PH push for restraint on subsidies to fisheries

Published January 9, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin


The Philippine government said it will keep on pushing for restraint on fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing globally.

A statement showed that the Philippines maintains its position on the pending World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement to push for the prohibition of certain forms of fisheries subsidies.

This is according to Philippine Ambassador to the World Trade Organization (WTO) Manuel Antonio Teehankee, who paid a courtesy visit to Agriculture Secretary William Dar on Wednesday.

The negotiation rules on fisheries subsidies will be discussed during the 12th Ministerial Conference on June 8 to 11, 2020 in Kazakhstan wherein the Department of Agriculture (DA) will be part of negotiating committees to deliver a multilateral agreement on the issue.

According to Teehankee, the Philippines will support WTO rules or disciplines governing fisheries subsidies consistent with the United Nations Leaders’ Mandate in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 14.6.

This refers to the prohibition on certain forms of fisheries subsidies that contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, and eliminating subsidies that contribute to Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing and refraining from introducing new such subsidies, by 2020.

Other topics discussed during Teehankee’s visit at DA included the intensification of agriculture promotion strategy to push Philippine agricultural exports.

“We will enhance our cooperation with DTI [Department of Trade and Industry] in terms of agriculture trade. We need to be a country that follows a one-system approach,” said Dar.

Teehankee then assured Dar that as WTO Philippine Representative, he will continue to shepherd the interests of the country and adopt the “Team Philippines approach” when it comes to its various engagements in world trade.

He also informed the Agri chief that as one of the supporters of the WTO, the Philippines has been fully compliant with its tariff duties, particularly on rice.

Dar mentioned that as part of the management arrangement, DA will continue to be strict in imposing food safety measures in its issuance of sanitary and phytosanitary import clearance.

“We tighten the guidelines and protocol to manage the lesser arrival of imports during the main harvest,” said Dar.