Five Benefits Filipinos can get from ASEAN Integration

Ever of dreaming of traveling abroad? Maybe getting the latest Gucci bag or designer clothes without going all the way to Italy? How about learning a new field that only a foreign country can teach.

These are some of the benefits that you as a citizen of the Philippines can reap once the country is fully integrated to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) membership. The goal of the ASEAN is to become one of the world’s leading economy like the European union nations. It order to achieve that goal it is better to be working together rather than doing it alone and to give the people a chance of better living.

The Philippines is hosting the 2017 ASEAN summit this month and will be spending P15 billion to make it a success in order improve better relations with the other nations.

Ten Southeast Asian countries – the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam – all united to improve their economies and to discuss on the various issues like border disputes, trade agreements and exchange programs i.e education and employment.

Benefits of a citizen belonging to an ASEAN country member

1. Lower cost of living

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The ASEAN Economic Community wants to eliminate if not lessen the taxes exporting between countries, which will lower the prices of goods.

“Once our borders are open to trade, it is a possible it will lower some of the costs of exporting the goods and therefore what we’re doing here is increasing the purchasing power of the population,” said Ronald Mendoza, Dean of the Ateneo School of Government.

This open flow of goods and services means that your money will go much further as products become cheaper.

2. Improved job opportunities and general well-being

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Products or goods not previously available in the country will be easier to access.

A good example would be the availability of items like chocolates, clothes and fruit products not native to the local country. Before ASEAN, these items i.e apples, oranges and chocolate are hard to come by and expensive. One has to import to avail these hence, taxes are imposed.

Now apples and chocolates have become more common than the average mangoes or bananas thanks to the agreements signed by ASEAN members.

Service providers like air transport and healthcare are encouraged to setup foreign offices which means for us easier access to travel or healthcare.

Increasing foreign investments have always been the goal of the ASEAN in order to be a power house in the world economy which would mean removing limitations and applying proven international business operations to the whole region. The more options the more choices citizens have to improve their quality of life.

3. Better job opportunities and education abroad

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The exchange of free information and skills is essential to the development of the ASEAN charter. Nationals can work abroad increasing productivity thus more job opportunities for the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). Facilitation of visas and employment passes for skilled labor will ensure protection for the workers.

It will not be limited to the workers but to the students as well. ASEAN universities are allowing more foreign students to study in their campus thus increasing mobility for them in the region.

It will give the opportunity for the young people to open up to new cultures and expand their horizons. Giving them a fresh perspective to what would be their goal in life. Allowing them to be more confidence in coursing the future of their home countries.

4. Less hassle in traveling

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ASEAN integration has made it possible to travel to other countries and in the process tourism has grown exponentially. It has given more opportunities for the tourism industry to promote the local scenery and earn more revenue.

Traveling to the other ASEAN countries will enable the nationals to realize that they are not alone in the road to economic success but together as one whole Asian region they can make a difference in world policy. To aspire for the ASEAN unity.

5. Philippines prosperity

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With the full integration of the ASEAN countries, investments, services, job skills and a free market would enable the Philippines to have economic prosperity and the benefits will eventually trickle down to the citizens’ benefit.

To achieve all the goals of the ASEAN, every nationals must work towards a common good and not just its own country’s well-being. Cooperation is the key ingredient to make ASEAN a success. It is not about signing treaties or agreements but it is the people to fulfill the dreams of the ASEAN founders.

Once achieved, it will extend beyond borders and will boost national security, international trade, reducing poverty and economic competitiveness.

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About Ariel Arcebido

Ariel is a retired US Navy veteran. Was a Radio station manager at DWAU104.1FM at the Angeles University Foundation for 11 years. Wrote for the newsletter of the University called the AUFGAZETTE.