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Bumps and potholes on China’s Modern Silk Road

In 2013, President Xi Jin Ping proposed for the establishment of a comprehensive economic project that would cover large parts of the globe stretching...

The 2018 National Budget, Infrastructure, and Economic Growth

The government slogan “Build, build, build!” resonates for many, especially those who have some grounding on economic growth theories. In a serious attempt to...

Addressing the issues on open-pit mining

Last October, the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC), recommended the lifting of the open-pit mining ban instituted by former DENR secretary Gina Lopez through...

The Battle for Marawi City and the Duterte administration’s defense policy

Prior to his inauguration on 30 June 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte was expected by many defense analysts and observers thought to follow former President...

Battling climate change

Last Dec. 12, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted a climate summit, two years after the historic COP 21 Climate Change Agreement in Paris. Said...

Shopping for tanks

During the Battle of Marawi, many observers pointed to the lack of anything in the arsenal of the Philippine military that had the necessary...

Increasing the Mining Tax

One of the more recent pronouncements from Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Roy Cimatu was a statement favoring an increase on...

Japan: The Philippines’ most reliable and important security partner

President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s state visit to Beijing in mid-October 2016 caused several analysts and observers to conclude that the Philippines had parted from...

TRAIN-ing the spotlight on tax reform: Is it Pro-Poor?

Just a few months into office, bureaucrats from the Department of Finance (DoF) wasted no time and lined up five tax packages ostensibly to...

ASEAN’s Codes and Consequences

As the Philippines’ hosting of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summits comes to an end, ASEAN and China have agreed to open...

ASEAN: More than meetings

Now that Manila is gearing up for the series of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) meetings that will all but shut down the...

ASEAN and returning to Internal Security

Could Southeast Asia be turning the page on its inter-state disputes to focus on its internal ones? This is one theme that emerged from...

The pitfall of the ban on open pit mining

Just days before Gina Lopez’s appointment as Environment secretary was formally rejected by the Commission on Appointments, she issued a ban on open pit...

Can We Spend, Spend, Spend?

After a lengthy legislative exercise, the Senate released a Committee Report last month that consolidated 31 different bills on the Tax Reform for Acceleration...

Dutertismo One Year On

Is President Duterte’s political phenomenon -- Dutertismo -- experiencing a temporary setback or running out of steam? If the third quarter survey from Social...

A PSA on the Public Services Act

The World Economic Forum (WEF) released its 2017-2018 edition of the Global Competitiveness Index last week, and the results are hardly surprising. The Philippines’...

Learning from Japan and improving Philippine infrastructure

In the last 15 years, the Philippines’ population density has gone up by more than a third or by 32%. According to figures reported...

The investment and infrastructure challenges in implementing the 10-Point Agenda

In the medium term, the government is aiming to reach an annual GDP growth of between 7% and 8%. These rates are higher than...

The Marcos quest for political power despite electoral integrity

The recent ruling of the Presidential Electoral Tribunal junking the first cause of action of the electoral protest of former senator Bongbong Marcos has...

Transforming the Mining Industry

This week, mining industry stakeholders will again gather for the annual mining conference, organized by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP). This...

Japan’s proactive approach to maritime security: The case of supporting the...

Thinking Beyond Politics By Renato Cruz De Castro In July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague announced its long-awaited ruling on the...