February 8, 2023

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PHL Senate fails to ratify RCEP

2 min read

By Alyssa Nicole O. Tan, Reporter

THE PHILIPPINE Senate deferred the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), after some senators voiced concern over the lack of safeguards for the agriculture sector.

Senators on Wednesday adjourned its last session without taking a vote on the RCEP, touted as the world’s biggest trade agreement since it represents 30% of the global gross domestic product (GDP).

RCEP, which entered into force on Jan. 1, is a trade agreement involving Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Aside from the Philippines, only two other countries have not yet ratified the RCEP — Indonesia and Myanmar.

It will now be up to the 19th Congress to tackle the RCEP when the session opens in late July. 

Earlier on Wednesday, the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), the Makati Business Club (MBC), and the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) once again appealed to the Senate to ratify the Philippines’ membership in the RCEP. 

“Exclusion from RCEP would be immensely costly to our economy and our people. We can anticipate a significant decline in our exports to RCEP countries, which now account for nearly two-thirds (64%) of our total exports, as trade with us will logically be diverted to fellow members,” the business groups said.

Without RCEP membership, the business groups said the Philippines would become “even more unattractive to job-creating investments than we already are.”

“Our membership could attract more foreign investments into the country from firms wishing to produce and sell to the large RCEP market,” they added.    

President-elect Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. earlier said he wants a review of the RCEP to determine whether the agriculture sector is adequately protected.

Some senators had raised concerns over the RCEP, citing the lack of safeguards for the agriculture sector.


2022-06-01 12:33:36

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