Singapore has shipped humanitarian aid to the Philippines as part of the understanding reached during Singapore Minister for Defense Ng Eng Hen's visit to Manila in July 2017. [...] Singapore has also offered to provide training for AFP troops, and a detachment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to enhance the AFP's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in conflict-prone areas of the Philippines.
In his first State of the Nation Address, President Duterte called for the creation of a People’s Broadcasting Corp. (PBC), replacing PTV-4, the government-run TV station. [...] The Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines recognizes the vital role of communication and information in nation building and the right of the people to information on matters of public concern.
About two dozen municipalities, mainly from the region, have partnered with most of Guam’s villages throughout the years to form sister-city relationships. The bond is meant to be mutually beneficial as the two cities from different nations share business, cultural and educational ideas. The relationship is often established through an agreement with elected officials, such as mayors. [...] The council’s latest travel record showed that teams of village mayors attended festivals in the Philippines in recent months.
Why is culture important in this day and age? When the world, as some say, is becoming more flat, when social media platforms make instant communication possible, when cities all over the globe resemble each other more and more, of what significance is it that the Philippines should project itself as having a distinct identity and culture—in other words, possess a brand that is as easily identifiable as the Japanese, the Brazilian or the Egyptian?This is the question that cultural diplomacy poses, and which is the challenge given to Filipino diplomats in the 21st century.
The Philippines hopes the European Union revives an offer to provide development grants -- but this time without conditions linked to the country’s human rights record, according to Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez. “We believe that to help a friend and provide aid it must be without conditions,” Lopez said in an interview late Saturday at a meeting of Asia-Pacific trade ministers in Hanoi, Vietnam. “We would appreciate all aid but we would just request that there be no conditions,” he said.
Some senators urged the Duterte administration to "think over" its decision to shut out developmental aid from the European Union (EU), considering the fight against poverty and the country's ties with one of its biggest trading partners. Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Friday, May 19, that he was "saddened" by the decision, since the EU has been a "reliable trading partner" whose assistance has benefited Filipinos, especially those in poor communities.
The Duterte administration turned down 250 million euros worth of development aid from the European Union (EU) because it “may be used as the reason for interfering in the internal affairs of the country,” a Cabinet official familiar with the issue said. The high level source, who only agreed to speak under anonymity, told the Inquirer that the move aims to block the EU from questioning how the Philippines adopts and follows the rule of law, including respect for human rights.
What happens when strongmen meet? We know that the world is slowly filling up with populist nationalists, from Manila to Washington. Will they join forces against the sanctimonious, supra-national powers that dismay them all? Or will they compete, as erstwhile tough guys seem most comfortable doing? Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised if they find an entirely different way to frame their international engagement, one sure to puzzle, infuriate and sometimes amuse onlookers.