NGO backs Senate bid to renegotiate JPEPA

The multisectoral Fair Trade Alliance (FairTrade) fully supports the positions of Senators Pia Cayetano and Miriam Defensor Santiago to renegotiate the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) to purge the imbalances in the agreement.

“The treaty should be renegotiated,” Sen. Pia Cayetano said at the end of the fourth hearing on the JPEPA ratification.

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, chair of the Senate foreign relations committee who chairs the JPEPA hearings, pointed out that JPEPA can be renegotiated rather than be rejected by the Senate.

“FairTrade urges the Senate to withhold concurrence on JPEPA,” Mr. Dave Diwa, FairTrade convenor for labor said in the fourth hearing of the JPEPA ratification.

“There is sufficient time to send this Agreement back to the negotiating table for review. There is no need to rush. There is time to clarify some provisions, modify some clauses or correct some mistakes before the treaty shall enter into force. There is still time enough to renegotiate JPEPA,” Mr. Diwa said.

Furthermore, FairTrade pointed out that although President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo may have already ratified the trade pact the Constitution says that it cannot be implemented without the concurrence of the Senate.

“Let us back off a little and renegotiate JPEPA,” FairTrade said.

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