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IT-BPM sector asks Senate for immediate ratification of RCEP

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In photo: The bustling Alabang Central Business District is one of the homes of many BPOs in the National Capital Region (Photo from THEPHILBIZNEWS/MAS)

The Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) called on the Senate to ratify the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement in a statement released Thursday, 27 January 2022. IBPAP represents over 332 strong member companies and six partner associations engaged in the country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) industry and related sectors. 

According to Jack Madrid, president of IBPAP, “We believe that RCEP will increase external trade and spur more investments that create more livelihood and other business opportunities in the country.” 

He added that the stable regulatory environment provided by RCEP would improve the Philippines’ attractiveness to investors and accelerate the economy’s recovery, stressing that the country had the potential to be a manufacturing and services hub under the agreement. 

RCEP also promises seamless production networks among the members who will be tied to common standards, disciplines on intellectual property, rules of origin, customs process, e-commerce and competition policy. With stable and predictable rules, the Philippines could aspire to become a regional manufacturing and services hub, thereby creating much-needed domestic jobs. This framework will benefit the IT & Business Process Management Industry by making the country a more attractive investment destination and help expedite the economic recovery from the pandemic by creating more job opportunities,” he explained. 

The RCEP Agreement is an economic treaty brokered by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), of which the Philippines is a member, and its dialogue partners – Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea. It is estimated to be the largest trade bloc in the world, representing 30% of the global GDP. 

The RCEP Agreement was signed by the ministers of 10 ASEAN Member States and 5 dialogue partners last 15 November 2020. The Agreement took effect last 1 January 2022 for 10 Signatory States, for South Korea on 1 February 2022, and will be implemented by Malaysia on 18 March 2022. 

The Agreement was ratified by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte last September 2, 2021, with the measure being deliberated in the Senate for concurrence. 

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