Category Archives: Business and Economy

ASEAN studies on woman affected by disasters

By OMER OSCAR ALMENARIO

THE ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) Philippines completed in July 2017 its thematic study on women affected by natural disasters.
Among other things, the study found out that natural disasters tend to increase and multiply the risks of vulnerable groups, such as women, and bring about an extremely difficult circumstance of displacement.
Vulnerable groups need immediate and sustained protection as well as the opportunity to participate in deciding on programs that seek to benefit them.<!–more–>
The study involved gathering of data from ten ASEAN Member States (AMS) to build the natural disaster context of the region. The researchers also looked at their existing institutional infrastructure on disaster and emergency preparedness and response, and on how gender has become associated with various instruments and mechanisms in each country such as national laws, policy directives, and/or action plans.
The views of non-government actors and women beneficiaries were taken for this thematic study. From these data sources, the study mapped out shared institutional practices on responding to women’s concerns and needs in natural disaster contexts. Likewise, the study identified common areas of concern to build programs that will collectively ensure the human rights of women in difficult situations.
The Political Science Department of the Ateneo de Manila University, the academic partner of AICHR Philippines for the thematic study, conducted field visits in all ten AMS to ensure data accuracy as well as interactions with target respondents.

 
 

Suu Kyi touches on women’s role

By OMER OSCAR ALMENARIO

MYANMAR State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday centered her vision of prosperity for all on women economic empowerment and human capital development during her keynote at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017.
Suu Kyi was amongst the state leaders to be invited by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, to impart their own perspective on achieving inclusive growth in the region. To open the summit, Suu Kyi touched on ASEAN economic milestones paralleled with Myanmar’s distinct view on development and the central role women play.<!–more–>
“Since 2004, ASEAN’s GDP growth has reached 5%, outpacing that of any other region. Myanmar, as a member of the ASEAN family, has been growing rapidly as we roll out rigorous reforms and structural changes in every sector. I would also like to mention that our young entrepreneurs are amongst the most vigorous of them all. I am very much happy to discover that in the recent seminar of young entrepreneurs, 49% of them are women,” Suu Kyi shared to delegates, eliciting applause.
Suu Kyi underlined the importance in investing on people-based initiatives and solutions in their nation’s course towards development and integration amidst years of isolation and turmoil. “As a responsible member of the ASEAN family, we will work together to be more connected and integrated economically and socially. In the process of such integration, human capital, and intellectual resources play a pivotal role in filling the gap between diverse ASEAN countries at different stages of economic and social development,” Suu Kyi said. From this, Suu Kyi further elaborated on her people-based vision, founded on unleashing women’s latent economic power. “More and more women entrepreneurs have emerged to participate vigorously in [Myanmar’s] transformation, demonstrating the increasing importance of women not only in the social but also in the economic sphere,” she said.
Many women entrepreneurs are classified as MSMEs; Suu Kyi recognized the multitude of challenges MSMEs face, and for women in this sector, there is the added crutch of gender discrimination. And gender discrimination leading to a gender gap in various opportunities is a stark reality many feel in the ASEAN. “To achieve positive changes in women’s rights, it is important to increase number of girls enrolling in primary and secondary schools, improve the participation of women in the labor force, ensure better maternal care outcomes, provide social protection measures, and promote the role of women in decision making,” she proposed as steps to move towards gender equality. Suu Kyi wrapped up her keynote by challenging the current popular view on development. “What is empowerment for? What is development about? Is it simply to develop our countries materially or to develop ourselves to become better human beings?,” she said, “Myanmar, as a young democracy started with many, many challenges has become fully aware to the need for development of peoples as human beings not just economic powerhouses.”

ASEAN tackles politics

By OMER OSCAR ALMENARIO

FOREIGN Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Monday hosted and chaired the 16th ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) Council Meeting in Manila in preparation for the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.
The APSC is one of the three Pillars of ASEAN, with the function of ensuring an inclusive, responsive, and resilient ASEAN in addressing challenges to regional peace and security. <!–more–>
The Meeting was attended by all Foreign Ministers of the ten (10) ASEAN Member States and the ASEAN Secretary General.
During the Meeting, the Foreign Ministers discussed important developments in the APSC Pillar, which includes ASEAN Sectoral Bodies such as the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting, and the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime, among others.
They also discussed the progress of implementation of the APSC Blueprint 2025.
The Philippines is also expected to highlight the regional initiatives and efforts that it has undertaken in line with the thematic priorities of its Chairmanship of ASEAN this year.

