Mariejo Ramos profile background image
Mariejo Ramos profile image

Mariejo Ramos

Inclusive Economies Correspondent, Southeast Asia

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Mariejo Ramos is an inclusive economies correspondent based in Manila, Philippines. Before joining Context, she was a reporter at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, covering climate and social justice. She has earned recognition for her work in the Philippines and abroad, including the best investigative report award from the Catholic Mass Media Awards in 2019 and the Journalism for an Equitable Asia Award in 2021. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of the Philippines.

June 12, 2024

Just weeks after thousands of Filipino students were sent home from sweltering classrooms during a brutal heatwave, the country's schools are bracing for a new climate change challenge ahead of the start of the typhoon season in Southeast Asia.

Schools were closed for several days as temperatures soared to over 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in April and May. Now they are due to reopen after the holidays in July, rather than August, as authorities rework the education calendar to adapt to extreme weather.

June 07, 2024

Vulnerable, low-paid Filipinos have been exploited, tricked and abused under a migrant worker scheme launched by South Korea to plug its severe labour shortage, an investigation by Context has found.

Under the scheme - which also recruits workers from Nepal, Vietnam, Mongolia, Laos, Cambodia, Uzbekistan and Thailand - farmers and fishermen relocate to South Korea for five to eight months of work with the promise of big wages to take home.

May 30, 2024

Nurses, engineers, doctors - now cybersecurity experts. As the Philippines counts the cost of brain drain, a surge in malicious cyber activity has highlighted the country's digital security skills gap.

U.S. cybersecurity firm Resecurity reported a 325% jump in hacking and other digital intrusions targeting the Philippines during the first quarter of 2024 amid rising tensions with China, largely over disputed territory in the South China Sea.

May 16, 2024

A court in the Philippines has sided with green campaigners and banned a genetically modified (GMO) rice variety that the government hoped would help fight vitamin A deficiency - the leading cause of childhood blindness in poorer countries.

Three years ago, the rice-dependent nation became the first to approve commercial cultivation of so-called Golden Rice, which unlike conventional rice varieties produces beta-carotene in the grain. The body uses beta-carotene to make vitamin A.

April 24, 2024

Record heat in the Philippines this month has forced schools to send children home for online classes, reviving memories of COVID lockdowns and raising fears that more extreme weather in the years to come could deepen educational inequalities.

Pupils at 7,000 public schools in the Southeast Asian country were sent home last week due to unusually hot weather in many areas that forecasters have linked to the effects of the El Niño weather phenomenon.

April 02, 2024

Along the flood-prone coasts of the Philippines, one of the defining dilemmas of the climate crisis - how to balance environmental needs with economic development - is dominating a debate around the restoration of mangrove forests.

Conservationists want the government to ensure disused aquaculture ponds - used to farm fish and shellfish - revert to their natural state as mangrove forests, allowing them to form a natural barrier against erosion, floods and storm surges.

March 25, 2024

As the Philippines works to ramp up mining to meet global demand for metals crucial to the green energy transition, environmental groups are demanding strict limits to protect nature and Indigenous lands.

The Philippines has the world's fourth-largest copper reserves, fifth-biggest nickel deposits and is also rich in cobalt - all of which have important uses in clean energy technologies, from lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) to solar panels.

February 26, 2024

Saddled with high cancer rates and late diagnoses, the Philippines is trying a whole new tack: asking business to step into state shoes and screen millions of workers for early signs of the disease.

Be it cervical, breast or colon cancer, the Southeast Asian nation wants to lower its cancer deaths by increasing screening.

Medics say early detection is key to improving survival rates, so last year the government changed course and opted to partner with the private sector to boost testing levels. 

February 04, 2024

Lucy Ortega thought her nightmare as an enslaved domestic worker in Syria was finally over when she boarded a government repatriation flight back to the Philippines four years ago. Instead, she faced a new set of problems.

Ortega was trafficked into servitude for eight years in Syria, then stranded for two years with other maids in a shelter in the Philippine Embassy when she sought help - an episode that caused outrage in the Philippines and made global headlines.

December 20, 2023

With Christmas fast approaching, Mindalyn Villanueva is counting the days until she can buy essentials with food stamps she receives as part of a new programme to help some of the Philippines' poorest families.

"I can buy rice, noodles and bread. At least for a few days, we don't have to worry about food," said the 43-year-old mother-of-three who lives in Tondo, one of the poorest areas of the capital, Manila.