News Release

The Philippines Defends its Fisheries and Agricultural Interests at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference

Geneva, Switzerland (16 June 2022) – The Philippine delegation continued to defend the interests of our domestic fisherfolk and farmers at the World Trade Organization’s 12th Ministerial Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland.  

Speaking at the thematic session on Fisheries Subsidies, Trade and Industry Undersecretary Ceferino S. Rodolfo commended the efforts of Director General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Membership to deliver on the WTO’s mandate to address harmful fishery subsidies, to demonstrate the institution’s ability to contribute solutions to declining fish stocks, climate change and human-induced environmental degradation.  

Undersecretary Rodolfo also reiterated the Philippines’ support for the Special and Differential Treatment (SDT) applied to developing countries with respect to the 12 nautical miles measure from baselines, meaning that while fisheries subsidies disciplines apply to our subsistence fisherfolk, we would not be subject to dispute settlement procedures.  

On the Draft Ministerial Decision on Agriculture, DA Undersecretary Fermin D. Adriano noted that the decision was far from the ambitious work program many Members aspired for towards MC13.  

The Philippines reiterated that the agriculture work program should also ensure the promise of agricultural reform that delivers balanced and concrete results that would not reverse the gains already enshrined in previous Ministerial Decisions and Declarations, including Special and Differential Treatment for developing and least-developed countries.  

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