LEAVE IT AND SAVE RP SOVEREIGNTY, SENATORS URGED ON JPEPA

As Sen. Miriam Santiago advises opposition senators to “love or leave” the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), research group IBON Foundation urges the Senate to choose the non-ratification of the deal and help reclaim the country’s economic sovereignty.

Even as Santiago warned senators that renegotiating the treaty would mean wasting one year’s worth of Senate time and resources, IBON said that the long-term consequences of lost policy sovereignty are severe and will cement Philippine backwardness.

The group added that the non-ratification of the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) will send the signal that the country is after trade and investment cooperation that is of mutual benefit and will reject deals that are unequal and destructive. It is more advantageous for the country to have less investment at better terms rather than more investment but foregoing the most important benefits.

Rejecting JPEPA also challenges the Japanese government to prove that its official development assistance(ODA) is given to support development as Filipinos see it and not to influence domestic economic policy-making to serve Japanese corporate interests.

Even with the exchange of notes between the Japanese and Philippine governments, the JPEPA signed by the Arroyo administration remains unequal and defeatist. The Philippine Senate can be at the forefront of rejecting this destructive deal and take the first step in upholding economic sovereignty and national development, the think-tank said. (end)

IBON is a convenor of No Deal! Movement Against Unequal Economic Agreements.

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