More than a hundred participants from various people’s and civil society organizations attended the one-day forum “The Development Challenge Under P-Noy: Tackling the Hard Questions,” which Focus on the Global South-Philippines organized through its Development Roundtable Series (DRTS) at the convention hall of the Bureau of Soil and Water Management on July 18, a week before
President Noynoy Aquino delivers his second State of the Nation Address (SONA).

The Right to Know Right Now! Network launched on July 19 its “Bantay FOI! Sulong FOI”, with freedom of information (FOI) champion lawmakers from the House of Representatives and Senate as key guests.  Chair of the Senate Committee on Information Gregorio “Gringgo” Honasan, Senator Teofisto ”TG” Guingona Jr. and Deputy Speaker Lorenzo “Erin” Tanada were present in the launch to articulate their commitment to the passage of an FOI Act under the current 15th Congress. 

By Walden Bello

The facts are clear.

In terms of key economic and social indicators, the Philippines was ahead of Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam 40 years ago.  Today, we are behind and face the dismal prospect of falling even farther behind in the next few years.  And a major part of the reason is that in contrast to the Philippines, the three carried out successful population management programs.  As a result, all three are now enjoying the dividends of effective family planning: rapid economic growth, decreasing poverty, and a better quality of life.

(The Chinese Government newspaper Global Times recently contacted the author for an email interview on the Spratly-West Philippine Sea controversy.  After I submitted my answers, I received no acknowledgment or any further communication from the paper, possibly because the answers I gave were not to the newspaper’s liking.  Under the principle of never allowing a good interview to go to waste, I am reprinting it as my column here.)

How do you view the current South China Sea crisis? Will it further escalate?


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