import-dependent export-oriented production
Ph negotiators told to review position on China-led RCEP
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Monday urged the Filipino negotiators in the 18th meeting of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to review the guidelines and context of the inter-regional free trade and economic pact before ratifying into agreements.
The 18th RCEP meeting, which is being hosted by the Philippines started on May 2 and will end on May 12. The country’s main negotiator on the meeting is the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
RCEP is China-led mega-regional free trade agreement that covers half of the world’s population, 38% of the world economy and nearly 30% of the world’s trade volume. China aims to reach the agreement by the end of 2017 or early 2018. It is Beijing’s counter free trade agreement to U.S.-led Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement which U.S. President Donald Trump has recently pulled out.
For its part, the fisherfolk group expresses doubt on why the RCEP is being negotiated in secret like the TPP and other past free trade agreements. The group said it is the prerogative of the public to be involved in a pre-consultation before entering into any agreement especially if it involves the country’s economic affairs. Past free trade agreements that were also secretly negotiated surprised the people that their sovereign and economic rights were already compromised and sold to powerful nations that lead the trade pact.
‘Aquaculture Superpower’ hit, Senator Pangilinan lacks knowledge in fisheries –
Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Friday chided Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan for his inaccurate statement on fisheries during his opening statement at the Public Hearing on the establishment of a Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR) at the Senate yesterday.
Sen. Pangilinan, who chairs the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, said our country is capable of being an “Aquaculture Superpower” due to our ‘diverse’ fishing waters. He cited top fish exporting countries like France who earned 600 million Euros annually from their oyster and mollusk industry.
For its part, the fisherfolk group opposed the idea of converting our communal fishing waters into enclosed, private aquaculture oriented for export instead of promoting an open-fishing grounds based on domestic consumption.
“It seems Senator Pangilinan is not in touch with the reality. He is incognizant of the fact that our fishing industry is backward because of the import-dependent and export oriented production. The country’s long-time reliance on export and import kills our local fish production and small producers. We export fresh marine products served in a silver platter overseas while importing low-class, putrescent fish in return. Sino’ng lugi?” Fernando Hicap, Pamalakaya Chairperson and a former Anakpawis Partylist solon said in a statement.