Mong Palatino

blogging about the philippine left and southeast asian politics since 2004

About

@mongster is a manila-based activist, former philippine legislator, and blogger/analyst of asia-pacific affairs.

Archive for the 'economy' Category

A Disastrous New Year in Southeast Asia

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

Written for The Diplomat For several Southeast Asian countries, 2014 ended disastrously: the Air Asia QZ8501 crash, intense flooding in eastern Malaysia and south Thailand, and the destruction caused by Typhoon Jangmi (known locally as Seniang) in the Philippines. The devastating consequences of these tragedies are still being felt today in the region as governments […]

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Southeast Asia’s Top Stories in 2014

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Written for The Diplomat As we welcome the new year, we look back and review the top news stories in the Southeast Asian region in the past 12 months. These news events were also widely reported and discussed in the international media: 1. Thailand coup. After months of intense street protests, the army of Thailand […]

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Written for Bulatlat A specter is badly needed today, the specter of communism. It is not enough to expose the evils of capitalism; we must offer and revive a leftwing alternative. To borrow a few words from a philosopher, we have already interpreted capitalism in various ways – the point however is to change it. […]

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Why Malaysia Reduced Its Fuel Subsidy

Saturday, November 8th, 2014

Written for The Diplomat Malaysia’s decision to slash fuel subsidies has led to an increase in the price of petrol products, which in turn angered many consumers but was applauded by economists and credit rating agencies. Prime Minister Najib Razak defended the government action by citing the need to balance the budget. He said the […]

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Written for Bulatlat The government is always claiming that the number of poor is decreasing but it cannot deny the phenomenal growth of informal settlers across the country, especially in Metro Manila, in the past decade. According to a study cited by the government-funded Philippine Institute for Development Studies, about 5 percent of Metro Manila […]

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Written for The Diplomat Rice is a staple food in Southeast Asia, which explains why many politicians panic when rice farmers are agitated or when consumers complain about high prices. Today, rice farmers in Thailand are protesting after the national government repeatedly failed to pay them under the rice pledging program. In the Philippines, the […]

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Gross National Survival: A Proposal

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Written for Bulatlat Despite its high Gross Domestic Product in recent years, the Philippines has remained a backward nation. Poverty numbers didn’t change although wealth disparity has worsened especially between the rural and the urban. It’s clear that the GDP is an inaccurate and inadequate measure of the real state of the economy. Its use […]

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The Meaning of Yolanda

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Written for Bulatlat If there is a bigger calamity than super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), it must be the Philippine government which has been notoriously inept in the wake of the devastation wrought by the storm in the Visayas. But aside from deficiency in leadership, the slow response of the government also reflected the tragic state […]

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Written for The Diplomat Policymakers are debating the social impact of private tuition or tutoring classes which have proliferated in recent years. The numbers are simply staggering: More than 90 percent of primary students are enrolled in after-school tuition centers while parents spend an estimated $680 million annually on tutoring services. Soon, it will be […]

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Southeast Asia Scales Down on Subsidies

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Written for The Diplomat Several Southeast Asian countries have begun scaling down the subsidies they are providing to key sectors of their economies. Last month, the Thai government confirmed that it will soon decrease the rice price subsidy it gives to farmers. In Indonesia, the parliament approved a revised budget that lowered the fuel subsidy. […]

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