Photo Release

May 31, 2022

Are we ready for RCEP?: This was the question propounded by Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III as the Senate continues deliberation on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) Tuesday, May 31, 2022. Sotto said he is really trying his best to digest the propositions of the sponsor of the measure, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and the negotiators from the Department of Trade and Industry because of the “very bad experience” entering into the World Trade Organization (WTO), which turned out to offer no safeguards nor protection for Filipinos. “When we entered the WTO, it was the Olympics of trade. And we were not ready for the Olympics. We were ready for the barangay liga (village games),” Sotto said. Pimentel in response, said he believes Filipinos will be ready to respond to the challenges and the situation, stressing that concessions were made in only 33 tariff lines for agricultural products. (Albert Calvelo/ Senate PRIB)