A+ A-

Regional Strategic & Political Studies

Philippine Studies Project


The Philippine Studies Project is a three-year initiative under the Regional Political and Studies Programme (RSPS) to enhance ISEAS research on the Philippines. Running from June 2019 to June 2022, the Project receives funding support from the Philippine Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Singapore.

The Philippine Studies Project aims to support the research capabilities and coverage of Philippine studies at ISEAS through publications and events. It also offers opportunities for both established and young scholars and experts from the Philippines to share their views and perspectives on multifaceted developments in the country.

From October 2021 to June 2022, the overall theme of the Philippine Studies Project is Electoral Politics and Foreign Policy in the Philippines. As the coming 2022 general elections will bring the Duterte administration (2016–2022) to a close, the Project will review and assess the outgoing president’s performance and impact on domestic politics, economics, and external relations. The Project will also track developments related to the elections to understand the aspects of continuity and change in Philippine politics. Another area of focus would be possible trajectories of the Philippines’ foreign policy under the new administration, especially towards the United States, China, ASEAN and other powers in the region.

The current Manager of the Philippine Studies Project is Dr Aries Arugay. Dr Malcolm Cook managed the project until June 2021.


Title Speaker(s) Date 
Seminar on Moving Muslim Mindanao Forward Amihilda “Ämie” Sangcopan 13 February 2020 
Webinar on Building Back Better: Philippines’ Pandemic Recovery Ronald U. Mendoza 30 June 2020 
Webinar on Philippines and the Climate Crisis Loren Legarda 12 July 2021 


Title Author(s) Date  
ASEAN Centrality: An Autoethnographic Account by a Philippine Diplomat Elizabeth Buensuceso 2021 


Title Author(s) Date 
The Philippines’ Alliance Problems with the USA  Malcolm Cook 13 June 2019 
The Duterte Administration’s China Tensions Malcolm Cook 13 August 2019 
China-Philippine Relations: Duterte’s China Visit and Prospects for Oil and Gas Exploration Lye Liang Fook 3 October 2019 
Philippine Regional Inclusive Innovation Centers: Solving Community Problems and Bridging Development Gaps Rafaelita M. Aldaba 10 October 2019 
The Death of EDCA and Philippine-U.S. Security Relations Renato Cruz De Castro 11 May 2020 
Economics of Lockdown: Insights on Building Back Better in Post-Pandemic Philippines Ronald U. Mendoza 9 July 2020 
The Bilateral Consultative Mechanism on the South China Sea and Philippines-China Relations Rommel C. Banlaoi 22 April 2021 
“Political Connectivity”: A New Dimension of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the Philippines Aaron Jed Rabena 26 April 2021 
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s Southeast Asia Tour: Assurances and Dividends William Choong, Hoang Thi Ha, Le Hong Hiep, Ian Storey 5 August 2021 
The Philippines and the South China Sea Arbitration Award: External Appeasement and Internal Dissension Jay L. Batongbacal 24 September 2021 

Fulcrum Commentaries 

Title Author(s) Date 
Philippine Sovereign Limits Malcolm Cook 8 July 2019 
The Post-Sovereign Philippines Malcolm Cook 12 July 2019 
A Mindanao Test for China-Philippine Relations Malcolm Cook 18 July 2019 
Duterte’s Trip to Russia Results in Modest Gains Ian Storey 10 October 2019 
Philippine Critical Infrastructure and China Malcolm Cook 2 December 2019 
President Duterte’s China Benefits Malcolm Cook 12 December 2019 
Manila’s VFA Termination: A Win for China and Russia Ian Storey 17 February 2020 
Duterte’s ‘Independent’ Foreign Policy: Independence from Criticism Malcolm Cook 10 March 2020 
Covid-19: A Particular Philippine Problem Malcolm Cook 27 March 2020 
Covid-19 in the Philippines: Star Mayors, Malacanang Material? Malcolm Cook 27 April 2020 
Visiting Forces Agreement: Uncle Sam Still Welcome for Another Year Ian Storey 4 June 2020 
Covid-19 in the Philippines: Corporate Bigwigs to the Rescue Malcolm Cook 8 June 2020 
The Philippine Pandemic and the Plague on Pedagogy Malcolm Cook 22 July 2020 
Philippine Remittances and Covid-19: Stayin’ Alive Malcolm Cook 28 August 2020 
Duterte the (Economic) Liberal Malcolm Cook 1 December 2020 
A Duterte-Democrat President Redux? Malcolm Cook 17 December 2020 
The Philippine-US Alliance: Keeping Things on an Even Keel Renato Cruz De Castro 1 February 2021 
The US-Philippines Visiting Forces Agreement: The Duterte Punchbag That Will Probably Survive the Blows Ian Storey 19 February 2021 
Bangsamoro Elections: Choosing Between Two Bad Options Malcolm Cook 12 March 2021 
The Philippines’ Vexed Vaccine Rollout Malcolm Cook 30 March 2021 
Philippine-US Cooperation on Whitsun Reef: A “Win” for the Biden Team in Southeast Asia? Robert Sutter 21 May 2021 
Following the Money: Changes to Philippine Remittance Inflows Malcolm Cook 3 June 2021 
After 70 Years, It’s Time to Modernise the US-Philippines Alliance Ian Storey 23 September 2021 


Title Author(s) Date 
The Philippine standoff over China Malcolm Cook 28 August 2019 
US-Philippines alliance faces major stress test Ian Storey 14 February 2020 
A reprieve for the US–Philippines military alliance Malcolm Cook 16 June 2020 
As His Presidency Winds Down, Can the Philippines’ Duterte Defy History Again? Malcolm Cook 6 July 2020 
Duterte the defier Malcolm Cook 21 May 2021