Permutations are about variations on combinations in the field of statistics. Politics is about combinations as well. Possible pairings are Duterte-Marcos, Duterte-Go and Duterte-Villar, going by the power blocs which support the administration.
Cronyism is again in the headlines after the President publicly lambasted the water distribution concessionaires, Manila Water and Maynilad Water, for the onerous provisions of the concession agreement they signed with the government, when water distribution was privatized during the Ramos administration. The water distributor's stock took a beating at the Philippine Stock Exchange amid the insinuated sentiment that the President was laying the groundwork for one of his major supporters to take over the distribution concession.
The noble intention of education for the underprivileged becomes the basis for a mutually-beneficial relationship between the city government and the college, which eventually is upgraded to a university. For the politicians, the university becomes a repository of political appointees and a tool for distributing largesse to their constituencies.
The political noise was up several decibels in the past two weeks as the President floated the idea of appointing the opposition's most ardent critic to the head the Inter-Agency Committee on Illegal Drugs. As The titular head of the opposition, Vice-President Leni Robredo has been at the forefront calling for an end to the killings of drug suspects.
Water rationing has been announced again in Metro Manila. The root of the problems being faced by Metro Manila's residents today can be traced back to the 1976 Metro Manila Development Plan being junked for no valid reason other than that it was the brainchild of Marcos' technocrats.
Route rationalization and the formulation of a point-to-point intermodal transport system is the key to maximizing road use for the greater benefit of commuters over private motorists. If there is a modern and convenient transport system in place, there would be no reason for private motorists not to consider this option as opposed to their using their motor vehicles on a daily basis.
Energy security is essential for economic growth specially in the Philippine setting due to its dependence on imported oil. The economy is largely consumption-driven which makes it extremely vulnerable to price shocks because of the possibility of high inflation that slows down consumption and the economy consequently.
Traffic congestion is only one of the serious problems dogging Metro Manila. There are also the illegal settlers, waste management, water supply, land use, heritage conservation and the lack of a long-term development plan where road and transport infrastructure is built in anticipation of increased demand and not when the existing cannot meet the demand.
Resilience is manifested in light of the natural disasters which struck the country in the last ten years. The images of the devastation Tacloban suffered remain etched in the memories of those who lived through it and those who watched it displayed on their television screens after reporters were finally able to reach the city after the super typhoon passed.
Grab has opened up its app services to taxi drivers who can sign up upon verification of their identity and residential address for the safety of passengers. It has also introduced a new feature called Ride Share during peak commuting hours to maximize the income of its partners.
The country is again at a crucial juncture in its history. It cannot afford to waste this opportunity at moving forward by finally being rid of the Marcos-Aquino narrative which has divided it since 1986. The time has come for a Philippines narrative that prioritizes the national interest over those of the few who rule over politics and the economy.
The Philippines still needs to address the core issues affecting the economy; poor agricultural productivity, the absence of an export manufacturing base and the low level of foreign direct investment. The issues related to these are the continuing corruption in the bureaucracy, the high cost of power and labor, labor militancy and the protectionist provisions in the economy which benefit the oligarchs.