 

 

World leaders coming to PH

By OMER OSCAR ALMENARIO

WORLD leaders are expected to arrive in the Philippines this weekend to attend the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits in Manila.
Most of the leaders will land at Clark International Airport, over 100 kilometers from the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City, the venue for the majority of the meetings.
Before the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits kick off on Monday, Nov. 13, some ASEAN leaders are expected to grace the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017 to launch the ASEAN Business Advisory Councils’ (ABAC) flagship project, the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN).<!–more–>
According to ABAC, it invited President Rodrigo Duterte, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Myanmar State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi, and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
They will be joined by other ASEAN leaders in the evening for a gala dinner. After which, the ASEAN leaders will be meeting their counterparts in the East Asia Summit Leaders’ Retreat that will include Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea, India, United States, and Russia.
On Monday, there will be an opening ceremony for the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.
This will be followed by the 31st ASEAN Summit Plenary Session.
The 10 ASEAN leaders will be meeting Chinese Premiere Li Keqiang at the 20th ASEAN-China Summit, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the 20th ASEAN-Japan Summit, and Korean President Moon Jae-in for the 19th ASEAN- Republic of Korea Summit.
ASEAN leaders will also attend the 9th ASEAN-United Nations Summit and meet with UN Secretary General Antonio Gutierres.
On the same day, the leaders will also have interface sessions with the private sector–the ASEAN BAC and the East Asia Business Council, where Li, Abe, and Moon will join the ASEAN leaders in this meeting.
By Tuesday, the 12th East Asia Summit and the 15th ASEAN-India Summit will take place.
During the two-day summit, four commemorative summits will be held: the 5th ASEAN-US Summit to commemorate the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-US Dialogue Relations; the 20th ASEAN Plus Three Commemorative Summit; ASEAN-Canada 40th Commemorative Summit; and ASEAN-European Union 40th Anniversary Commemorative Summit.
The 10 ASEAN leaders and leaders of its dialogue partners — Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, South Korea, and India — will meet for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit.
Also on Tuesday, the Philippines will hand over the ASEAN Chairmanship to Singapore for the ASEAN Summit 2018.

 
 

PHP1B for distressed workers abroad

By OMER OSCAR ALMENARIO
PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo Duterte was reported to have approved for a PHP1-billion budget to assist distressed Filipinos abroad in 2018, from previous PHP600 million.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) expects to start implementing “liberal” guidelines for the provision of assistance to nationals (ATN) to all overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in distress by next year.���
Raul Dado, DFA Executive Director for Migrant Workers Affairs, said Friday the new guidelines are up for review by Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.��

By OMER OSCAR ALMENARIO
THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has yet to verify or uncover any destabilization plot against President Rodrigo Duterte and the government, a military official said late Thursday.
“We will be conferring with other government agencies. But in so far as the AFP is concerned, we have not monitored any such destabilization plan,” AFP chief of public affairs, Col. Edgard Arevalo, said.
Arevalo reiterated that the military would not allow any attempt to undermine the stability of the government.
“We will frustrate any effort that will cause the disruption of our democratic way of life. That is, and shall always be, our commitment to the nation and our people,” he added.

PH monitors NoKor’s missiles

By OMER OSCAR ALMENARIO
THE Department of National Defense (DND) in Manila said it is closely monitoring the situation after North Korea has threatened to launch four intermediate-range missiles off Guam’s waters by mid-August.
“While we believe that the threat of a missile launch by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) is not directed at the Philippine archipelago, the Department of National Defense is closely monitoring the situation in the region,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a statement Saturday.
Lorenzana said the DND is treating the event as a civil defense rather than a military issue.

PH daily accused of squatting

By OMER OSCAR ALMENARIO
THE Philippine Daily Inquirer, one of the famous newspapers based in Manila, has been accused of squatting for illegally occupying a 2.9 hectare prime Makati property since 2003, a report by MindaNation said Saturday.
The report said Solicitor General Jose Calida is going after a corporation owned by the Prieto and Rufino families, same families who control the Sunvar Realty that owes the Philippine government more than a billion in unpaid taxes.
“You owe the Filipino people P1.656-billion, excluding interests… You cannot do this to the Filipino people… You have been depriving the government of money that could have been used to fund projects for the poor,” Calida said in a statement.

Good news for Filipino seniors, PWDs

By OMER OSCAR ALMENARIO
SENIOR citizens and Persons with Disability (PWD) may soon avail of a 20 percent discount when booking a domestic flight online.
The Department of Transportation – Civil Aeronautics Board (DOTr-CAB) approved Thursday, July 13, a resolution requiring local airlines to give a 20 percent discount on tickets purchased via the carrier’s website or a mobile application. Prior to this, the discount was only applied to face to face transactions.
Under the resolution, senior citizens, PWDs, or their representatives must input the passenger’s details including date of birth and ID number indicated in the Senior Citizen or PWD card.

PH Senate ratifies Paris Agreement

By: Oscar Omer Almenario
The Senate adopted a resolution today concurring in the Accession to the Paris Agreement. The agreement seeks to limit the average global temperature to “well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”
Adopted was Senate Resolution 320. Senator Loren Legarda, chair of the Senate Subcommittee on the Paris Agreement under the Committee on Foreign Relations, said the Philippines’ ratification of the agreement would send a strong signal of the country’s continuing commitment to work with the rest of the world in ensuring the survival of mankind.
“Our nation bears the brunt of climate change even if we are among those who contributed the least to the crisis,” Legarda said.