This article attempts to shed light on the way international politics, domestic institutions and domestic interests interact and influence the outcome of Philippine trade policy in general and the JPEPA case in particular.
JPEPA is one in a series of trade agreements that Japan initiated with Southeast Asian countries from 2001 onwards.
In 2015, a total of 293 workers75 nurses and 218 caregiverswere deployed to Japan under the JPEPA program.
Other than nurses and caregivers, the JPEPAs program on labor migration include other professionals with specialized skills, such as lawyers, accountants, taxation consultants, and engineers.
Santiago added, ''Another issue was that the JPEPA
failed to include reservations that Japan has already conceded to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
He said the language training of Filipino nurses and caregivers deployed under JPEPA
is provided by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and its partner Japanese organization.
Santiago voiced hope ''Japan will accept the conditions, without resubmitting the JPEPA
to the Japanese Diet.
Quoting the experts, Santiago voiced concern the JPEPA
as it now stands might violate the ''nationality provisions'' of the Philippine Constitution wherein certain areas of business, trade and industry are reserved for Filipino citizens or only for corporations controlled by Filipinos.
Among the JPEPA
framework, the sub-Committee on Improvement of Business Environment is of significant importance because it provides a forum for dialogue between public and private sectors of both countries to discuss specific issues in order to ensure transparent, predictable and consistent business environment.
is said to be the first comprehensive bilateral trade agreement entered into by the Philippines with Japan.
, which was signed in Helsinki, Finland, on September, 2006, is aimed at increasing trade and investment opportunities in the two countries.
Japan also called the Philippine government's attention to the issue of congestion and other concerns through the JPEPA
subcommittee on the improvement of the country's business environment, which gathered officials from both sides in March and September last year.