Mong Palatino

Blogging about the Philippines and the Asia-Pacific since 2004


@mongster is a Manila-based activist, former Philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of Asia-Pacific affairs.

Written for The Diplomat

The inflation crisis in the Philippines is reflected in the unprecedentedly high cost of onions, which forced the government of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to launch rolling stores, release smuggled goods, and import from nearby countries.

Marcos is at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week promoting the sovereign wealth fund, even if this has yet to be tackled by the Senate. It’s his eighth foreign trip despite being in power for only under seven months. His critics will certainly highlight his frequent trips abroad and the failure of his government to reduce food and agricultural prices. He can’t pass the blame to his subordinates because he appointed himself secretary of agriculture to prioritize food security and other key issues affecting local farmers.

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The Philippines’ New Year Airport Meltdown

Written for The Diplomat

The big news at the start of 2023 should have been the release of the new Philippine Development Plan and the state visit of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. to China. But these were both eclipsed by the air navigation glitch on New Year’s Day that forced the closure of almost all of the country’s airports.

Marcos is expected to enumerate the achievements of his official trip to China, but it is uncertain if this will be enough to make people forget the recent airport meltdown and the surging cost of living. The arrival speech is in NAIA, the ground zero of the airport meltdown, which could make it easier for the public to remember about how the country’s economy has failed to take off despite the confident projections and assertions of the president.

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