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Is the Philippine economy ‘backward’?

We are not a “backward” economy. It’s just that economies capable of producing sophisticated manufactures necessarily require economies that must specialize in raw material or labor exports. That’s global capitalism for you.  Ours is a developed capitalist economy to the extent that the capitalist economic system that grips the world today is already fully mature,...


Trafficking Filipinos: Are immigration, airport personnel involved?

(Last of two parts) A mix of excitement and anxiety filled “Paulo” as he stepped off a cab at the departure area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 3 on Oct. 4. He was flying to Thailand, his first trip out of the country.    Everything had happened so fast. It was only on...


Trafficking Filipinos: Philippines becoming ‘incubator of scammers’

(First of two parts) Tantalized by the promise of being paid P50,000 a month, “Betty,” a single mother of four in Navotas City north of Manila, didn’t think twice about grabbing an opportunity last April to work as a call center agent in Thailand. Before the month ended, the recruiter had arranged the Covid-19 antigen...


Looking for the next Eugene Torre

In a society where attitudes and behaviors are easily swayed by what’s viral or trending on social media, the 1,500-year-old board game called chess might help improve how people approach some of the most pressing and complex issues, mold them to be better observers, and improve their critical thinking.   But first, the Philippines needs...


Impunity may become institutionalized gov’t policy

In seeking to quash the inquiry of the International Criminal Court (ICC) into the Philippines’ “war on drugs,” President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. may be institutionalizing impunity for the systematic mass violence under his predecessor.  “Impunity” occurs if perpetrators of human rights violations and other crimes are able to avoid any procedure that can lead to...


Cyberattacks rising in the Philippines

A week ago, “Marie,” a resident of Quezon City, was preparing to share a funny YouTube video with her friends on Facebook. Her smile turned into a frown when she was told to log in.  For over 10 years, Marie, 40, had not logged out, and could not readily remember her log-in details. While looking for them, she...