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.

Cambodia’s Fainting Workers

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Cambodia’s garment industry represents 90 percent of the country’s exports and employs more than 300,000 workers by some estimates. It survived the 2008 global financial crisis, although job losses were registered across all special economic zones. But despite its vital contribution to the local economy, the garment sector has been facing criticism that it has […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Punch Hard Like Pacquiao

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Excerpts of my keynote speech delivered during the second general assembly of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns in New Jersey, United States. When I (first) arrived here (in 2008), people were talking only about two things: Obama and the recession. Obama promised change and the voters believed him. His victory was seen as something […]

Read the rest of this entry »

The Honorable Proletarian

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Review of Ka Bel: Mga Liham “Can you imagine a tricycle driver being able to draft a law?” Commission on Elections Chairman Jose Melo asked the petitioners who wanted to disqualify Mikey Arroyo as a partylist representative. This remark can be dismissed as sheer intellectual elitism but it is a popular thinking among the chattering […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Giants in a small island

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Delivered in Boac, Marinduque. April 16, 2011. Marinduque State College Maraming bago sa araw na ito: Bagong linis ang inyong mga sapatos, bagong plantsa ang inyong mga damit. Lahat naligo sa araw na ito (Hopefully). Makapal ang make-up ng mga kababaihan, yung iba may kulay ang mata, inubos ang spraynet at gel sa buhok, abot […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Secrets of the empire

Monday, April 18th, 2011

1. One of our fighting tasks today is to resist and defeat US imperialism. Philosopher Alain Badiou reminds us that the “basic freedom of states and individuals consists in doing everything and thinking everything in order to escape from the commandments, interventions and interference of that imperial power.” This oppressive power, of course, is not […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Philippine employment statistics 2010

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

I was compelled to gather some employment statistics when I was invited to discuss the youth situation in a university job fair last week. I got a copy of the Department of Labor and Employment’s Project Jobsfit August 2010 study on employment prospects in the Philippines. Here are some of the interesting and relevant findings […]

Read the rest of this entry »

MDGs and health workers

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Talumpating binigkas sa pambansang kumbensiyon ng Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders & Advocates International Inc. na ginanap sa Manila Pavilion. Binabati ko kayong lahat sa paglulunsad ng aktibidad na ito. Higit akong humanga sa inyong desisyon na gamitin ang okasyong ito upang pagtibayin ang ating panata na makamit ang tinatawag nating Millenium Development Goals. Taong […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Youth, Employment, Migration

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

*Keynote speech delivered at Mandarin Oriental last June 23 during the launching of the YOUthink session of the Department of Labor and Employment and the National Youth Commission Good morning, honorable speakers and resource persons, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. I would first like to congratulate the Department of Labor and Employment, the National Youth Commission, […]

Read the rest of this entry »

“Industrial peace of the grave”

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

In 1986 there were 581 factory strikes and lockouts in the Philippines. Last year the number of actual strikes went down to five. Using this data, the labor department of the government claims there is now industrial peace in the country. Is this true? Labor groups were quick to dismiss this assertion by describing the […]

Read the rest of this entry »