philippine foreign policy

Sen. Bam to gov’t: Be transparent on foreign policy direction

A senator called on the government to be transparent and clear on its independent foreign policy direction, especially in dealings with other countries in terms of aids and loans, and its position regarding the militarization of Philippine territories.

 “Kailangang maging malinaw ang pamahalaan sa taumbayan ukol sa direksiyon nito sa foreign policy.  Filipinos deserve to know dahil sila ang direktang maaapektuhan, lalo na sa trabaho, negosyo at presyo ng bilihin,” said Sen. Bam Aquino.

“Sa takbo ng mga pangyayari, mukhang Palasyo lang ang nakakaalam ng mga detalye sa direkisyon na nais nilang tahakin. Kailangan nila itong isapubliko para sa kaalaman ng taumbayan,” the senator added.

 The lawmaker issued the pronouncement after the government announced that it will no longer accept development aid from the European Union (EU). The move will result in the loss of around 250 million Euros or P13.9 billion worth of grants mostly allocated to Muslim communities.

“The administration’s refusal to receive aid seems like a contradictory move to its proposal to raise taxes. If we are refusing aid because we are self-sufficient, why are we then planning to burden our countrymen with more taxes that might raise prices of goods even higher,” he added.

In addition, a report surfaced recently that China has installed rockets on the disputed Kagitingan or Fiery Cross Reef, which is being disputed by China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

 “Dapat nating malaman ang opisyal na posisyon at mga gagawing hakbang ng pamahalaan upang mapigil ang mga ganitong pagkilos sa mga isla na itinuturing nating bahagi ng ating bansa,” Sen. Bam stressed.

Last year, Sen. Bam has filed Senate Resolution No. 158, urging the government to clarify the country’s stand on different foreign policy issues.

It was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations, then headed by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, but no hearing is held until now. Cayetano will assume the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) portfolio in the coming days after he was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments (CA) last Wednesday.

Sen. Bam supports building economic ties with China

Senator Bam Aquino welcomed President Duterte’s decision to engage in economic ties with China, saying the government “must choose only what’s best for our country”, especially in providing jobs and livelihood to Filipinos.

“Kung ano ang pinakamainam at pinakamaganda sa ating bansa, iyon po ang i-explore natin. That is why I’m supportive of the moves to get more investments from China,” Sen. Bam said during a radio interview.

 “I don’t think na ibig sabihin ng pagkuha ng investments sa China ay may aawayin tayo na ibang bansa o ibang rehiyon gaya ng European Union,” the senator stressed.

“Hindi naman ho ibig sabihin na kung kaibigan natin ang China, kaaway natin ang Amerika. Kahit naman po ang Amerika at China ay may trade deals at pakikitungo sa isa’t-isa,” added Sen. Bam.

While Duterte’s push for an independent foreign policy is constitutional, Sen. Bam believes that it should not lead to burning bridges with current allies, led by the United States and EU.

 “We cannot cut ties with them dahil maraming Pilipino ang nakatira at nagtatrabaho doon at marami rin silang mga investment dito,” said Sen. Bam.

Earlier, Sen. Bam filed Senate Resolution No. 158, urging the government to clarify the country’s stand on different foreign policy issue.

 Sen. Bam made the move due to contradicting statements given by President Duterte and other government officials on different foreign policy issues.

Sen. Bam has been working to provide jobs, livelihood and education to more Filipinos as chairman of the Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship in the 16th Congress and head of the Committee on Education in the 17th Congress.

Scroll to top