Cabinet Of The Philippines, 2010

Dear Delegates,

Hello and welcome to Harvard National Model United Nations 2017! My name is Will Strang, and I will be serving as the director for the Cabinet of the Philippines, 2010, a committee which I am sure will be exciting and thought-provoking.

I am currently a sophomore at Harvard planning on studying history with a potential secondary in economics. Although I am originally from New Jersey, I have grown up around the world including Moscow, Jakarta, Manila, and currently Malta (although I went to boarding school in the Boston area for high school). I started doing MUN during my freshman year of college, and I have previously served as an assistant director at HMUN and HNMUN and am a member of Harvard’s competitive intercollegiate MUN team. In my free time, I love playing pickup basketball and watching (and re-watching) The Office.

The Philippines is truly a unique and fascinating nation, nestled in a strategic position in Southeast Asia and filled with vestiges of its American colonial experience; it certainly has a special place in my own personal experience as my home for three years. Delegates in this committee will be challenged to deliberate over the host of domestic and international issues facing the nation after the election of the new administration, and I look forward to seeing how creative you can be in resolving a variety of complex and intriguing crises that will be coming your way. I hope that the committee highlights the growing importance of the Philippines, and Southeast Asian region as a whole, as we move through the 21st century.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. I look forward to seeing you in February!

Will Strang
Director, Cabinet of the Philippines, 2010
Harvard National Model United Nations 2017

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to the Cabinet of the Philippine Government! My name is Nathan Williams, and I am a junior at Harvard College, Army ROTC cadet, part-time revolutionary, and your crisis director for this committee. If you’re interested in discussing late Cold War or post-Cold War insurgencies, I’d be more than happy to talk to you. I hail from Tujunga, California, one of the many forgotten parts of Los Angeles County. My interests include military history, plotting nefarious crisis arcs, and crying when things don’t develop the way I want them to on Game of Thrones. Regarding sports, there’s only one that matters: soccer.

On a more serious note, I look forward to watching you work, plan, and debate in committee as well as learn from your arguments. Every conference brings new delegates with ideas ranging from the groundbreaking to the downright crazy, and I’m more than confident our committee will see more than its share of excitement, passion, conflict, and despair. If you have any questions regarding research or life in general, don't hesitate to contact Will or myself! I look forward to seeing the plans you enact in February!

Nathan Williams
Crisis Director, Cabinet of the Philippines, 2010
Harvard National Model United Nations 2017

Committee Description:

The Philippines in 2010 was at a major crossroads, having just elected the energetic and relatively untarnished Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino to the presidency. His newly appointed cabinet will have to deal with a wide variety of complex issues both at home and abroad, which will have dramatic implications for both the economic, social, and political stability of the Philippines and its standing in the international community.

Domestically, a longstanding conflict with Muslim separatists on the island of Mindanao has begun to escalate, and demands resolution militarily or diplomatically. Once the militant threat is resolved, however, the question still remains of how Mindanao can best be governed to protect its Muslim minority and its unique economic opportunities. Additionally, longstanding socioeconomic stratification has been threatened by popular protest against endemic corruption and political cronyism. While the economy has been quick to recover from the global recession, many have predicted a slowdown in the coming months.

Internationally, the new administration had to deal with increased assertiveness from its neighbors in the South China Sea, with the specter of Chinese aggression looming large. The discovery of potential offshore oil reserves has only raised the stakes in this international game of chicken. Many have called for overt American assistance, including the possibility of reopening Marcos-era military bases closed in the 1990s, but in doing so the Philippines would be forced to confront its thorny colonial past.

In confronting these issues, the Philippine Cabinet must delicately balance the power-hungry interests of the elite with calls for transparency and democratic input from the masses. As the leaders of the executive branch, members of the Cabinet will have to solve these problems and others that will unpredictably arise in charting the Philippines’ course into a turbulent future.