PCIJ Audit: Candidates for Senator on SM

2 worlds, 2 realities? They rank high
in surveys, but not on social media

IT’S ALREADY a given how Filipinos are such big users of social media, especially Facebook. Last February, PCIJ conducted a social-media audit of what some senatorial candidates in the May 13, 2019 midterm polls were doing online during the pre-campaign period and found that they regarded these as a ‘promotional touchpoint”.This hasn’t changed much, based […]

Pol ads of Roxas, 6 Hugpong bets
near breach of spending caps in law

Front-runners, cliff-hangers, or tail-enders, candidates for senator who come from political clans with deep pockets or rich backers have dominated the air war for votes. The top seven spenders have chalked up adspend valued at PhP2.28 billion, by the published rate cards of media. This is 60 percent of the total PhP3.77-billion adspend bill that […]

Inside a Chinese gambling entity:
What happens, who works, how?

In the bustling offshore gambling industry in the Philippines today, a conservative estimate of 100,000 people work. About 90 percent of them are mainland Chinese. In this interview, a Chinese customer service worker talks about how and why they came to the Philippines; their living and working conditions; incidents of misbehavior; and how the shops […]

Where is China money going? Gambling,
real estate, tours, big cities big winners

The biggest recipient of Chinese foreign direct investments in the Philippines these days is the online or offshore gambling industry. Since Duterte assumed the presidency, real-estate companies, tours, hotels, and entertainment, as well as services across Metro Manila, Cebu, and the major cities have drawn the bulk of Chinese FDIs, after wholesale and retail. THE […]

The ABC’s of Chinese State-Backed
Finance, Foreign Direct Investments

WHEN PROVIDING Official Development Assistance or ODA, Western donors typically require the recipient states to adhere to international political norms, such as the ratification of human rights, fiscal austerity, bank secrecy laws, and environmental standards. For the World Bank or Asian Development Bank, these include the implementation of market-based mechanisms, macroeconomic reforms, and removal of […]

China Money: How the Numbers Differ

RICHARD JAVAD Heydarian, a resident commentator of GMA Network, has repeatedly pointed out that China has fooled the Philippines into giving up the South China Sea in exchange for unrealized capital. In numerous articles published across popular venues, Heydarian draws his conclusions based upon the Philippine Statistical Authority’s (PSA) data, which only shows aggregated committed […]

INDONESIA: More of the Same Isn’t Good

THE YEAR 2019 marks the second decade of Indonesian media’s reform era. Although strongman Soeharto stepped down as president of Indonesia in 1998, it was only in 1999 that reforms began in the country’s media industry, with the passage of the landmark Press Law (Law No. 40 of 1999) on 23 September that year.Twenty years […]

INDONESIA: Political Reporting Can Do With Female Touch

THE ROUGH and tumble world of politics is supposed to be the territory of male journalists in Indonesia, but many of their female counterparts say they are not only being assigned to cover it, they are also able to do it well.Yet while women journalists say that they have opportunities to cover politics, cultural norms […]

TIMOR-LESTE: Still Feeling Pressed

TIMOR LESTE’S ranking in the latest press-freedom index of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) leaped by 11 places from the previous year, but those on the ground do not feel any improvement in the country’s media conditions.Indeed, in January 2019 alone, there were already at least three cases of press intimidation and interference reported by the […]

LAOS: Screws on Online Discourse Get Even Tighter

THE ABSENCE of independent media and shrinking civic space have effectively deprived the citizens of Laos of timely and qualitative information, including those that are critical in keeping them safe from harm. Not surprisingly, more and more Laotians have turned to social media to seek and share news and information that are censored in the […]

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