Photo Release

May 31, 2022

Concerns about RCEP: Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson airs his concern Tuesday, May 31, 2022, over the proposed concurrence by the Senate on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). At the resumption of the chamber's plenary deliberations on the treaty, Lacson raised that the Philippines might be put in a disadvantage competing with larger economies should the trade agreement be ratified. "The Philippines is an ant among elephants. And to be more specific, the Philippines is an ant among one elephant, which is China, two baby elephants, Japan and Australia, some galloping horses like South Korea, Singapore, even Malaysia, New Zealand -- so how can we compete?" Lacson pointed out, as he temporarily presided over the plenary session while Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III interpellated Sen. Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, sponsor of the measure. Lacson also feared about the implications of RCEP's implementation to local farmers who, he said, were already battered by the effects of rampant agricultural smuggling. (Bibo Nueva España/Senate PRIB)