Senate concurs with PHL-EU agreement

Font Size

Senate of the Philippines building -- BW FILE PHOTO

THE SENATE in a statement on Monday said it has adopted a resolution expressing its concurrence with the ratification of a framework agreement “on partnership and cooperation” between the Philippines and the European Union (EU).

Proposed Senate Resolution No. 570, introduced by Senator Loren B. Legarda, said the Senate had concurred with the ratification of the “Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the European Union and its Member States of the one part, and the Philippines, of the other part” signed on July 11, 2012 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

According to the resolution, the agreement commits the Philippines and the EU into pursuing dialogue and cooperation on “political matters, justice and security affairs, trade and investment, migration, and other economic development and sectoral issues.”

“The agreement intends to promote sustainable development, particularly environmental sustainability, reduction of the impact of climate change and mitigation of disaster risk, capacity building and technical cooperation initiatives; and exchange of experts in areas of science, technology, statistics, food and drug, and health, among others,” the resolution said.

The agreement would be valid for five years, the resolution said, and would “automatically be extended for successive periods of one year” unless either party notifies the other that it would no longer extend the agreement.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte has been critical of the EU’s stand on his drug war, to the point of expressly rejecting EU assistance to the Philippines.

On the other hand, the resolution noted Mr. Duterte’s ratifying the agreement on Feb. 28 last year, as well as the endorsement of 17 government agencies, including the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the Department of Finance, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the Department of Finance.

Under Article VII, Section 21 of the 1987 Constitution, no treaty or international agreement shall be valid and effective “unless concurred in by at least two-thirds of all the members of the Senate.”

The Senate had also adopted two separate resolutions expressing its concurrence with agreements on social security signed with Germany and Sweden.

The two agreements were signed last year by Mr. Duterte and endorsed by six agencies, led by the DFA.