Imposing Visa Requirement for US Visitors to Affect Tourism Numbers

Tourism stakeholders warned that President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent statement that he might impose a visa requirement for American tourists would affect the sector adversely. Duterte had inexplicably questioned why there was a difference in visa immigration requirements between the two countries, even though similar differences exist with all the country’s top tourist markets. Tourism accounts between 8 to 10.6% of the GDP, and up to 10% of all employment. US tourists contributed 18.6% of direct revenues in 2015. In contrast,… Continue reading

August 2016 Budget Surplus at P32.6-Billion

Budget surplus amounted to P32.6 billion in August, more than double the previous year’s P15 billion. Revenues surged 19 percent to P209.6 billion, the quickest pace since the 41-percent hike in May 2015. This reversed the five-percent slump the previous month. Expenditures, meanwhile, rose nine percent to P177 billion, faster than five percent in July. For the year, budget deficit is at P138.4 billion, only around 36 percent of the revised… Continue reading

Three Chinese Firms in Potential Infrastructure Deals in the Philippines Face Fraud Charges in Other Countries

At least three Chinese firms that the administration wants to deal with in the construction of major infrastructure projects have been accused of fraud and bribery in several countries. These are China Harbour Engineering Corporation, Sinotech, and China Road and Bridge Corporation. China Road and Bridge Corporation is in the World Bank-blacklist in the Philippines for corrupt practices in a road project. Chinese companies are expected… Continue reading

Cabinet Officials Clarify Duterte’s Separation from the US Statement

With President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement of the Philippines separating from the United States, cabinet members were once again tasked with explaining what the president really meant. Amid calls by senators for a probe on the administration’s foreign policy to clarifications being sought by the US and Japan, economic, trade, and foreign affairs officials said that the government is merely trying to “rebalance” trade in order to remove the country’s overdependence on the west. Economic chief Ernesto Pernia added… Continue reading

List of Agreements Signed by Duterte with China

President Rodrigo Duterte continues to reconfigure diplomatic alliances after scoring several concessions, loans, and agreements during his visit to China. Among them are: Continue reading

Duterte Says It’s Time for Americans to Say Goodbye to the Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte again lambasted the US, saying that the Americans’ presence in the Philippines only benefits them. Stating that it’s time to say goodbye, Duterte said the country has gained little from its long alliance with the US. He also blamed American influence of Philippine foreign policy for keeping the country from building a healthy relationship with China. He also contrasted China’s support for his war on drugs, as… Continue reading

Philippines to Enter Bilateral Talks with China on South China Sea Issue

President Rodrigo Duterte agreed to enter into bilateral negotiations with China to resolve its maritime dispute, a complete turnaround from the previous administration’s stance of engaging only in multilateral talks. The two countries agreed to establish a “Joint Coastal Guard Committee on Maritime Cooperation” that would eventually lead to greater cooperation in the disputed waters… Continue reading