Philippines and Brunei forge deals

THE Philippines and Brunei Darussalam signed three Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and one Letter of Intent (LOI) on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, aimed at boosting the two countries’ cooperation in various sectors.

The three MOUs signed during President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s two-day state visit. to Brunei were intended to boost tourism and maritime cooperation between the two countries, while the other concerned the mutual recognition of standards for training, certification and watchkeeping (STCW) certificates. .

Ministry of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco and an official from Brunei Darussalam’s Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) signed an MOU, which aims to generate cooperative tourism projects and increase the number of tourists among the two countries to expand. to support the development of niche tourism and to promote the promotion of Muslim-friendly destinations.

The MOU on STCW certificates aims to enable the national agencies of the Philippines and Brunei to recognize the national certificates issued by both central agencies of the two countries, while the pact on maritime cooperation envisions further cooperation on broad areas including pollution and skills training. , research and information exchange.

The LOI, which was implemented between the Ministry of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood (AAD) of the Ministry of Agriculture of Brunei Darussalam, aims to support both countries’ food security efforts.

It underlines the interest of both the Philippines and Brunei to explore further cooperation and collaboration in the field of agriculture for food security and sustainable agriculture between the two countries.

During a bilateral meeting with His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Marcos welcomed the establishment of the MOUs and the LOI, while expressing hope that the partnership between the two countries will go deeper.

“And for that, we hope to expand the partnerships that we have started and we believe that there is a lot of potential that we can explore,” Marcos said.

“I think the MOUs that are being signed today and that we will witness, Your Majesty, will be a very good start to re-energize, and I think that the areas that we have talked about – that we are paying attention to spend these MOUs are certainly rich in potential,” he added.

He also pledged that the Philippines will maintain strong bilateral ties with Brunei, stressing its importance in maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

“And not just for Asia, but also for the Indo-Pacific. It is important that these partnerships are now brought back into the modern world. And I look forward to this state visit to once again give additional impetus, warmth and inspiration to the relationship between our two countries,” he said.

Marcos also recognized Brunei’s assistance to the Philippines, especially during the early days of the global Covid-19 pandemic, where it donated testing kits and vaccines to the country, as well as for the assistance it provided to the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda and Typhoon Odette .

The Sultan, for his part, said economic ties and people-to-people exchanges between the Philippines and Brunei are growing stronger, especially in ensuring mutually beneficial areas for the two countries.

“Your state visit today is customary for our two countries to continue friendship and ties. This is becoming clear as we celebrate the fortieth anniversary of diplomatic relations. I believe we commemorate this important event through visits,” he said.

“I look forward to further strengthening our friendship in areas of future interest, which I believe will greatly benefit our countries and people,” he added.

Marcos accompanied his father, the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos Sr., to Brunei Darussalam on February 23, 1984 for a state visit to establish diplomatic relations with the Sultanate. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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