Just a few days before the 17th Congress of the Philippines went on break, history was made on 31 May when the Philippines senate unanimously approved the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law. Hours earlier, the House of Representatives approved its own version of the BBL bill with a 221 to 11 vote. The BBL seeks to establish a proposed new autonomous political entity known as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, replacing the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
The capital of the Philippines; Manila is the world’s most densely populated city with 42,857 people per square kilometre. The Metro Manila population is estimated at 12 million, but the larger urban area has a population of approximately 21.3 million. As such, traffic congestion in Manila is notorious with a report by Waze revealing that drivers in the capital are the most dissatisfied in the world after the Dominican Republic and El Salvador.
The Philippines is fast becoming a hub for foreign banks looking to expand and establish their presence in Southeast Asia. A steady banking system coupled with an educated citizenry are some of the factors drawing international financial institutions to its shores. The presence of these foreign banks mostly comes in the form of representative offices that are particularly focused on marketing. These offices are important in drawing investment into the country.
Over the past decade, the Philippines has rapidly developed into one of the region’s economic powerhouses. Now regarded as one of the Tiger Cub economies in Southeast Asia, along with Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, the Philippines looks set to outpace its ASEAN neighbours in this respect. This is underscored by a World Bank Global Economic Prospects report released in January, where it ranked the Philippines as one of the fastest-growing economies regionally.
The Mayor of Puerto Princesa City, Lucilo Bayron recently announced that his city will embark on a waste-to-energy project. Waste-to-energy or energy-from-waste is the process of generating energy in the form of electricity and/or heat from the primary treatment of waste. This project will be the first of its kind in the Philippines. Puerto Princesa City is a coastal city on Palawan Island in the western Philippines.
Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte recently returned from China bearing gifts. The president had signed nine business agreements when he was there. “The nine business agreements signed during my visit yielded an estimated value of 9 to 8 billion dollars in investments. These are projected to generate more than 10,000 jobs for our countrymen and women,” Duterte said in his speech upon returning from China.
After an investigation by Facebook last year, it was found that Russian operatives spent US$100,000 on ads with “divisive messages” during the election campaign season in the United States (US). These “divisive messages” are thought to be fake news used to influence the American electorate.
Ever since the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced the preliminary examination of Rodrigo Duterte on 8 February 2018, the president of the Republic of the Philippines has been having a hard time clarifying his stand on the ICC’s actions.
Sabah, located in the northern half of the island of Borneo has been at the centre of a diplomatic row between Malaysia and the Philippines – which claims much of its eastern half – since the early 1960s. Currently, Sabah remains under the sovereignty of Malaysia and the matter has laid dormant for many years.