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Archive for June 19th, 2009|Daily archive page

Econo-Mysticism: Unravelling the Illusions of JPEPA

In Culture, Economics, Philippine Issues, Politics on June 19, 2009 at 10:19 pm

by Leiron Martija

The Japan-Philippines Economic Partership Agreement – signed and ratified as a bilateral treaty back in 2006 between the two countries with the goals of improving foreign relations, establishing jobs and an economic alliance. The treaty itself contains interweaving agreements concerning economic policies, trade fences and governmental limits of power. Amidst heavy protest from Filipinos, the JPEPA was signed, and while the lobbyists and protestors argued politically, their demagogy was met by the Arroyo administration’s economic arguments. Suddenly two disciplines, two schools of thought, not too far from each other, found themselves at odds. The problem with addressing an issue such as JPEPA proves to be rather pedagogical in this matter: a political activist will either view it as another political machination for furthering government’s preponderance, while an economist will view it as a rather plausible way of addressing national fiscal problems, with some stipulations needing correction. Nevertheless, to take a closed side in such an issue proves to be irresponsible and myopic. An issue such as JPEPA – which marries economic and political concepts – requires a perspective that is integrated, not bifurcated. The problem is a misunderstanding of the legislation, and this paper seeks to address that problem by engaging the treaty at both terms, at both perspectives.

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