ASEAN-India cultural ties
The culture and history of Southeast Asia is influenced by India, and also China to a large extent, as a dominant power in the past. India is poised today to regain its former glory, driven by its Act East policy.
The policy, first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2014 ASEAN Summit, is an upgraded iteration of the Look East policy of 1992, announced by then prime minister Narasimha Rao. India is now aiming for better engagements with countries to its east, including those of ASEAN, not only in the realm of economics, but also politics and security.
Economy likely slowed in 2017
The Philippine economy likely slowed as the year ended capping full-year growth to below the 6.9 percent recorded in 2016.
Estimates for the October-December quarter ranged from 6.4 to 7.1 percent with a 6.6 percent average, unchanged compared to the same period last year and below the third quarter’s revised 7-percent expansion.
Full-year estimates, meanwhile, ranged from 6.6-6.8 percent. The 6.6 percent average falls just above the lower end of the government’s 6.5-7.5 percent target for 2017.
A new tax reform package focusing on corporate profits and fiscal incentives has been submitted to the House of Representatives.
Package 2, which the DoF has said would be revenue-neutral, proposes to gradually lower the corporate income tax (CIT) rate to 25 percent from 30 percent while also modernizing incentives to make these “performance-based, targeted, time-bound, and transparent,” Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua said.
The government wants to change election laws to include controversial and widely condemned Supreme Court guidelines that annulled the first round of presidential polls in 2013.
Under the proposed changes the Elections Commission would have to get candidates or their representatives to approve and verify the voter list before an election can take place, which is currently illegal.
Another amendment would ensure that only a voter list approved and verified by candidates or their representatives is used in the Maldives or abroad. Presidential polls are scheduled to take place this year.
The United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN) was launched in 1999 by the Division for Public Administration, which was under the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), and became operational in 2001. The long-term objective of UNPAN is to build the capacity of regional and national institutions in order to access, process, and distribute relevant information for the promotion of better public administration and governance by means of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The EROPA has been designated as one of the Online Regional Centers (ORCs) of the UNPAN in the same year. Since then, the organization has been an active collaborator in the said network.
2017 has created a new landmark for the warm relations between the EROPA and the UNPAN as the former recorded more than 500 contributions for the said year. This is significantly larger than the average annual contribution of EROPA in recent years, which amounted to around 300 from 2012 to 2016. The most featured countries among EROPA's contributions are the following: Philippines (34.6%), the People's Republic of China (8.3%), Japan (7.9%), Indonesia (7.1%), and India (6.7%). Nevertheless, the organization continually makes efforts to diversify source nations as much as possible, considering the wide coverage of EROPA's networks and linkages.
Other countries featured among EROPA's contributions include Afghanistan, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. Meanwhile, some contributions dealt with regional and international news and trends. More popular EROPA contributions in the UNPAN were featured in this website to operate similar to the styles of news aggregators or media aggregators. This helps direct more traffic to both the EROPA and the UNPAN.
EROPA also received excellent coverage from the UNPAN in 2017 as it was featured in all four editions of the UNPAN Newsletter for the entire year. The organization was only featured twice in the said publication in 2012, and once in 2013. With these encouraging developments, it is expected to continue throughout 2018. To provide the organization feedback on its online services, one can answer the survey embedded in the main page. As of 2017, EROPA's online services achieved 90% satisfaction rate.
The Philippines has retained the top spot in environmental sustainability in energy resources for the third straight year, the World Energy Council (WEC) said in a report.
“While not in the Top 10 overall,” the country “is leading the way on the environmental sustainability dimension,” WEC said in its World Energy Trilemma Index 2017, which covered 125 countries.
The index ranked these countries on their ability to provide sustainable energy through three dimensions: energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability.