The appointment of Ambassador Wilfrido Villacorta as our country's permanent representative at ASEAN is one of the best decisions President Noynoy did in his 4-month old administration. I've worked under Villacorta when I served as a Research Specialist of the CIRSS or Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies, the think tank of the Department of Foreign Affairs a few decades back. It was under Villacorta that the CIRSS had its heyday.
Villacorta is a career diplomat, and is regarded as one of the best minds in the Philippine diplomatic community. His appointment at ASEAN means that this administration gives high regard to the ASEAN as a regional organization. It will be critical for the Philippines to once again dominate ASEAN, as what it did for the last few years.
It is quite disturbing however, when President Aquino told in a press conference over at Hanoi, that the Philippines needs Vietnam's help in food production.
When I was a kid, I remember that Vietnamese officials and scholars went to the Institute for Rice Research at UP Los Banos seeking Philippine technology in rice production. Vietnam, back then, was frantically looking for solutions to their humongous food security problem. The country was suffering from post-war effects and was trying to put itself back to its feet.
Now, a few decades later, the tables have turned and it is now the Philippines who wants Vietnam's rice and strategies on how to become self-sufficient in food production.
Maybe we need a civil war or a very serious revolution to jolt us from complacency and maybe, just maybe, kick-start our country once again. Many believe that for change to occur in this country, we must turn down the engine and overhaul it and put in a new one?