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LIST: Agreements, vows made with the Philippines on ASEAN sidelines

What are the deals inked and commitments sealed by the Philippines with other world leaders during the ASEAN summit? 

MANILA, Philippines — While hosting the 31st Association of the South East Asian Nations summit, the Philippine government made talks which led to reaffirmed commitments and inked deals during and on the sideline of the meetings.

Twenty world leaders from the ASEAN Member States, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of  Republic of Korea (ROK), Russia, United States (US), Canada, European Union (EU) and the United Nations Secretary General gathered in Manila for the ASEAN Summit and Related Summits held this week.

The year-long hosting of the ASEAN with President Rodrigo Duterte as chair carried the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.”

During the sidelines of ASEAN Leaders’ meeting, the Philippine government through Duterte and his Cabinet, was able to seal deals on military assistance, Marawi rehabilitation, trade, strategic partnerships, anti-illegal drugs drive, tourism, health, education, infrastructure, among others.

Here is a list of of the agreements and commitments made on the sidelines of ASEAN with the Philippines as country host.

Philippines and the United States

Committed: US President Donald Trump announced that he intends to provide additional $14.3 million in aid for the rehabilitation of Marawi City. A White House statement also said that US would give $2-million support drug demand reduction programs in the Philippines. The US Embassy, however, told Philstar.com that these pledges were the same commitments Washington promised last September

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“Both sides acknowledged that illegal drug use is a problem afflicting both countries and committed to share best practices in the areas of prevention; enforcement, including capacity-building and transparency in investigations; and rehabilitation,” the joint statement of the Philippines and the US released by the White House on Tuesday read.

Philippines and China

Signed: China’s Premier Li Keqiang and Duterte held a bilateral talk on Wednesday and managed to sign 14 cooperation documents.

Here are the 14 cooperation documents inked by China and the Philippines as well as their signatories:

  • Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China | Signatories: Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and International Trade Representative and Vice Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying

  • Memorandum of Understanding on Jointly Promoting on Second Basket of Key Infrastructure Projects Cooperation between the Department of Finance of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of the People’s Republic of China | Signatories: Department of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and International Trade Representative and Vice Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying

  • Exchange of Letters on Project of Dangerous Drugs Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers | Signatories: Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque and International Trade Representative and Vice Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying

  • Exchange of Letters on Project of Two Bridges Across Pasig River | Signatories: Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar and International Trade Representative and Vice Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying

  • Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation on Industrial Parks Development between the Department of Trade and Industry of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China | Signatories: Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez and International Trade Representative and Vice Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying

  • Memorandum of Understanding on Jointly Promoting the Philippine National Railways South Long Hall Project Cooperation between the Department of Transportation of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China | Signatories: Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and International Trade Representative and Vice Minister of Commerce Fu Ziying

  • Implementation Framework for the Memorandum of Understanding and Development of Project List for Cooperation in Production Capacity and Investment between the National Economic and Development Authority of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China | Signatories: Socioeconomic Secretary Ernesto Pernia and National Development and Reform Commission Vice Chairman Zhang Yong

  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Development and Reform Commission of the People’s Republic of China Concerning the Provision of Goods for Addressing Climate Change | Signatories: Department of Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu and National Development and Reform Commission Vice Chairman Zhang Yong

  • Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Industry Cooperation between the Department of National Defense of the Republic of the Philippines and the State Administration of Science Technology Industry of the National Defense of the People’s Republic of China| Signatories: Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Yesui

  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines and the State Intellectual Property of the People’s Republic of China on Cooperation in the Field of Intellectual Property | Signatories: Intellectual Property Office Director General Josephine Santiago and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Yesui

  • Memorandum of Understanding between the National Youth Commission and the All-China Youth Federation on Strengthening Youth Cooperation | Signatories: National Youth Commission Chairperson and CEO Cariza Seguerra and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Yesui

  • The Financing Cooperation Agreement on Chico River Pump Irrigation Project and New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines represented by the Department of Finance and the Export-Import Bank of China| Signatories: Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Export-Import Bank of China President Liu Liange

  • The Republic of the Philippines 2017 Renminbi Bond Issuance Underwriting Agreement | Signatories: Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Bank of China Limited Chairman Chen Siqing

  • Memorandum of Understanding between the Bases Conversion and Development Authority and China Development Bank | Signatories: Bases Conversion and Development Authority Chairman Gregorio Garcia III and China Development Bank Chairman Hu Huaibang

Explored: Li said China will be happy to enhance cooperation with Philippines on infrastructure.

Philippines and Russia

Signed: The Philippines and the Russian Federation have inked eight bilateral agreements after Duterte and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s bilateral meeting at the Coconut Palace last Monday.

