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Why is the Philippines Poorer than Its Neighbors?

I thought this was too important to be just left on my main blog, thus I am reposting it here …

rhk111's Blogspot

Why is the Philippines poorer than its South East Asian (SEA) neighbors?” This is one question that I have been asking myself since I was in my teens. It is not an easy question to answer, but let me offer my opinion now on why I think this is so. First, let’s establish the fact that we ARE indeed poorer than our neighbors, and one way to do that would be to look at our Poverty Rate or the Percent of our Population Below the Poverty Line. Below is the data for Poverty Rate of various SEA countries including us taken from the excellent Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Factbook website[1] which will be my main reference for most of the statistical data I will be using in this blog.
Comparison of the Poverty Rates of South East Asian Countries. Comparison of the Poverty Rates of South East Asian Countries.

As we can see in the…

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The Jennifer Laude Case

There has been a significant slowdown in the modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recently, no new procurement, upgrade, etc. has been made in the last couple of months. This may have something to do with the Supreme Court’s (SC) ruling against the Development Assistance Program (DAP) [1] which made it harder for them to allocate funds around, or it maybe something else, or a combination of factors. At any rate, this will likely continue for a couple more months until they find a way to sort things out.

In the meantime, I decided to take a break from my Sea Denial ramblings and write something political and current, like the case of The Killing of Jennifer Laude which caused some negative publicity on the basing of US forces in the Philippines. If you are not familiar with the case, what happened was that a Transgender Woman was found dead in a hotel room and the primary suspect in the killing is an American Marine named John Scott Pemberton. [2]

Call it “destiny”, call it “bad luck”, call it “fate”, call it whatever, but the incident highlighted the dark side of having American servicemen on foreign soil at a critical time, before any new agreement could be finalized. That dark side are US servicemen committing crimes against the local people, and this issue was almost forgotten until the Laude murder happened. It reminded people again that US protection is not all roses, there are many such thorns that happened before, which was probably why Filipinos then were a bit ambivalent about seeing the American bases go away.
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