Philippines: Senate yet to ratify RCEP due to concerns for agri sector — Zubiri

GMA news online

The Senate is yet to ratify the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) due to some concerns on its effect on the agriculture sector, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said Tuesday.

In an interview with reporters, Zubiri said RCEP is among the topics that he discussed with President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Speaker Martin Romualdez in a meeting over the weekend.

"Ang sabi ko naman kay Presidente, 'yung sa RCEP, I want to put in on the floor pero may concerns pa kasi si (Senator) Imee Marcos," he said.

(I told the President that I want to put it on the floor but Senator Imee Marcos has some concerns on RCEP.)

Last week, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) released a statement indicating that President Marcos is pushing for the ratification of the free trade agreement.

Senator Marcos, the President's older sister, chairs the Senate foreign relations committee which is in charge of deliberating all agreements and treaties that need to be ratified.

According to Zubiri, Senator Marcos wants to conduct another hearing due to her concerns for the agriculture sector.

"We are pushing her to bring it out as soon as we can," said the Senate president.

The RCEP is a free trade agreement first floated in August 2012, covering members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its partners Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand.

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