Press Release
November 13, 2023

Cayetano: WPS strategy must be tied to economic development

For Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, the country's strategy on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) must be tied to economic development, saying this is the edge of China and even smaller countries like Vietnam.

"Ang akin lang advice sa Pilipinas, any strategy in the West Philippine Sea has to have a strategy of economic development," the senator told reporters in a recent media interview.

"Kung hindi, parati na lang tayo y'ung mahirap na kapitbahay, parati tayong nasa gilid," he added.

Cayetano said China was able to mature its policies and its military because of its economic development, which had pushed it to become a global superpower over the last decades.

He likened the Philippines to small communities at the edges of more prosperous areas like Ayala-Alabang, Ayala Avenue, and Bonifacio Global City. This, he said, makes it difficult for the country to make its voice heard and assert its position when it comes to the West Philippine Sea.

"We have to find a sustainable strategy and framework in dealing with the West Philippine Sea with all of our neighbors. In the same manner na nakahanap tayo ng paraan to deal with Malaysia and Vietnam, we have to find a way to deal with China," he said.

"Having said that, it's easier said than done kasi depende din doon sa aksyon n'ung kabila... Kasi malaking bagay nito ay y'ung diplomacy at geopolitics," he added.

Tension at the WPS heightened on Friday, November 10, when dozens of Chinese coast guard and other ships chased encircled Philippine vessels in the Ayungin Shoal and even blasted a water cannon toward a motorboat that was delivering food and other supplies to the BRP Sierra Madre.

Cayetano said things could "get worse" when it comes to the West Philippine Sea because of the tense relationship between China and the United States.

"Lumalalim ang geopolitics around the world. Y'ung (actions) ng America, apektado tayo kasi kapitbahay natin ang China... Sa China, you have to understand it's also (their) national security ang tinitingnan nila dyan sa West Philippine Sea," he said.

He said the Philippines can take the example of Vietnam, particularly on how it has been developing its economy over the past years.

"If you look at Vietnam, that's what they are doing. And where are they starting? Babalik tayo sa education," he said.

"Vietnam is coming up with one of the best education systems in the world. So we have to act on the (education) crisis (in our country)," Cayetano, who has been batting for the improvement of the country's education system, said.


Cayetano: Dapat itali sa economic development ang diskarte sa WPS

Para kay Senador Alan Peter Cayetano, dapat nakatali sa economic development ang diskarte ng bansa sa West Philippine Sea.

Ito rin aniya ang ginagawa ng China at maging ng mga mas maliliit na bansa tulad ng Vietnam.

"Ang akin lang advice sa Pilipinas, any strategy in the West Philippine Sea has to have a strategy of economic development," sabi ng senador sa isang panayam sa media.

"Kung hindi, parati na lang tayo y'ung mahirap na kapitbahay, parati tayong nasa gilid," dagdag niya.

Ayon kay Cayetano, napalago ng China ang mga patakaran at militar nito gamit ang economic development, na nagtulak dito para maging isang global superpower.

Inihalintulad naman niya ang Pilipinas sa mga maliliit na pamayanan sa gilid ng mga mas mayayamang lugar tulad ng Ayala-Alabang, Ayala Avenue, at Bonifacio Global City. Dahil dito aniya, mahirap iparing ang ating tinig at igiit ang ating posisyon pagdating sa West Philippine Sea.

"We have to find a sustainable strategy and framework in dealing with the West Philippine Sea with all of our neighbors. In the same manner na nakahanap tayo ng paraan to deal with Malaysia and Vietnam, we have to find a way to deal with China," sabi niya.

"Having said that, it's easier said than done kasi depende din doon sa aksyon n'ung kabila... Kasi malaking bagay nito ay y'ung diplomacy at geopolitics," dagdag niya.

Tumindi ang tensyon sa WPS noong Biyernes, Nobyembre 10, nang habulin ng dose-dosenang Chinese coast guard at iba pang barko ang mga sasakyang pandagat ng Pilipinas sa Ayungin Shoal. Nagpasabog pa ang mga ito ng water cannon patungo sa isang bangkang de-motor na naghahatid ng pagkain at iba pang supply sa BRP Sierra Madre.

Sinabi ni Cayetano na maaring lumala pa ang sitwasyon sa West Philippine Sea dahil sa tensyon sa pagitan ng China at United States.

"Lumalalim ang geopolitics around the world. Y'ung (actions) ng America, apektado tayo kasi kapitbahay natin ang China... Sa China, you have to understand it's also (their) national security ang tinitingnan nila dyan sa West Philippine Sea," aniya.

Ayon kay Cayetano, dapat tingnan ng Pilipinas ang halimbawa ng Vietnam, na nagawang palaguin ang ekonomiya nito sa loob ng ilang taon.

"If you look at Vietnam, that's what they are doing. And where are they starting? Babalik tayo sa education," wika niya.

"Vietnam is coming up with one of the best education systems in the world. So we have to act on the (education) crisis (in our country)," wika ni Cayetano, na matagal nang ipinaglalaban ang pagpapabuti ng sistema ng edukasyon ng bansa.

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