Wednesday, 25 November 2015 Brussels Belgium
PH participation in ASEM FMM12
Monday, 09 November 2015 13:25    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail



09 November 2015 – Department of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Evan P. Garcia headed the Philippine delegation to the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Foreign Ministers' Meeting (FMM12) in Luxembourg from November 05 to 06.

Formed in 1996, ASEM is an informal and intergovernmental dialogue process of Asia and Europe, which is made up today of 21 Asian countries, 30 European countries, and two international organizations (the European Union and the ASEAN Secretariat). It is Summit-driven, with inputs from the Foreign Ministers and Senior Officials meetings.

During the meeting, Undersecretary Garcia updated Ministers on recent developments in the South China Sea, including the results of the Arbitral Tribunal’s decision on jurisdiction and admissibility with regard to the case filed by the Philippines against China. He also reiterated that Asia and Europe share the same concerns on freedom of navigation and overflight; unimpeded commerce; environmental protection; and peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with international law, including arbitration and UNCLOS. Several European and Asian countries also issued statements on this issue, particularly at the retreat session.

The European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini reiterated that the EU is“committed to maritime order based upon the principles of international law, in particular, UNCLOS, and we oppose any attempt to assert territorial or maritime claims through the use of intimidation, coercion, force or any unilateral action which would cause further friction.” The EU also “took note of the recent decision by the UNCLOS tribunal that it has jurisdiction in the case of the Philippines against China.”

ASEM has been conducting its activities through informal groups of 16 tangible areas of cooperation. The Philippines supported calls to create a new tangible area in tourism, in view of its economic contributions and socio-cultural benefits.

Foreign Ministers and Deputy Foreign Ministers also discussed a wide range of global and regional political issues, along with climate change and sustainable development.

This Foreign Ministers Meeting was held in preparation for the ASEM Summit that will be hosted by Mongolia in July 2016. - END


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PH Statement on decision of the PCA
Monday, 02 November 2015 09:32    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail



We welcome the Arbitral Tribunal's decision that it has jurisdiction over our case. We look forward to the Tribunal's further hearing on the merits of the case.


Click here for PCA Press Release


IMF: Outlook for PH remains favorable
Monday, 14 September 2015 09:56    Bookmark and Share PDF Print E-mail


14 September 2015 - “The outlook for the Philippine economy remains favorable despite uneven and generally weaker global growth prospects,” the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated in a press release after the conclusion of the 2015 Article IV Consultation between the Philippines and the IMF on August 26.

The IMF’s Title IV Staff Report noted the Philippines’ continued strong economic growth, which is in line with the economy’s potential growth of 6.5%.

The IMF’s Executive Directors, agreeing with the appraisal of the IMF staff report, commended “the Philippine authorities’ prudent macroeconomic management,” which has helped contribute to strong economic growth and for having “set the stage for favorable growth prospects despite external headwinds.”

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. expressed appreciation for the effort of the IMF staff and the assessment of the Executive Board.

“Our economic performance can be credited to the good governance model of President Benigno S. Aquino III under the Daang Matuwid or the ‘Straight Path,’ as well as the sound macroeconomic management implemented by Philippine economic managers,” the Ambassador said.

The following are the notable findings in the Staff Report:

• IMF recognized that internal revenue increased as a share of GDP due to improvements in the Philippines’ tax administration.

• The Philippines’ economic growth is expected to pick up slightly in 2015 to 6.2% as lower commodity prices lift household consumption and improved budget execution raises public spending. The IMF added that over the medium term, the country’s economic growth is projected at 6.5%, which is in line with the Philippines’ potential growth. Public and private investments are projected to lead economic growth, with public infrastructure spending and expansion of PPP projects crowding in private investments.

• IMF added that despite a favorable outlook, factors such as global financial volatility, weak budget execution, and weather-related conditions tilt risks toward the downside. However, the IMF noted that Philippine authorities are well equipped to respond as needed with suitable policies should any of these risk scenarios materialize, particularly given the strong fundamentals, ample policy space, and strong foreign reserve position.

“As our country continues to reach new heights in political and economic affairs, the Philippine government remains committed to enhancing inclusive growth,” Ambassador Cuisia emphasized. He specifically cited the government’s continued commitment to roll out reforms to improve revenue collection efficiency.

Also highlighted in the Staff Report is the Philippine Government’s augmentation of growth-inclusive budgetary expenditures. These programs include the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s conditional cash transfer program, the expansion of the Philippines’ education program from Kindergarten to the Grade 12 level, and expansion of the health insurance program to cover the poor and informal sectors.

Under Article IV of the IMF's Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds annual bilateral discussions with member governments to assess each country’s economic health and determine any potential financial concerns. The Philippines’ Country Report and Article IV Consultation Press Release can be accessed at END

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