Below appears the eight bilateral agreements signed and their signatories:

  • Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matters | Signatories: Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre and Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation Alexander Konovalov

  • Treaty on Extradition | Signatories:  Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre and Minister of Justice of the Russian Federation Alexander Konovalov

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation between Department of Energy and State Atomic Energy Cooperation | Signatories: Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Deputy Director General for International Relations Nikolay Spassky

  • MOU on Cooperation in Mass Communications | Signatories: Presidential Communications chief Martin Andanar and Deputy Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications Dmitri M. Alkhazov

  • MOU on Development Cooperation in Transport Education | Signatories: Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation Maxim Sokolov

  • MOU between Commission on Higher Education and Ministry of Education and Science | Signatories: Commissioner Prospero de Vera and Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation Lydmila Ogorodova

  • MOU between Intellectual Property Office and Federation Office for Intellectual Property | Signatories: Director General on Intellectual Property Josephine Santiago and Head of the Federal Service for Intellectual Property Grigory Ivliev

  • Agreement on Cooperation Between Commission on Audit and Accounts Chamber of Russian Federation | Signatories: Commission on Audit Chairman Michael Aguinaldo and Chair of the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation Tatyana Golikova

Duterte also witnessed the signing of the Agreement of Cooperation and Partnership between Philippine company Vi Holding LLC and Russian company Global Ferronickel Holdings Inc. These were signed by Global Ferronickel’s chair Joseph Sy and Vi Holding’s chair, first vice president Valery Krasnov.

Explored: Medvedev said Russia is ready to expand its ties in all areas including politics, trade economic cooperation, cultural ties and fight against terrorism among others.

Philippines and Japan

Committed: Duterte and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe witnessed the signing of notes on the sidelines of their bilateral meeting ASEAN Summit last Monday. The Japanese government will provide ¥104.53 billion (P46 billion) for the first phase of the Metro Manila Subway Project. This project will run from Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City to Food Terminal Inc. in Taguig City and end at Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque City while its loan agreement is slated January.

The exchange of notes between the two countries likewise cover the construction of a bypass road along the Philippine-Japan Friendship Highway in Plaridel, Bulacan. The loan provision amounts to ¥9.399 billion (P4 billion).

Abe also said Japan is cooperating in the reconstruction efforts in war-torn Marawi City. His government vowed to provide an aid grant of ¥2.5 billion (1 billion) to fund the procurement of equipment and materials for counterterrorism such as coast watch radars and the reconstruction of the city.

Philippines and Canada

Committed: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday announced that Canada will be investing $17.8 million to the sexual health and empowerment project for women in the Philippines. The project will be implemented by Oxfam International. He said it would benefit more than 85,000 Filipinos as it would be provided over the next five years. The project would improve the access to sexual and reproductive health and rights services for women in the Philippines.

"When we invest in women and girls, we help entire families, communities and societies succeed," Trudeau said in a press conference in Manila.

Philippines and Australia

Committed: Duterte and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull vowed to strengthen their cooperation to address the sea piracy threat in Sulu Sea.

During his visit in Manila, Turnbull also made a stop at the Camp Aguinaldo. Australia has offered to train Filipino soldiers in urban warfare to combat the spread of Islamic extremism following the crisis in Marawi City. 

Philippines and India

Explored: Duterte told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last Monday that he is eyeing stronger trade relations with India, especially in the purchase of affordable medicine. He expressed hope that there would be Indian investors who are interested to produce cheap medicine in the Philippines. 

“I’m more interested, really, in the medicines because we are a poor country, but you know how it is with America. They don’t believe in generics because they do not make money, so it’s very expensive really actually,” Duterte said during his bilateral meeting with Modi.

“That is the truth. You buy branded medicines. There are so many stories about cheaper, almost socialized pricing for the medicine. And if there is an investor that could be interested, an Indian citizen of yours who would want to venture in our place, we would be happy,” he added.

Philippines and South Korea

Explored: During the bilateral talks between the Philippines and South Korea, President of the ROK Moon Jae-in cited the tourism growth in the country. He said about 1.5 million Korean tourists visit the Philippines every year. Moon is hoping to strengthen the people-to-people exchange between the two countries.

“Mr. President, I ask for your attention and support so that the Koreans who visit and reside in the Philippines can have a safe and enjoyable stay. I will also pay close attention and make my best efforts to ensure that the Filipinos visiting and living in Korea can be safe and comfortable,” Moon told Duterte.

Philippines and New Zealand

Signed: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Arden oversaw signing of three agreements last Tuesday.

Among the signing of deals she witnessed was the Memorandum of Cooperation between the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and the Philippines Commission on Higher Education on the Comparative Analysis of New Zealand and the Philippines’ Bachelor’s Degrees. The signatories were CHED Chair Patricia Licuanan and New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines David Strachan.

“Well, this is one good development. Education. The shared… It’s in good hands and of course, we can have access to the quality OF education in New Zealand. It would be happy,” Duterte told Arden during their bilateral meeting. 

Arden also oversaw the signing of the MOU between the New Zealand government and carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL). The New Zealand government said the three-year-long joint marketing effort is seen to boost tourism and trade in the two countries.

 An MOU on a new platform for New Zealand and Philippines’ geothermal industries was also signed last Tuesday. Cusi signed the agreement with Strachan. The MOU is an update to the deal inked in 2012.

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