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Opening Statement: Committee on Foreign Relations

August 2, 2017

Opening Statement of Senator Loren Legarda
Committee on Foreign Relations
2 August 2017 | Committee Rooms 2 & 3

Good afternoon. My sincere appreciation for your presence and participation in this hearing of the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Today, we will be deliberating the following Conventions and Agreements, namely, the Agreement between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines to Improve International Tax Compliance and to Implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act; the Convention Concerning Protection of the Right to Organize and Procedures for Determining Conditions of Employment in the Public Service; and the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.

The Republic of the Philippines together with the Government of the United States of America have taken steps into improving the International Tax Compliance and on implementing the Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act (FATCA). The objective of Foreign Accounts Tax Compliance Act is to prevent US taxpayers from avoiding tax obligation by investing through non-US financial institutions and offshore investments vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Philippines, as one of the fastest growing economies in Asia, must also bear in mind the well-being of its employees, especially those who work for the government. The ILO Convention 151 seeks to provide our workers in government an avenue to enable them to be efficient in their workplace by giving them the right to organize, among others.

Lastly, conscious of the profound changes brought about by information and communications technology in the Philippines, we also need to address the growing threats posed by cybercrime. The latter is a transnational crime, which we can combat in close cooperation with other countries. The Budapest Convention on Cybercrime primarily seeks to establish cooperative arrangements between and among state parties by means of information sharing and real time collection of such, among others.

Once again, thank you to all the resource persons present today and I look forward to fruitful discussions.