Philippines

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Philippine Energy Company Harasses Opponents, Pollutes

The wind in Lamao carries with it a certain smell of sulfur and an amount of ash that later covers the road. It is like New Year’s Eve, except that there are no fireworks and certainly nothing to celebrate. T...
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Philippine Energy: Coal Remains King

In United Nations hearings into climate change, the Philippines, wracked by increasingly violent weather events, has become the poster child for environmentalists concerned that both violent storms and rising...
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Southeast Asia Braces for El Niño Drought, Crop Losses

Filipino officials have implemented a program to provide a kilo of rice to rice farmers’ families for every 10 rat tails turned in to the government, an attempt to both minimize crop losses and provide food a...
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Money Sent Home by Overseas Workers: Blessing or Curse?

In a sense, two of the Philippines’ most notable overseas workers face destiny this week.  One is Mary Jane Veloso, who left home carrying a backpack, was given a borrowed suitcase filled with heroin, and was...
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Asian Debt and Oil

Is Asia’s rising debt a threat to growth? The Asian Development Bank’s Asian Development Outlook for 2015 poses the question but singularly fails to answer it. That in itself is hardly surprising given the dive...
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The Lessons from Typhoon Hagupit/Ruby

Super Typhoon Hagupit has been tamed by the Philippines’ topography and was downgraded to a tropical storm on the afternoon of Dec. 8 before it could drive northeast far enough to drown Metropolitan Manila, bul...
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Why Can’t the Philippines Cha-Cha?

The Philippines, where fevered political rhetoric is almost an art form, is in the midst of another round of dire fears, appeals to the past and dark mutterings about dictatorship lurking in the shadows. All th...
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The Philippines Gets a B+ Report Card

With Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III now effectively two-thirds through his term, attention is shifting to how far economic, social and administrative progress is likely to be sustained past 2016. ...
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Manila Traffic Madness

For anybody who has ever tried to navigate a car through Manila’s heaving traffic, dodging jeepneys, smoking buses, weaving motorcyclists and rapacious traffic policemen, brace yourself. In what critics are ...
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A Revolutionary Rice Goes Into Production

Fifteen years of painstaking international research into revolutionary new rice that is hardier and more productive, growing on less water and less fertilizer, are finally coming to fruition. What is known as G...