(This paper was presented at the forum on JPEPA: More Pain than Gain for Filipinos organized by Peace Cycle, March 7, 2007, University of the Philippines, Manila.)
"The Philippines is ripe for more trade and investments" was Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo's sales pitch at the World Economic Forum (WEF) held in Davos, Switzerland in January this year.
But with all of these bilateral deals and deal making happening left and right alongside the on-going efforts to jump start the stalled Doha negotiations in the World Trade Organization (WTO), the more relevant issue may not be our readiness for more trade and investment but whether opening the doors for these would actually benefit the Philippines.
Are these deals good for us or are we in fact getting a raw deal in all of these bilateral and multilateral trade and investment agreements?
Jenina Joy Chavez
[Published on Sunday, October 15, 2006, by The Nation. ]
The awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Muhammad Yunus, regarded as the father of microcredit, comes at a time when microcredit has become something like a religion to many of the powerful, rich and famous. Hillary Clinton regularly speaks about going to Bangladesh, Yunus's homeland, and being "inspired by the power of these loans to enable even the poorest of women to start businesses, lifting their families--and their communities--out of poverty."