Palace: Ledac committed to push for RCEP ratification
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Monday said that the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (Ledac) has committed to pushing for the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) mega free trade deal.
The Ledac held a meeting on Monday, presided over by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, where they discussed the priority bills of the government, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said.
In the meeting, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, who joined President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in his five-day official visit to Tokyo, and Senator Loren Legarda expressed commitment to defend the ratification of RCEP on the Senate floor jointly.
According to Zubiri, RCEP was the “talk of the town” during the Philippine delegation’s meetings with government and business leaders in Japan.
Marcos said RCEP would be good for the country because of the increased trade it will bring to different member economies.
“I don’t see the logic in that. Actually it will be the contrary because… right now kung wala tayo sa RCEP, hindi natin ma-access ang kanilang mga markets. Iyong mga – lalo na ‘yung mga supply chain na available na ibinigay ngayon sa Asean,” Marcos said in an interview with the media on his way back to Manila on Sunday, February 12
“All our markets that are mentioned in RCEP are already open. Walang mabubuksan na bago. Para sa akin [it] is to the advantage of the Philippines dahil’ yung mga suplay nga, the supply chains, the different non-traditional suppliers of agricultural inputs, of agricultural commodities, pwede nating ma-access’ yun. Without RCEP, we cannot do that,” he added.
RCEP is a free trade agreement (FTA) between the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and its five FTA partners: Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea.
The Philippines is the only country among its Southeast Asian neighbors that have not ratified the RCEP.
The Philippine Senate has been deliberating on RCEP, with hearings currently at the sub-committee level.
The Ledac serves as a consultative and advisory body to the President, the chair of the National Economic and Development Authority Board, on specific programs and policies essential to the realization of the goals of the national economy.