ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Gov’t urged to prepare for 2015 ASEAN integration
Calls to ensure government’s preparedness for the open and investment regime in the Southeast Asian bloc in 2015 have snowballed at the House of Representatives.
Akbayan party-list Representatives Walden Bello and Ibarra Gutierrez III filed House Resolution 375 calling for the adoption of measures to ensure the country’s readiness for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community (EAC) in 2015.
Under HR 375, the lawmakers asked the House Committee on Agriculture and Food to look into the readiness of the country’s agricultural sector and enhance its productivity and competitiveness to be part of the EAC.
“The absence of such plan can be expected to exacerbate the country’s negative trade balances with ASEAN, and to lead further to the displacement of small-scale agricultural producers in the country,” Bello said.
He shared the fears earlier expressed by Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone that the country’s unpreparedness would mean loss of jobs and shutdown of small and medium enterprises.
“The influx of imported agricultural products dampens farm gate prices crowds out domestically produced agricultural commodities from the local market and undermines the livelihood and survival of small men and women agricultural producers in the country,” Bello said.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. has assured that the House of Representatives is flexing its muscles to ensure the countries’ preparedness for the 2015 ASEAN integration.
He said they would invite economic analysts and members of the academe to brief the 289 House members about the Southeast Asian bloc’s integration which calls for the free flow of goods and services in the region.by Charissa Luci
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