MANILA – The Philippines and Singapore have signed a joint communiqué on the deployment of Filipino healthcare workers to Singapore and five other deals on Day 2 of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s state visit to Singapore.
President Marcos and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday witnessed the exchange of some of these agreements after the two leaders held a bilateral meeting at Istana Singapore’s presidential palace.
In a press release from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the deal will pave the way for “the continued deployment of Filipino healthcare professionals to Singapore as well as greater bilateral cooperation in the field of healthcare."
Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople was first to announce the signing of the joint communiqué during Marcos’ meeting with the Filipino community at the National University of Singapore on Tuesday night.
“Ang good news po mismong gobyerno ng Singapore ang nag-reach out sa atin, andito ang ambassador ng Singapore sa Pilipinas at humihingi po sila ng karagdagan na mga Filipino health workers dahil sobrang napabilib po sila ng ating mga manggagawa nung panahon ng pandemya (The good news is that the government of Singapore reached out to us, the ambassador of Singapore to the Philippines is here asking additional Filipino health workers because they were impressed by our workers during the pandemic),” she said.
The five other agreements include:
*Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Information and Communications Technology of the Philippines and the Ministry of Communications and Information of Singapore in the field of digital cooperation.
*Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Personal Data Protection between the National Privacy Commission of the Philippines and the Personal Data Protection Commission of Singapore. The MOUs on digital cooperation and data protection are both meant to provide greater collaboration in the digital economy, data protection, and other areas between the Philippines and Singapore.
*Memorandum of Understanding between the Bases Conversion and Development Authority of the Philippines and Enterprise Singapore for Singapore and Philippines to collaborate on business opportunities on the development of New Clark City. This deal is expected to boost trade and investment flows, increase connectivity and create more opportunities for collaboration and growth.
*Memorandum of Understanding between the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System of the Philippines and the Public Utilities Board of Singapore on water collaboration. This deal aims to improve water management experiences and respond to growing demands for water resources.
*Arrangements between the Singapore Armed Forces and Armed Forces of the Philippines concerning the assignment of a team to the Regional Counter-terrorism Information Facility (CTIF) in Singapore. The multilateral CTIF brings together like-minded countries to share intelligence, and provides early warning, monitoring, and analysis capabilities.
It allows the two countries to continue with regular high-level dialogues, military-to-military exchanges, cooperation on multilateral platforms, and work towards the conclusion of a separate bilateral agreement that would further strengthen defense and security cooperation.
Meanwhile, Marcos also thanked the Singaporean government and its people for giving him and his delegation a “warm” welcome.
The Filipino leader also expressed hope that his state visit to Singapore will further deepen ties between the two countries.
“We hope that this visit will not only reaffirm the long relationship that Singapore and the Philippines have. Our formal ties began in 1969. Our informal ties I think have gone back more than much, much longer than that,” he said.
Marcos is currently in Singapore for a two-day state visit until Sept. 7. He just concluded his state visit to Indonesia from Sept. 4 to 6. (PNA)