The Sovereignty of the Philippines refers to the status of the Philippine Nation as an independent sovereign state. It is the transition relating in particular emphasis on the passing of sovereignty from Spain to the United States in the Treaty of Paris (1898), signed on December 10, 1898 to end the Spanish-American War. (Wikipedia)

It means that the supreme and final legal power of the state from the Spanish colonization have been turned over to the United States. It is their mandate to have sovereign over the state as the war ended. Since then, Philippines have been struggling to become independent sovereign state. It has been a long history; yet, the relationship between these two nations is one that exercises strategic, economic and cultural domination, despite the legal independence of the other.

Philippines gained its formal independence from United States in 1946. Some arguments in relation with the U.S. continue to wield its influence on all aspects of Philippine economic, cultural, and especially political life. Thus, it remained to overshadow selfish interests than the interests of the Philippine people.

The reality is that even if we’ve gained our independence, there are still these fragments left in the scene. The Philippines continue its function to serve its people as it do so for the interests of former colonizer for they still have a say in everything as it goes. However, today it reflects its colonial past that is largely controlled by an oligarch (capitalist bureaucracy) that serve its foreign and domestic masters while practicing graft and corruption leaving off increase in deprivation and disparity among them and the poor citizens that clearly needs the development.

There are several aspects of the neocolonial relationship between the United States and the Philippines. In Economic neocolonialism, these colonial powers attribute international financial institutions and multinational corporations in order to exploit the economic resources of their ex-colonies. It include instances such as that of the United States been encouraging the development of Philippine mining and agricultural exports, but discouraged development of the Philippines’ domestic industrial base. An example could be the 1946 Bell Trade Act: it implements “free trade” act, its results conveyed that the Philippines government was not allowed to erect tariffs against imported American goods, which discouraged the growth of domestically-owned industry.

In terms of foreign investments, it does bring money into the economy, but then the profits are sent out of the country. The global financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, The World Bank and the World Trade Organization are agencies that work closely together to “manage” countries like the Philippines.

There are these situations: (a) The World Bank benefits directly from loans by charging interest; the Philippine oligarchy benefit by using these loans to make even more money; and Filipino people, through taxation system hits the poor Filipino people just to pay back. (b) International banking sector have only a small number of branches in the Philippines, yet they gain large profits thru providing loans for the government and its institutions.

Military Neocolonialism:  The Philippines has been a compliant military neo-colony, there has always been the presence of United States when it comes to our military force since independence. It comprises the Permanent Military Bases, Permanent Stationing of U.S. troops, Training of Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Participation in U.S. Military Interventions, and Grants and Sales of US Military Equipment.

Politics Neocolonialism: Nearly every Philippine President since 1946 has been elected with the support of the U.S. Government. The Philippine Government have always been adopting policies and programs of the United States government and to the elites (oligarchs), whereas not with the interest of the common good or majority of the Filipino people. The United States exerts political influence to the Philippines through (1) Favoring of Philippine politicians who are supportive of American policies. (2) Influencing elections. (3) Providing and withholding of economic & military aid to gain desired results.

Cultural Neocolonialism: Cultural colonialism can be defined as the desire of colonizers to control the values and perceptions of their colonial subjects through cultural means such as media, language, education and religion. The goal is to achieve acceptance, by the colonized, of the culture or doctrines of the colonizer as intrinsically superior. Clearly, some fits in this category as much as I try to hope there is still an end to all of this. Our people continue its struggle in blindly allegiance to being a neo-colony of the U.S. Even during the Spanish colonial era, there has been this “colonial mentality” among Filipinos. It is of favoritism for Spanish peninsular and creoles with their whiter skin, alongside discrimination against mestizos and pure Filipinos who had darker skin. “Racial forgery” arose as a social practice whereby Filipinos falsely claimed Spanish ancestry. On the contrary, with the span of American colony and especially since independence in 1946, similar attitudes have persisted amongst many Filipinos. These have been encouraged by American-influenced modern media, which in many cases perpetuate the beliefs of cultural inferiority for purposes of selling products.

Today, majority of countries are strongly taken into the American culture. In which the Philippines, seems very inclined for its cultural development and is instantly replicated either directly or with a local twist.

Who are the Winners and Losers in Philippine Neocolonialism? Who are the beneficiaries and who are the victims of this system? These are just some of the questions in relation with the idea of Philippines as a Neo-colony of the U.S. The ones with the upper hand on these are the foreign investors, U.S. Government, Philippine bureaucrats, and the elites. Thus, the losers are the middle-class and poor Filipinos.

Nowadays, the Philippines have always been trapped in the neocolonial mentality keeping it tied to the United States. There is always the mention or influence of the U.S. government in any issues that the Philippines got into such as in the recent dispute among the Scarborough shoal and more. We’ve always been played and controlled like a game or more of a chess piece to their interests. The Philippines has been unable to follow many of its East Asian neighbors in achieving significant economic development and a more equitable distribution of wealth. As we’ve blindly following them have not helped us prosper, Filipinos must find a way to create a new society ablaze with discovering the solutions to their entrenched predicament. Hence, the U.S. and the international agencies can lend a hand by ending their meddling affairs.