Visit by  Mr. Yoshihide Matsuura (middle)and Mr.Hiroto Sawada (2nd from the left).  

On 17 February 2020, researchers from the National Institute of Defense Studies (Japan) and Pathways to Progress exchanged views regarding the direction and broader regional implications of the current course of Philippine foreign and security policy. The guests from NIDS were Mr. Yoshihide Matsuura, Head of the Asia and Africa Division under the Regional Studies Department, and Mr. Hiroto Sawada, Research Fellow of the Security Studies Department. Also present were Dr. Aileen Baviera and research fellows Dr. Jed Rabena and Dr. Jay Batongbacal.

Last January 28, 2019, Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress Foundation, Inc. hosted a roundtable discussion on the Philippines' bilateral and multilateral sources of Official Development Assistance (ODA) at the Institute for Small-Scale Industries, UP Diliman. The roundtable aimed to discuss issues surrounding ODA financing in the Philippines, including transparency, fiscal sustainability, and aid conditionalities, and how these affect the Duterte administration's Build, Build, Build infrastructure development program. 

The two speakers for the roundtable were Director Neil Cabiles from the Department of Finance and Dr. Alvin Ang from Ateneo de Manila University, with the discussions and open forum moderated by Dr. Aaron Jed Rabena, Convenor of APPFI's Regional Integration and Connectivity Program. 

MANILA, Philippines – National Security Adviser and former military chief Hermogenes Esperon Jr said China has to do more to win the trust of countries in the region.

"China still has to persuade Southeast Asia that it has a vision of regional order that will be beneficial to its neighbors – both the smaller states and other big powers. That China can accommodate norms and rules that underpin the global power," Esperon said in an international workshop that discussed the great power competition between US and China. 

It's the latest statement from the Philippine official – who had been a vocal supporter of the country's warming ties with Beijing – that raises growing concerns about China's actions. In October, Esperon also expressed dissatisfaction with China's response to the country's diplomatic protests with regards to alleged incursions of Chinese military in the country's territorial waters.

Last November 25, Asia Pacific Pathways to Progress, with the support of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Regional Programme, organized an International Workshop on Southeast Asian Regional Cooperation Amidst Great Power Competition. The workshop discussed how the regional security and economic environment of Southeast Asia is changing as a consequence of these developments, and the options and scenarios for regional cooperation facing the governments and peoples of ASEAN. The event also marked Pathways’ chairmanship this year of the ASEAN-Institutes of Strategic and International Studies (ASEAN-ISIS) network.