Should Philippines be renamed? Dubai Filipinos share views

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Majority of them feel there are more important issues

Much to the amusement of many Filipino expats in the city, a former Member of Parliament proposed to change the name of the country this week.

Ironically, on the country’s Independence Day on June 12, Gary Alejano floated the idea of renaming the Philippines in order to become “truly independent”. The country was named almost five centuries back by the Spanish colonisers in honour of King Philip II.

Alejano mooted creation of “geographical renaming commission” to “study the possibility and feasibility of changing the name” of the Philippines.

The proposal triggered debate on the internet and people on social media were quick to dismiss it as a needless move. Most of the expats in the city we spoke to seemed to veer the conversation towards the most pressing crisis the country is facing – Daesh militants’ siege in parts of Philippines.

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We spoke to expats in Dubai to know what they think about the renaming proposal.

Susan Manalaysay Francisco, international financial advisor

I was really upset hearing about it this week. I think there is a big problem in Marawi, Philippines with residents trapped as militants have sieged the city. And if the MP doesn’t want any Spanish connection with the Philippines, he has to begin with changing his own name as Alejano has Spanish roots.

It is so unnecessary to rename the country and I wonder what’s the use of it, at all? What we need is to change the system. We should look up to for a better Philippines with less corruption, drug addiction, safety, better economy and job opportunities so that expats can go back.

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Mia Paula, secretary

In the past, lawmaker Alejano had filed an impeachment case against President Duterte and failed. Looking at the current situation that Philippines is facing, I don’t think renaming our country is really necessary. There are so many issues that need to be looked into rather than the renaming. It is better he looks into issues that really need attention and I am sure that most Filipinos will agree with me.

Margo Ciruelos, sales professional

I think it’s funny how they thought about changing the name of our country amid critical issues that the Filipino people are facing. Besides, Philippines won’t be Philippines without its history. We can never undo what happened in the past by merely changing its name. We have been independent for so many years. In fact, we have been enjoying more independence and democracy compared to other countries.

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Like what most Filipinos think, there are more important matters that we all need to deal with. The government should concentrate more on finding a solution to increase the literacy and employment rate of its people. Poverty has been a longstanding problem for most of us. I strongly believe that addressing the literacy and employment rate would somehow address the prevailing problem of poverty in our beloved country. Another issue that the government needs to address is the peace and order in some parts of Mindanao. Lastly, one major problem is the heavy traffic in the capital. Businesses and even the citizens are losing significant amount of money and time because of congestion on the road.

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