RCEP to speed up PH recovery from COVID-19 pandemic, says DTI chief
MANILA, Philippines — The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will hasten the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said on Friday.
RCEP is the largest trade pact across the globe as its members include Association of Southeast Asian Nation states, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.
“Surely mapapabilis (it will hasten the recovery) because the way to recover is to stimulate investment in our country, so new businesses can be established and new businesses will create jobs that were lost during the pandemic,” Pascual said in a press conference.
“Also, [it will] strengthen…create a possibility of strengthening our MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises) to act as suppliers to bigger businesses that we established,” he added.
Following the Senate approval of the country’s entry into the RCEP, Pascual said necessary paperwork will have to be done within 30 days. Then, the certificate of ratification will be lodged. After 60 days, the Philippines’ membership in the RCEP will be in effect.
“From then, it’s already open… good news for investors, for our companies … they can take advantage of the provisions of RCEP,” Pascual said.
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri earlier said the RCEP is seen to generate 1.4 million jobs by 2031.
Despite this, at least 100 organizations protested the RCEP’s ratification, claiming it will put the welfare of farmers and fishers, among others, at stake.
The Senate ratified the RCEP on Feb 21.