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PIA Press Release
2006/12/10

Japan's assurance on JPEPA should dispel allegations of "planned" toxic waste dumping in RP - Bunye

Quezon City (10 December) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's assurance Saturday that his country would not dump toxic wastes in the Philippines should finally put to rest all allegations and speculations on the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesperson Ignacio R. Bunye said today.

In his weekly column "The View from the Palace" which comes out Monday (Dec. 11), Bunye said Abe's assurance should also move the Senate to immediately ratify the agreement so that the two countries' residents could benefit from it.

"The assurance made by Prime Minister Abe should dispel once and for all the unfounded allegations and speculations about the JPEPA and we expect that this will result to its speedy ratification by the Senate," Bunye said.

The agreement was signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the sidelines of the 6th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM-6) last September in Helsinki, Finland. Under the agreement, duties imposed on almost 95 percent of Philippine exports will be waived while both parties will eliminate tariffs on almost all industrial goods within 10 years from the date the agreement is enforced.

Aside from this, overseas Filipino workers, (OFWs), particularly service providers such as nurses and caregivers, will be granted acceptance in Japan. Bunye said the JPEPA was made possible due to the "deeply-rooted partnership" between the two countries "over the years on the basis of mutual respect and common interest."

He assured that this partnership will remain intact "in this new era of cooperation in economic development, human security and regional integration." "We stand behind the JPEPA as an instrument for Philippine prosperity and stability and as a monument to our mutually beneficial relationship with Japan," Bunye said. The JPEPA was transmitted by Malacanang to the Senate for ratification last Nov. 17. (PIA) [top]

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