Articles

A digest of global and domestic developments, issues and concerns published and compiled by RPDEV.


A major happening during the celebration of ASEAN Week on 08-18 August was the second dialogue last 10 August of leaders and sectoral representatives of civil society organizations with ranking officials of DFA led by Acting Foreign Secretary Franklin Ebdalin and FVR, as member of the Eminent Persons Group.  The EPG had been mandated to examine the ASEAN structure; to review areas of cooperation, norms, principles, and goals contained in ASEAN's milestone agreements, treaties, and declarations over the last 38 years; and to provide ASEAN Leaders with broad, bold and visionary policy guidelines on the ASEAN Charter as well as the direction to take towards the building of an ASEAN Community.



During our Chairmanship of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in November 1996, we launched the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) as a Philippine initiative.  The East Asian economies then all seemed so robust that few realized we were at the edge of a financial precipice.  But, by July 1997, the region had started to deteriorate into what is now called the "East Asian Financial Crisis." 



The heart-rending images of casualties and suffering of innocent civilians fleeing from the bombardment by both Israeli forces and the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon has many serious implications for the Philippines. Foremost is the safety and well-being of our 30,000 OFWs working in Lebanon, most of whom are in the capital city of Beirut.



The long-term development of the entire Tagaytay City-Taal Volcano Island (TCTVI) eco-system is governed by a 20-year strategic plan promulgated by Presidential Memorandum Order 323 dated 28 November 1995. The fundamental consideration in the strategic planning for the entire TCTVI area was, and continues to be, the preservation and enhancement of its unique environment and eco-system -- an incomparable combination of land, sea and sky that is easily within reach to all of us -- Filipinos and foreigners, the youth and the elderly, the rich and the poor alike.



Unwittingly -- but perhaps intentionally -- PGMA has embarked on a new really hard-line approach to eliminating the Maoist NPA, as indicated by recent headlines. 



Last 27-29 June 2006, I was in Singapore for the fourth meeting of the ASEAN Eminent Persons Group (EPG) tasked by the ASEAN Leaders to provide the direction and broad guidelines in the drafting of the ASEAN Charter.


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