Yesterday, Manolo Quezon asked me on air (The Explainer) what I want to achieve with this blog. It was a tough question to answer without sounding too presumptuous. But I did mean it when I say I want to contribute a little to our own collective efforts to understand the dynamics obtaining here in the Philippines.
We have lots of bloggers around discussing day-to-day politics and everything. Bloggers like Manolo Quezon, Dean Bocobo, and Ellen Tordesillas are among the best in political blogging. I didn’t want to duplicate their efforts so what I’m doing is looking at Philippine political, economic and social issues through the prism of globalization, something that most bloggers ignore. Hence the title “Philippines Without Borders.”
Let’s face it, many things happening these days are offshoots of what Thomas Friedman calls “Revolution from Beyond” in his book “The Lexus and the Olive Tree.”
It was the tariff reform program, apparently imposed by the IMF and the World Bank, which introduced more competition into the country’s industry sector. It’s the same pressures from international institutions that forced us to deregulate, although at a limited extent, aviation and telecommunications.
We are so obsessed with our cellphones and cyber cafes now; these amenities were the results of the same global dynamics. It’s the same thing with outsourcing, the rise of electronics and semi-conductors, and other new economic growth drivers. It’s the same dynamics that’s accelerating the Pinoy diaspora and yielding billions of dollars in remittances that are in turn propping up the banks, malls, real estate, and other sectors. In fact, globalization has been a stabilizing force in the Philippine economy—so far.
There is a flipside to globalization, of course, and its also a major concern in this blog. Issues like its negative impact on the unions, and the print media have been a continuing concern here. And many, many more.
Globalization will increasingly affect all aspects of our lives and "Philippines Without Borders" will keep reflecting on these things here. Mabuhay tayong lahat!