House back RCEP ratification
HOUSE leaders have joined calls for the immediate ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), citing its benefits to the Philippine economy.
“By immediately ratifying the RCEP Agreement, the Philippines can sooner benefit and take the advantages of this mega-trade deal that could attract more foreign investors, create more job opportunities, and curb the unemployment and poverty rates in the country,” Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said in a statement on Monday.
Mr. Romualdez is one of the principal authors of House Resolution No. 728, which supports the Senate’s ratification of RCEP.
Senate President Juan Miguel F. Zubiri previously said the upper chamber is expected to ratify the agreement this quarter.
The RCEP is a free trade agreement that aims to foster economic trade and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Its participants are the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member-states, China, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea.
The Foundation for Economic Freedom said in a statement on Monday that participating in the RCEP can increase the Philippines’ overall welfare by $541.2 million, ensure a 1.93% real gross development product growth, and decrease poverty incidence by 3.62% in 2030.
Agriculture stakeholders, however, said Filipino farmers are at risk as they would not be able to compete because of insufficient resources. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz