Mong Palatino

blogging about the philippine left and southeast asian politics since 2004


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

Politics as Sound Bite

Monday, January 7th, 2013

One liners, sound bites, SMS and twitter reactions are inferior substitutes to a well-written political manifesto. The essence of a political standpoint can’t be adequately represented by 140 characters or even by hysteric rhetoric. Yes, a charming slogan or a witty phrase, and a fiery quote can agitate a crowd, inspire the electorate, and trigger […]

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Populist Economics in Southeast Asia

Sunday, November 11th, 2012

Written for The Diplomat Governments are spending vast sums to reduce crushing poverty. While the cause is a noble one the reasoning and approach may be faulty. Populist economics is on the rise in Southeast Asia. Politicians have been actively adopting policies that aim to impress upon the poor that governments are doing something, however […]

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Initial review of the 2013 budget based on the DBM presentation The Noynoy Aquino government is calling the P2.006 trillion proposed budget an ‘empowerment budget’ that will benefit the people, especially the poor. But since the budget (based on the Department of Budget and Management presentation) is loaded with more pork, doleouts, and fat bonuses, […]

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Geopolitical Mathematics of Cash Transfers

Monday, December 5th, 2011

Part 1: My critique of President Noynoy Aquino’s Pantawid Pamilya Program The Department of Social Welfare and Development has been bombarding us with statistical reports on the Conditional Cash Transfer program. It’s either they are obsessively transparent or they are merely trying to convince skeptics that the program’s mega funding is justified. The Liberal diehards […]

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Pnoy’s Pantawid Pamilya Program

Monday, August 29th, 2011

President Noynoy Aquino’s expanded Conditional Cash Transfer program is an unimaginative program to solve the country’s intergenerational poverty. Giving subsidies to the poor isn’t wrong but it shouldn’t be in the form of insulting dole-outs. Isn’t it pathetic how the obscene distribution of petty cash is being presented as an innovative fulfillment of Pnoy’s overrated […]

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Truth will take care of itself*

Monday, December 6th, 2010

What are the ‘facts’ of the online tussle between Rep. Walden Bello and Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino? Bello delivered a privilege speech in the Lower House criticizing the expanded Conditional Cash Transfer Program of President Noynoy Aquino. A few days later, he sponsored a resolution praising the CCT as an innovative poverty containment program. […]

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