Press Release
February 16, 2023

Cayetano supports PH participation in free trade pact with 14 countries

Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday expressed support for the Philippines' participation in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a deal that will allow easier exportation and importation of goods among 15 countries.

In a manifestation after a presentation made by Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri during the Senate plenary session on February 15, 2023, Cayetano called the RCEP a "very good" and "very important" agreement.

The RCEP is a deal among ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member-states together with Japan, South Korea, China, New Zealand, and Australia. It authorizes the loosening of trade restrictions and mandates the signatory countries to lower or remove their taxes on traded goods, services, investments, and e-commerce.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) sees the Philippines earning $2 billion from the agreement by 2030. However, among the ASEAN member states, Myanmar and the Philippines have yet to ratify the agreement.

While he agrees that RCEP would bolster the country's economy, Cayetano urged fellow lawmakers to pass measures that will fund capability-building and safety net programs for those who will be affected by the trade deal.

"Everytime there is something like this, definitely may benefit, pero definitely may naiiwan [na mga sektor]. So y'ung naiiwan, naghahabol later on," he said.

"So let's take advantage na ang Senate President and the Senate Pro-Tempore mismo ang nagpu-push nito (RCEP), nandito ang buong Executive Department, na y'ung sinasabi nating safety net at capacity-building, isabay na rin nating ipasa," he continued.

Cayetano commended Zubiri's "comprehensive and articulate" presentation on the trade agreement on the Senate floor and acknowledged the Cabinet Secretaries "'full-force" attendance in the Senate session.

"We like it when you are in full force here, so you are very much welcome," he said, addressing the Secretaries.

Part of Cayetano's legislative agenda is to pass laws that will generate more jobs for Filipinos and empower small and medium enterprises, especially as the country continues to recover from the economic effects of the pandemic.


Cayetano, pabor sa pagsali ng Pilipinas sa free trade pact kasama 14 na bansa

Suportado ni Senador Alan Peter Cayetano ang ipinapanukalang pag-ratify o pagpirma ng Pilipinas sa Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) na magpapaluwag sa palitan ng mga produkto at serbisyo ng 15 bansa.

Sa manifestation niya pagkatapos ng isinagawang report ni Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri sa plenary session noong February 15, 2023, tinawag ni Cayetano na "very good" at "very important" ang kasunduan.

Ang RCEP ay isang kasunduan sa pagitan ng mga bansang miyembro ng ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) kasama ang Japan, South Korea, China, New Zealand, at Australia.

Sa ilalim nito, luluwagan ng mga bansang kasali ang kani-kanilang patakaran sa kalakalan at bababaan o aalisin ang buwis na ipinapataw sa mga produkto, serbisyo, investment, at e-commerce mula sa labas.

Ayon sa Asian Development Bank (ADB), aabot sa $2 bilyon ang pwedeng kitain ng Pilipinas sa pamamagitan ng nasabing kasunduan pagsapit ng 2030. Sa kabila nito, ang Pilipinas pati na ang Myanmar ay hindi pa nara-ratipikahan ang kasunduan.

Bagama't naniniwala si Cayetano na makatutulong ang RCEP sa ekonomiya ng Pilipinas, hinimok niya ang mga kapwa mambabatas na samantalahin na ang pagkakataon na ipasa at pondohan ang mga capacity-building programs pati na mga safety net o mga programang magbibigay ng proteksyon at sasalo sa pangangailangan ng mga sektor na maaapektuhan ng kasunduan.

"Everytime there is something like this, definitely may benefit, pero definitely may naiiwan [na sektor]. So y'ung naiiwan, naghahabol later on," pahayag niya.

"So let's take advantage na ang Senate President and the Senate Pro-Tempore mismo ang nagpu-push nito (RCEP), nandito ang buong Executive Department, na y'ung sinasabi nating safety net at capacity-building, isabay na rin nating ipasa," dagdag niya.

Pinuri rin ni Cayetano ang "comprehensive" at "articulate" na report ni Zubiri tungkol sa RCEP, pati na ang "full-force" na pagdalo ng mga myembro ng gabinete ng administrasyong Marcos sa ginanap na Senate session.

"We like it when you are in full force here, so you are very much welcome," pahayag ni Cayetano sa mga kalihim.

Bahagi ng legislative agenda ni Cayetano ang pagpasa ng mga batas na magbibigay ng mas maraming oportunidad para sa mga Pilipino at magpapalakas sa mga small at medium enterprise lalo ngayong bumabangon na ang bansa mula sa epekto ng pandemya.

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