Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez again countered the statement that the country’s participation in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will weaken the agriculture sector. According to Lopez, the RCEP can help Philippine agro-based exports to maximize their potential as they will become more competitive in other markets through the lowering of tariffs.
Contrary to the claims that Philippine agro-based exports are weak, the DTI Secretary said there are agricultural products in which the country is one of the top exporters in the world. These include banana, pineapple, coconut-based products, among others.
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data show that in March 2022, total exports of agro-based products rose 32.6 percent to USD571.12 million from USD430.82 million in March 2021.