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.
September 25, 2023
Nearly 80 years since they were abducted and raped by Japanese soldiers, a small group of elderly Filipino women hope their government will finally acknowledge their wartime ordeal by creating a compensation fund.
For the few remaining survivors, all aged in their late 80s or 90s, the reparations demand issued by a U.N. committee earlier this year is realistically their last hope following a series of disappointments in their long quest for justice.
September 05, 2023
Adjusting their swimming goggles and wrapping their fingers in cloth to protect them from the jagged coral below, a group of women plunge into choppy waters off southern India to gather seaweed - their routine since childhood.
The work is hard, the days long and the earnings slim - selling the seaweed to industrial plants earns the average picker about 2,000 rupees ($24) per month.
August 07, 2023
In the three years since a private company took charge of the water supply in his home city in the Philippines, Rommel Pido says the flow from his taps has turned a murky brown and his bill has more than doubled.
Nowadays, residents "make do with this iced tea water from the taps", Pido told Context by phone from his home in Bacolod, a city of 600,000 people in the Western Visayas region.
August 03, 2023
Indian entrepreneur Suumit Shah took to Twitter last month to describe his experience with generative artificial intelligence: "We had to layoff 90% of our support team because of this AI chatbot. Tough? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely."
With the chatbot, queries to his e-commerce site dukaan.com took just over three minutes to resolve from more than two hours earlier, and customer support costs fell by about 85%, said Shah, the chief executive.
July 27, 2023
Eight years ago, the Philippine government built an ultra-modern Green Technology Centre in the city of Taguig to spearhead a national drive for jobs to help combat climate change and protect the environment.
These days, however, the two-storey building of 1,000-square metres (10,800 sq ft) stands almost empty - and with only nine staff - after an innovative green jobs law stalled.
July 12, 2023
When hackers targeted independent Filipino news outlet Bulatlat.com, flooding its website with a torrent of rogue traffic, staff had to rely on digital forensics experts in Sweden to track down the perpetrators.
"Building the case means you must come up with evidence. But digital forensics is something we simply don't have any resources for," said Frank Lloyd Tiongson of the National Union of People's Lawyers, which represented Bulatlat over the 2018 attack.
Whether targeting ordinary people, journalists or activists, online threats from doxxing to domain blocking and digital surveillance are rising in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations, highlighting a lack of resources and expertise to fight them, experts say.
June 29, 2023
For over 30 years, families have championed seaweed on the island of Palawan in the Philippines.
They have been growing seaweed cuttings on ropes in the ocean and harvesting them to make chips, noodles, and carrageenan, a valuable additive. In addition to its commercial benefits, it could also be key in fighting climate change.
June 21, 2023
Despite the ravages of storms, seaweed farming is transforming the lives of Filipino families in traditionally male-dominated fishing communities, turning women into family breadwinners who are paying for their children to go to college.
The Cherish Fisherfolk Cooperative of 120 seaweed farmers in the Palawan village of Balintang is named after the 1984 hit "Cherish" by U.S. band Kool & the Gang.
June 12, 2023
Inside an unmarked building in a Manila business district, a war is being waged 24/7 against dark and mostly hidden crimes - the online sexual abuse and exploitation of children.
Here, a system developed by cybersecurity experts at PLDT - the Philippines' biggest telecommunications company - is blocking millions of attempts by subscribers to access child sexual abuse material every day.
May 12, 2023
Ronald Ignacio became a nurse at the height of the Philippines' nursing boom in 2008, when there were not enough jobs in the health system for the many thousands of newly qualified nurses.
At first, he struggled to find a job, so instead worked on a farm for two years. Ignacio eventually landed a job as a nurse in a private hospital in the capital, Manila, in 2010.