany, reducing the incentive to misuse them. Strange flip-flops on online gambling – seems Araneta (Imee’s husband) bought Ongpin’s shares while they were down due to the ban which may be lifted. Crony alert? I wonder about mining and land reform – are the carpetbaggers there?

There is a robust discussion emerging in the country. Not necessarily opposed to the President, but with opinions and reasons for nearly every policy shading. Filipinos by nature can be a bit lethargic and many only start to think about things when they get a kick – the kick is there now, given by reality. Better late than never. Good luck to the country – it needs all of that right now.

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 9. October 2016

6 comments to 100 days later

  • karlgarcia

    Sum Total of our relationships.
    Many where quick to brand Duterte’s anti US,EU,UN rhetoric as nationalistic.

    But he was clear with his China pivot,and the foreign ownership of business and land.
    Some will say one can still be nationalistic while doing tall of that,so I guess,it is the sum total,and hopefully the sum total is not equal to zero.

  • karlgarcia

    Fair analysis.
    I also like our much discussed simplification and recodification of laws to be explored.
    No matter what the drama in the congressional hearings ,I am still hopeful something good will be produced like a much improved justice and prison systems.

    In our economic and foreign ties, it is not too late to maintain or mend our ties with us eu and the rest.
    Independence with interdependnce.

    If they pursue the 100 percent foreign ownership of lands and businesses, I think it will open up to competition,whether its bloddy and messy,we still do not know.

    The deal with the left maybe good ad long as the compromises are well moderated..
    That goes for the other rebel groups and the like.

    After the smoke clears,after another war on something, back to cha cha.

    ps. Irene Araneta….Imee Manotoc

    • karlgarcia

      Sorry for multiple posts that basically say the same thing.

      I just got a blank screen with no error message,I thought it did not even reach the spam folder or akismet due to slow internet.(silly)

  • karlgarcia

    Very fair assesment.

    Four day workweek no sale in malls pending emergency powers.
    Justice system.
    Our much discussed simplification of laws.

    Foreign ownership of land and businesses to give the oligarchs a run for their money?
    First, they must not shoo away the existing ones.

  • karlgarcia

    Irene is the Araneta,Imee was married to Tommy Manotoc(Crispa coach golfer).
    Too early to judge? Maybe so.

  • sonny

    Just on the peripheral track of our country’s agenda lies the starting steps of the K12 generation. One listens on the ground and hears the fallout of the absence of college freshmen in the be and boarding houses and the extended stay in the homes and high schools countrywide. Hopefully the accommodations at home and in the high schools are enough to dovetail into the first implementations of Grades 11 and 12. The hopes consist of the good implementation of Grade 11 finances at home and the new syllabi in senior high schools. Will the PRD administration Filipino society be able to leverage the initial presence of the K12 products come 2018?

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