Philippines eyes four agreements with South Korea as Duterte makes second visit
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during his visit to the Taguig City Center for the Elderly on Nov. 21, 2019.
Presidential photo/Alfred Frias
Philippines eyes four agreements with South Korea as Duterte makes second visit
Alexis Romero ( - November 22, 2019 - 4:34pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and South Korea are expected to sign four agreements on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - Republic of Korea Commemorative (ASEAN-ROK) Summit next week, an official said Friday.  

Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Junever Mahilum-West said the two countries may ink deals on education, tourism, social security, and fisheries during the bilateral meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

"The president is scheduled to have bilateral talks with President Moon Jae-in and we cannot divulge yet what will happen in the meeting. But we expect some agreements to be signed on certain areas of cooperation," West said in a press briefing in Malacañang.

"We are eyeing and anticipating to sign agreements on education, tourism, social security and perhaps fisheries as well but as I’ve said, negotiations are still ongoing," she added.

In a recent interview, South Korean Ambassador to the Philippines Han Dong-Man said a social security pact would benefit about 70,000 Filipinos who are working in South Korea. He said a cooperation on education would satisfy the demand of Filipinos who want to learn about Korea's language and culture and would lead to the expansion of education facilities.

The fisheries agreement would allow the Philippines to tap Korean technology to develop its fishery resources while the tourism cooperation would develop tourism industries and diversify the Philippine tourism destination for Korean tourists, the envoy added.

West said two outcome documents would be released during the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit to be held on November 25 to 26. The documents to be issued are the ASEAN-ROK Joint Vision Statement for Peace, Prosperity, and Partnership and the Co-Chairs’ Statement on the ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit.

The main summit will have two sessions. The first session will discuss the 30 years of cooperation between ASEAN and ROK while the second will focus on connectivity.

After the sessions, the leaders will attend a lunch, where they are expected to discuss regional security issues, including the Korean peninsula situation.

West said there are also side events to be led by the interior and local government and trade departments and the National Economic and Development Authority.  

In a press briefing last Tuesday, Duterte said his visit to Busan would provide him an opportunity to assess the defense equipment to be purchased from South Korea. 

The Philippines is acquiring two brand new corvettes and firearms from the East Asian country. The Philippines has also acquired 12 FA-50 jets from South Korea to boost its territorial defense capabilities.

The trip will be Duterte's second visit to South Korea since assuming office and his first time to visit Busan. He previously traveled to Seoul, South Korea for an official visit in June 2018. 

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