Congress of the Philippines

On RCEP trade agreement

Senate President Juan Miguel “Migz” F. Zubiri briefs reporters on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement Tuesday, February 7, 2023. The Senate held a public hearing on RCEP Tuesday morning. RCEP is a free trade agreement among the Asia-Pacific Nations of Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Zubiri said the Senate, through the Committee on Foreign Relations, will set up guidelines instructing the Department of Agriculture (DA) and other relevant agencies to “vigorously support” the agriculture sector. He said DA will also instruct the Bureau of Customs to pay more attention and follow the full force of the law when it comes to smuggling. “We will not be able to export our products to the other members of the RCEP if we will not join in. We must keep an open mind. If 14 out of 15 countries had signed up for RCEP, there must be something right in their policies and there must be something wrong with us for holding out,” Zubiri said. (Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB)