As the Senate resumes its sessions today, independent think-tank IBON Foundation again urged senators to reject the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) saying that the P365 billion in investments that the deal will supposedly bring is too high a price to pay for the death of the local manufacturing sector.
As it is, the long-term liberalization of the economy has further weakened the country’s manufacturing base. But the implementation of the JPEPA, and the free trade pacts that will inevitably follow in its wake, would end any chance of improving the local manufacturing sector and will permanently reduce it to being a mere assembler of imported inputs for re-export.
This trend is already evident in recent export figures from the raw materials or assembled parts, have overtaken those sourcing chiefly domestic raw materials., which showed that industries which use imported
IBON research head Sonny Africa said the national treatment” and “most-favored-nation (MFN)” provisions in the free trade pact would prevent the country from imposing policies to help local manufacturers, such as restrictions on imported products and local content requirements.brought by the JPEPA would further worsen the already dire situation of the country’s manufacturing sector. The “
Africa pointed out that the JPEPA is merely a way for Japan to promote the interests of its transnational corporations along with their local elite partners. Japanese companies already dominate many of the sectors in the local export industry, with its three biggest electronic firms accounting for over 53% of total gross revenues in the computer manufacturing sector as of 2006.
Instead of passing exploitative free trade pacts like the JPEPA, Africa said the government should instead implement national industrialization policies, which would lead to the creation of millions of much-needed permanent jobs and the country’s long-term economic development.