BBM’s gains from RCEP

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a free trade agreement (FTA) between 15 Asia-Pacific countries and the ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It aims to reduce tariffs, open up investment opportunities, and establish common rules and standards for trade among its member countries. Technically, the agreement is deemed beneficial to the participating countries though doubts are being raised with regards the Philippines because the country is still unprepared. The sitting President, Bongbong Marcos, however, is pushing the same. Is it because of the foreseen benefits the RCEP will bring him and his family?

Credit: Malaysian Ministry of International Trade and Industry

Even during the campaign season, BBM was unsure if the Philippines is prepared for RCEP. The agriculture sector, for instance, lacks the necessary safety nets to protect the farmers and farmworkers. This vulnerability was exposed starting from the sugar industry which problems led to the chacha policy of importation-non-importation, to the lack of supply and tear-jerking price of onions, among others.

With the reduction of import duties, prices will definitely go down. While beneficial to local consumers, the case will be otherwise for the producers. The preserved Filipino coconut milk, for instance, is already priced around PhP 30 to PhP 35 per 200 ml pack while Indonesia offers the same at PhP 16 to PhP 25. With RCEP implementation, consumers will enjoy a lower priced product to the detriment of coconut farmers and processors. Note that coconut farmers are the poorest among the different sectors in the country.

But BBM is certain now that he needs RCEP the most. First, the agreement could fill in the void produced by the still unrealized pledges for his travels. As of February 17 this year, only PhP 239 billion have materialized out of the PhP 14.8 trillion investment pledges that BBM secured. Second, inflation is still high and dumping cheaper products could solve the issue. Temporarily. That is because importation will negatively affect the balance of trade and dollars will definitely leave the Philippines.


But the RCEP could also give BBM pogi points. Exposures could provide him the needed legitimacy and recognition that he is the President of the Philippines. In addition, the recognition could also detach him from the shadow of his father who had espoused nationalism and reiterated the policy of patronizing Filipino products first — at least in paper.

It should also be noted that some members of the Marcos family and the kins of her wife are traders or importers. Ramon Tulfo, a known Marcos supporter, even tagged Martin Araneta, the brother of First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos, of involvement in the smuggling and hoarding of onions. Though RCEP will supposedly curb smuggling, liberalizing trade will definitely favor those who are already in the business.

In a short, BBM has a lot to gain personally from the RCEP. Whatever loses there may be for the Filipinos, the future will take care of itself.

The agreement covers a wide range of sectors, including goods, services, investment, intellectual property, and e-commerce.


One thought on “BBM’s gains from RCEP”

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:

    Ang Bikolandia, saro sa mga rice-sufficient na lugar sa Southern Luzon maski na ngani grabe ang kalamidad na minaagi digdi asin maski na mahal ang mga inputs for production like fertilizers, herbicides, and the like. Dahil yan sa mga uragon tang mga paraoma. With the implementation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), posibleng bumaha nin bagas ang rehiyon dahil sa importasyon. Narumduman nindo su kaso ni Judge Arnulfo Cabredo kan Tabaco kung saen nasa 35,000 sako nin bagas ang ibinaba sa piyer na naging dahilan kan saiyang dismisal bilang huwes? Mas magiging relax na ang mga leyes sa importasyon. While that is beneficial to the consumers, negative naman ang epekto kaan sa mga paraoma.

    Unfortunately, maski dai handa ang sektor kan agricultura sa RCEP, ready na si BBM na iimplementar ini. Aramon ang mga dahilan kun nata.


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