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G.R. No. 118295 May 2, 1997
WIGBERTO E. TAÑADA and ANNA DOMINIQUE COSETENG, as members of the Philippine Senate and as taxpayers; GREGORIO ANDOLANA and JOKER ARROYO as members of the House of Representatives and as taxpayers; NICANOR P. PERLAS and HORACIO R. MORALES, both as taxpayers; CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION, NATIONAL ECONOMIC PROTECTIONISM ASSOCIATION, CENTER FOR ALTERNATIVE DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES, LIKAS-KAYANG KAUNLARAN FOUNDATION, INC., PHILIPPINE RURAL RECONSTRUCTION MOVEMENT, DEMOKRATIKONG KILUSAN NG MAGBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS, INC., and PHILIPPINE PEASANT INSTITUTE, in representation of various taxpayers and as non-governmental organizations, petitioners,  vs.

EDGARDO ANGARA, ALBERTO ROMULO, LETICIA RAMOS-SHAHANI, HEHERSON ALVAREZ, AGAPITO AQUINO, RODOLFO BIAZON, NEPTALI GONZALES, ERNESTO HERRERA, JOSE LINA, GLORIA. MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, ORLANDO MERCADO, BLAS OPLE, JOHN OSMEÑA, SANTANINA RASUL, RAMON REVILLA, RAUL ROCO, FRANCISCO TATAD and FREDDIE WEBB, in their respective capacities as members of the Philippine Senate who concurred in the ratification by the President of the Philippines of the Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization; SALVADOR ENRIQUEZ, in his capacity as Secretary of Budget and Management; CARIDAD VALDEHUESA, in her capacity as National Treasurer; RIZALINO NAVARRO, in his capacity as Secretary of Trade and Industry; ROBERTO SEBASTIAN, in his capacity as Secretary of Agriculture; ROBERTO DE OCAMPO, in his capacity as Secretary of Finance; ROBERTO ROMULO, in his capacity as Secretary of Foreign Affairs; and TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA, in his capacity as Executive Secretary, respondents.  

PANGANIBAN, J.:
The emergence on January 1, 1995 of the World Trade Organization, abetted by the membership thereto of the vast majority of countries has revolutionized international business and economic relations amongst states. It has irreversibly propelled the world towards trade liberalization and economic globalization. Liberalization, globalization, deregulation and privatization, the third-millennium buzz words, are ushering in a new borderless world of business by sweeping away as mere historical relics the heretofore traditional modes of promoting and protecting national economies like tariffs, export subsidies, import quotas, quantitative restrictions, tax exemptions and currency controls. Finding market niches and becoming the best in specific industries in a market-driven and export-oriented global scenario are replacing age-old "beggar-thy-neighbor" policies that unilaterally protect weak and inefficient domestic producers of goods and services. In the words of Peter Drucker, the well-known management guru, "Increased participation in the world economy has become the key to domestic economic growth and prosperity." Brief Historical Background

To hasten worldwide recovery from the devastation wrought by the Second World War, plans for the establishment of three multilateral institutions — inspired by that grand political body, the United Nations — were discussed at Dumbarton Oaks and Bretton Woods. The first was the World Bank (WB) which was to address the rehabilitation and reconstruction of war-ravaged and later developing countries; the second, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which was to deal with currency problems; and the third, the International Trade Organization (ITO), which was to foster order and predictability in world trade and to minimize unilateral protectionist policies that invite challenge, even retaliation, from other states. However, for a variety of reasons, including its non-ratification by the United States, the ITO, unlike the IMF and WB, never took off. What remained was only GATT — the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. GATT was a collection of treaties governing access to the economies of treaty adherents with no institutionalized body administering the agreements or dependable system of dispute settlement. After half a century and several dizzying rounds of...
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