ASEAN Perspectives

Bangladesh heist exposes Philippine dirty money secrets

  by Karl Malakunas MANILA, Philippines (AFP) — When mystery hackers launched a stunning raid on Bangladesh’s foreign reserves, a plot worthy of a John le Carre spy novel was sparked in the Philippines, exposing the Southeast Asian nation as a dirty money haven. The $81 million stolen from the Bangladesh central bank’s American accounts last month was immediately sent via electronic transfer to the Philippines’ RCBC bank, with the thieves deliberately targeting their laundering location. […]

What is ASEAN’s strategic value?

By Paul Dibb, ANU (Courtesy East Asia Forum) — Since ASEAN’s creation in 1967, it has contributed enormously to regional stability and prosperity. It consists of 10 countries whose populations total over 600 million people. And its economy ranks collectively as the third largest economy in Asia and the seventh largest in the world. In 1994, ASEAN also created another regional organisation — the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) — that now consists of 27 countries. […]

NEU-ASEAN Studies Center launched

QUEZON City, Philippines — The NEU-ASEAN Studies Center was launched yesterday, February 29 at the New Era University Professional Schools Building. New Era University President, Dr. Nilo Rosas, said that by this launch, the students will be more aware of ASEAN Integration and its relations with other ASEAN member states and partners. “We would like to be a part of ASEAN Integration, we would like to be recipient and at the same time donor of […]

The importance of ASEAN centrality in Sunnylands

By Mari Pangestu University of Indonesia (Courtesy East Asia Forum) — Despite its economic and strategic importance, the United States has not given priority to ASEAN until recently. There was hope that this would begin to change with the US pivot to Asia in 2009. But up to November 2015, the progress of this ‘pivot’ seemed to be more of a ‘pirouette’. There was little in the way of results except general statements and US […]

Philippines’ raucous election season gets underway

by Karl Malakunas MANILA, Philippines (AFP) — The Philippines’ raucous democracy cranks into top gear this week as campaigning begins for national elections, with familiar themes of corruption, dictatorship and celebrity star-power to dominate. The three-month campaign launches Tuesday (February 9) with most interest on a crowded contest to succeed President Benigno Aquino, who has won global applause for six years of strong economic growth and a bruising anti-graft campaign. There are myriad other sub-plots, […]

GPH chief negotiator rues non-passage of BBL

Statement of GPH Chief Negotiator Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer on the Closing of the 16th Congress of the Republic of the Philippines 3 February 2016   Let me state the fact: The proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, in whatever shape or form, did not make it out of the 16th Congress. The sheer indifference and chronic absenteeism of majority of the legislators manifested in the lack of quorum almost on a daily basis in the House of Representatives, and the prolonged […]

Stormy seas ahead for the Philippine economy?

By Gilbert M. Llanto President of the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS)   (Courtesy East Asia Forum) — The Philippines has performed well in the past few years relative to its peers. It demonstrated great resilience to exogenous shocks that would have undone less capable economies. But will it be able to sustain its positive economic position? There are positive signs. Revised forecasts put GDP growth in 2015 between 5.7–6 per cent and forecasters […]

Food security in the ASEAN Community

Food security in this era of globalization, and the advent of the ASEAN Community, play a pivotal role because climate change significantly affects food production and distribution in various parts of the world. What are the issues concerning food security? Will the establishment of the ASEAN Community solve issues of food security in the ASEAN region? Dr. Carlos Tabunda Jr, ASEAN In Focus resident resource person, interviews former Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and […]

‘ASEAN for ASEAN’ campaign highlights 9 unique tourism themes

MANILA, Jan. 22 (PNA) — The new tourism campaign for ASEAN, ‘ASEAN for ASEAN’ was revealed Friday with the common goal to promote travel within the region but at the same time featuring nine different themes. Under the campaign, each ASEAN member national tourism organization (NTO) has taken on a specific theme to fan integral regional tourism through 2016 and generate awareness of the ASEAN tourism brand. Tourism in Brunei Darussalam will focus on ASEAN […]

ASEAN Integration and the PHL Council on foreign relations

With ASEAN Integration and the establishment of the ASEAN community, it is important for the Philippines to prepare its blueprint to be more competitive in this regional undertaking. Globalization has put the pressure on ASEAN and on each ASEAN member countries. In this episode of ASEAN In Focus, Dr. Caloy Tabunda, ASEAN In Focus resident resource person, interviews Ambassador Jose Romero Jr. Ambassador Romero is currently the president of the Philippine Council on Foreign Relations. […]

More discussions and awareness campaigns needed for LGUs regarding ASEAN Integration

In preparing for ASEAN Integration, one of the factors that governments of ASEAN member states need to consider is the preparation and level of awareness of local government units (LGUs) to the ASEAN Integration. In this episode, Dr. Caloy Tabunda of the Development Academy of the Philippines and ASEAN In Focus resident resource person interviews Angeles City Mayor Ed Pamintuan to get his insights on the level of awareness and how should LGUs prepare for […]

Myanmar’s Suu Kyi, ethnic armed groups gather for peace talks

Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi said on Tuesday (January 12) her government is ready to build ‘forever peace’ within the country as she was attending a peace summit in the in the country’s administrative capital, Naypyitaw. Hundreds of representatives of ethnic armed groups, the military and lawmakers gathered for talks that are expected to last until the end of the week, over a ceasefire to end insurgencies that have plagued the country for decades. […]