The video entitled ASEAN Integration- Philippines had summed up the information regarding ASEAN Integration (AI), most importantly, the advantages as well as the challenges that may fail Philippines from benefiting to it. Consequently, the integration will create a massive change for ASEAN and its member states. When this will be officially established by this year 2015, all ASEAN member states will just seem to be provinces of ASEAN. The integration will somewhat be the same with the EU, the European Union, although there are significant differences as well. With the integration, the migration, the labor market, trading, implementation of policies, and the financial markets of each member will greatly be affected. And the effects of the integration are aimed toward the economic and political development of ASEAN as a whole and within each member state. However, with the current status of the Philippines, do we think that by becoming more internationally-oriented this will make or push the country to improve?
When you talk of internationalization, you are really talking about policies and programs that governments and higher institutions adopt to respond to globalization. So you are internationalizing, not just because there is integration in the region, but because the world is a global village now, that one cannot isolate itself from what is happening with the rest of the world. Internationalization does not mean that you will adapt your programs only to the international manpower needs. You have to develop your pool of human resources to support both what is needed domestically, and also what is needed internationally. The demands continue to increase all over the world. Unfortunately, the resources that are available for a country is either slack or sometimes weak, and this is why Philippines is being questioned of its competitiveness.
It has a lot of catching up to do in improving its competitiveness and in making the country an attractive trade and investment destination. It has to work first on addressing governance issues that hinder the country to take advantage of opportunities from regional integration. The major factors that may prevent the country from maximizing its gains from globalization can be traced to policy shortcomings. A committed leadership that has the political will to pursue genuine reforms would be critical. Indeed, I understand why some are reluctant to bestow trust to the AI. It’s easier to go about your regular ways just repeating what you do.
And any disruption or change, especially competition, threatens a lot of people, and worries a lot of people. The AI which promotes cooperation is at the same time a competition. You have emerging economies of Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam who are agricultural and Philippines is also agricultural. Each member will have to compete for economic development, it will be like survival of the fittest. By integration, you are going to sacrifice national interest, you are going to sacrifice the interest of the Filipino people, you become globally integrated to the disadvantage of the country.