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Revitalize alliances to face competition

The WASHINGTON DC-based Center for New American Security (CNAS) recently released a report on the current state of US-Philippine relations amid heightened strategic competition in the Indo-Pacific region. The think tank has formed a task force to assess the security alliance between the Philippines and America.

“China’s growing military and economic might, along with its increasingly aggressive behavior toward Taiwan and its territorial claims in the South China Sea, underscore the rules-based order in the region,” it said. the CNAS report. He cites our deep historical and cultural ties, including the important Fil-Am community, as well as the strategic position of our archipelago in the “first chain of islands” as factors that make the 75-year alliance between our two countries of crucial importance.

CNAS advised policymakers to seek to reinvigorate this essential alliance amid Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s rise to power “after a six-year period marked by turbulence and volatility.” Among his recommendations is conducting multilateral security dialogues with countries like Japan and Australia, in line with US President Joe Biden’s goals of achieving greater integrated deterrence by bringing the Philippines into dialogue with key allies.

Another suggestion is to establish US consulates general in Cebu and Davao, where China and Japan maintain such diplomatic offices. This is in line with the White House’s Indo-Pacific strategy and would facilitate not only closer people-to-people ties, but also more effective strategic communication.

How would Mr. Marcos react if trilateral dialogues were instituted among America’s allies to come to a common position on the issue of the Western Philippine Sea? To some extent, this will depend on who the new national defense and foreign secretaries will be. Abagan!

LOST IN TRANSITION
Just 20 days from the resignation of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s administration, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has not given the go-ahead for the installation of mobile betting systems in its popular lotto games. As a result, the “MobiLotto” project of a Filipino-Chinese joint venture is now in limbo.

This consortium of SmartInfo Philippines and China LotSynergy Enterprises was unable to obtain an injunction from the Mandaluyong City Regional Trial Court (RTC) that would have compelled the public charity to implement the Integrated Sales Agency Agreement (ISAA) that enables mobile betting for PCSO’s lotto games. According to agency career officials, the ISAA was signed by the outgoing president without prior board approval, while the legal department warned agency officials against implementation of the contract due to technical and legal issues.

The RTC has also not issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the PCSO. The judge handling the case reportedly took a leave of absence and the executive judge reassigned him to a newly appointed judge. Apparently, it is a tradition in the justice system not to issue TROs during the transition between outgoing and incoming administrations.

As political appointees, the members of the PCSO board coincide with Mr. Duterte and their terms will also expire on June 30. resolved.

Business decision-makers are currently maintaining a wait-and-see attitude about the political quality of the next administration. The nominees for many positions in the Cabinet and major implementing agencies have yet to be announced. They will play a crucial role in running the government over the next six years and therefore the business community is eagerly waiting to find out who they are.

J. Albert Gamboa is Chief Financial Officer of the Asian Center for Legal Excellence and Chairman of the Media Affairs Committee of FINEX. The opinion expressed herein does not necessarily reflect the views of these institutions and BusinessWorld. #FinexPhils www.finex.org.ph