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Laws in the Philippines can be passed swiftly. Only recently a new anti- terrorism act came into place when Duterte signed the ATA in July and in


doing so has redefined the definition of a ‘terrorist’ or ‘terrorism’ whilst also


allowing the government to determine who is considered a terrorist.


death penalty, which in turn has led the US and EU governments to warn about imposition of trade restrictions on the Philippines which may impact the economy.


EU lawmakers said in September they are recommending revoking the Philippines Generalised Scheme of Preferences Plus (GSP+) status (which provides tariff perks for Filipino goods) if the death penalty is reinstated.


Te Philippines


Te more corrupt the republic, the more numerous the laws


The Philippine’s tourism slogan last year was “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”. With 7,000 plus islands offering everything from beaches to mountains, it’s an appealing


proposition, but you don’t need to scratch too deeply beneath the


surface to have the fun taken right out of things.


Te GSP+ status provides duty free entry for more than 6,200 products from the Philippines such as textiles, footwear, vehicle parts, fruits and metals. Te trade incentive is issued to countries that have ratified 27 core international conventions on human and labour rights, environmental issues and good governance.


Te Philippines was warned about the removal of GSP+ in 2017 if their human rights issues had not improved. Te EU is the Philippines fourth largest trading partner after China, Japan and the US. Te EU accounted for about nine per cent of the Philippines’ total trade in 2018 and exports to the EU increased by 27 per cent a year after the Philippines qualified for GSP+. Revoking the GSP+ amid the Covid crisis would only exacerbate the economic situation in the country.


Te death penalty is on ongoing debate in the Philippines. It was abolished in 1987, reinstated in 1993 and then abolished again in 2006 under President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.


Te death penalty push is part of Duterte’s war against drug criminals and will punish all drug crimes including possession and sales.


Laws in the Philippines can be passed swiftly. Only recently a new anti-terrorism act came into place when Duterte signed the ATA in July and in doing so has redefined the definition of a ‘terrorist’ or ‘terrorism’ whilst also allowing the government to determine who is considered a terrorist. It was fast tracked into parliament and many say will basically kill free press, free expression and freedom of speech in one swoop and leave all the power with high ranking politicians.


It is highly controversial and critics say it enables the government to simply target anyone who campaigns or speaks out against Duterte’s policies. Te act for instance defines terrorism to also include vandalism. People can be arrested without a warrant and the government is no


NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA P59


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