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Stakeholders hold out hope for RKC ratification

PORT users remain optimistic that the Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) will be ratified by the Senate despite continuing political squabbles in its halls.

Members of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) and the Port Users Confederation have been trooping to the Senate for the last two days to convince senators to ratify the treaty. Yesterday they were joined by Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales.

“There are now 64 contracting parties to the RKC out of the 174 member countries of the World Customs Council,” NCC executive director Virgilio Fulgencio said. “We are hoping that the Philippines will be the 65th country to accede to the treaty before the end of this quarter.”

He added, “Within the Asia-Pacific, we expect that the Philippines will be the 10th country to adopt the treaty aside from (among others) China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the US and Vietnam.”

Last Monday, the group was successful in getting the Senate to table the RKC for deliberation but the issue was not tackled as discussions were confined to the committee report on the C-5 road extension project involving Senator and presidential candidate Manuel Villar.

The C-5 issue has divided the Senate, with a quorum hard to achieve. The RKC needs the concurrence of at least 16 senators before ratification.

As of presstime yesterday (Jan 26), port users were still at the Senate awaiting word on whether the RKC has been placed on the agenda for the day.

Earlier, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chair Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago said the RKC is 99% complete but admitted squabbling at the Senate may hinder its ratification.

The RKC pushes trade facilitation and harmonizes customs procedures which will bring increased transparency and predictability in Customs transactions.



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