The Importance of ASEAN integration in the Philippines

The Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) Integration is one of the major pillar and ultimate goal of the ASEAN Community. It is the focal goal of the ‘’ASEAN Community in 2015’’ which the ASEAN Country Regions has convened to form last 2007.

The Philippines as one of the members of the ASEAN countries is an active contributor to the organization since its creation in August 1967 which is expected to expedite their social growth and other aspects of living through a support from the Association.

 According to an expert at the Punongbayan And Araullo CEO Business Forum in Makati City, Philippines is ‘’on track’’ with efforts to integrate its economy with those of its co-member in the Association of South East Asian Nations. Asean Integration as the major pillar of the ASEAN Community will really a big foundation that could help the Philippines to strive more when it comes to trade and finance. Although the Philippines compliance with integration targets through policies and tariff rules decreased to 74% in the 2010 to 2011 review period from 94.55% in 2008 to 2009, the country is still ‘’on track’’ and have chance to play a key role in seamless registration trade, travel and banking, ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General Dr. Lim Hong Hin said.

The ASEAN Integration in 2015 aims that the Region’s 10 member countries including the Philippines be transformed into a single market and production base that is highly competitive, and fully integrated into the global economy.

As Ayala Corporation Chair Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala stated in an interview, Philippines should play an active role in pursuing the integration of Southeast Asan economies. Contrary to fears that the Philippines could lose out in a regime of tighter market competition in the region, Zobel opined that the country actually had comparative advantages that should make integration beneficial to Filipino businesses.

ASEAN Integration would help to lower the cost of living. “Goods produced domestically may not be the cheapest option for the value you want,” Ronald Mendoza, Dean of the Ateneo School of Government, told Rappler on Tuesday, April 25. “If we open up our borders to trade, this is a possibility for us to lower some of the costs that we are faced with, and in a way, what we’re doing here is increasing the purchasing power of the population.” The ASEAN Economic Community aims to minimize or negate levies incurred between countries, which will let the prices of goods to go down. This will now end to a Filipino citizen into a salary which he will really feel its value because he can be able to afford the low cost of services and foods.

ASEAN Integration would also help to boost investment to develop industries in the country and to increase the foreign investment by removing restrictions and adopting international best practices. Another goal of ASEAN Integration is to facilitate the free flow of skilled labor. This would allow the national from ASEAN countries to seek and apply for work abroad. It’s aiming to facilitate the visas and employment passes for professional and skilled workers which will really compensate them and would increase their productivity in work.

The chance to go abroad to work is not only limited for workers but also for students who want to study. ASEAN universities are augmenting their cooperation which will allow increased movement for students in the region. Why is this important?

“Our young people are able to experience going to ancient sites in Myanmar and Cambodia, and going to school in places like Singapore and Indonesia, making friends not just with Filipinos but those of many other nationalities with many other religions, that will hopefully make the next generation a lot more open minded and stronger than this one,” said by Ronald Mendoza.

“They will be much more capable than ours will ever be because of the limitations of what we grew up with. So this I think is what we’re building here,” he said. “When you open up to something like this, and you have a vision of what that can do especially to your young people, it's going to make them a lot stronger. That’s really what we aspire for.”

One thing more, through the ASEAN Integration, member countries support each other in preventing the rampant piracy, terrorism, and drug trafficking which is actually happening at the moment.
 ASEAN integration makes it quicker to achieve these goals by working together, rather than individually. Finally, with their strong determination helping one another and full of cooperation, Philippines, and other South East Asian nation will soon turn to a more and better nation.

source: rappler

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