Highlights of agreements and bilateral meetings
[Signed and conducted on the margins of the 2015 APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting]
As of 25 November 2015
- JOINT DECLARATION ON A PHILIPPINES-AUSTRALIA COMPREHENSIVE PARTNERSHIP
The Joint Declaration on the Philippines-Australia Comprehensive Partnership acknowledges the increasing breadth and depth of our relations setting the tone, pace and direction of the relationship in the years ahead, and outlines the commitment of Australia and the Philippines to cooperate in areas determined to be mutually beneficial. The Joint Declaration covers all aspects of Philippines-Australia relations, especially on political, economic, defense, law and justice, education, and development cooperation.
The agreement was signed for the Philippines by President Benigno S. Aquino III and for Australia by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull MP on 18 November 2015 following their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting.
- MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ON TECHNICAL VOCATION EDUCATION AND TRAINING
The Memorandum of Understanding on Technical Vocational Education and Training or TVET recognizes the importance of technical vocational education in national development, and broadens and strengthens the cooperation of the Philippines and Australia in this area. The MOU provides a framework within which detailed proposals for projects in TVET between the two countries are to be jointly considered on the basis of reciprocity and mutual benefit.
With the signing of the MOU, the Philippines and Australia envision exchanges of information on areas of mutual interest, joint implementation of collaborative projects, and the facilitation of links between our governments, industry organizations, and TVET bodies in the Philippines and Australia.
The agreement was signed for the Philippines by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario and for Australia by Ambassador to the Philippines William Thomas Ross Tweddell on 18 November 2015 following the bilateral meeting between PH President Aquino and AU PM Turnbull and on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders Meeting.
Highlights of the meeting
The two leaders discussed the signing of the Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Partnership and the 70th Anniversary of Relations; enhancement of trade and investment, including the Philippines’ interest to join TPP; enhancement of cooperation in defense, counter-terrorism including foreign fighters, and closer cooperation on countering violent extremism (CVE) activities; and disaster risk reduction and management.
The President thanked AU for its development assistance, especially in Mindanao on DRR, and its various projects; and 2) support in PPP, including in school-building. He also welcomed the finalization of MOU on TVET and hoped it would to greater skills training collaboration with AU.
- AGREEMENT OF JAPAN AND THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES ON SOCIAL SECURITY
This Agreement aims to coordinate pension programs for people who live or work in the Philippines and Japan wherein those covered by their respective social security systems will continue to receive benefits whether residing in the PH, JP, or even another country.
- EXCHANGE OF NOTES ON NORTH-SOUTH COMMUTER RAILWAY PROJECT (MALOLOS-TUTUBAN)
This railway project, worth approximately US$ 2 billion, aims to improve land transportation capacity in the greater Metro Manila area and provide a more environmentally sustainable mode of transport from Malolos, Bulacan to Tutuban, Manila.
- PLEDGING OF THE HARNESSING AGRIBUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH ROBUST AND VIBRANT ENTREPRENEURSHIP SUPPORTIVE OF PEACEFUL TRANSFORMATION (HARVEST)
Prime Minister Abe said Japan will also provide approximately 15 billion yen to support the agribusiness promotion project in Mindanao
- AGREEMENT ON TRANSFER OF DEFENSE EQUIPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY
Both countries reached agreement in principle. Agreed to work together for the early signing of agreement and realization of cooperation in defense equipment.
- REQUEST FOR LARGER PCG VESSELS
Japan will consider the specifics of Philippine request for two large Coast Guard patrol vessels.
- Viet Nam
- JOINT STATEMENT ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM
The Joint Statement on the Establishment of a Strategic Partnership between the Republic of the Philippines and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam provides the framework to elevate the level and intensity of bilateral exchanges between the two countries, and harness advantages for common development. The partnership shall build upon and enhance existing bilateral mechanisms, operationalize concluded agreements and seek even newer avenues to deepen cooperation in various fields In order to carry out the partnership’s vision, the governments of both countries will work together on the following key areas: political cooperation; economic cooperation; defense, security, judicial and law enforcement cooperation; maritime and ocean affairs cooperation; scientific and other technical cooperation; socio-cultural cooperation; and multilateral cooperation.
- (EXCHANGE OF PROTOCOLS ONLY. NOT SIGNING) PROTOCOL BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM TO AMEND THE 2010 MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE GOVERNMENT OF THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF VIET NAM ON THE SUPPLY OF VIETNAMESE RICE TO THE PHILIPPINES
The Protocol between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to Amend the 2010 Philippines-Viet Nam MOA on the Supply of Vietnamese Rice to the Philippines provides the framework for rice importation between the National Food Authority of the Philippines and Vietnam Southern Food Corporation and Vietnam Northern Food Corporation of Viet Nam. The Protocol will support the rice trade between the two countries, thereby enhancing and strengthening good economic relations, and ensuring the stability of the supply of rice. We are witnessing the exchange of signed protocols. Receiving the signed documents for the Philippine side is Secretary Fredelita C. Guiza, Presidential Assistant for Food Security and Agricultural Modernization. For the Viet Nam side, it is Deputy Minister for Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh.
- Republic of Korea
Highlights of the meeting
Both Leaders discussed the need to intensify and elevate bilateral relations, including more frequent exchange of high-level visits. Both were pleased with the robust defense logisctic cooperation, notably acquisition of FA-50 aircraft. Both Leaders were keen in improving trade and investment flows, including the improvement of the social security programs of both countries. They discussed how to deepen cooperation to enhance protection and welfare of nationals of both countries.
- Papua New Guinea
Highlights of the meeting
Both leaders discussed enhanced consultation through the conclusion of the draft MOU on Policy Consultations; greater cooperation in education; enhancement of PHL technical assistance to PNG; expansion of economic relations particularly in trade and investment including on ports development and retail; enhanced cooperation in agriculture and fisheries; and the conclusion of the air services agreement. The two leaders also discussed issues relating to climate change, including sharing of knowledge on mitigating climate change.
- New Zealand
Highlights of the meeting
The two leaders discussed their partnership in the political and defense relations; trade and investment, including the Philippines’ interest to join the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP); and NZ’s development assistance in the fields of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), disaster risk reduction (DRR) and scholarship provisions to Filipinos. PM Key mentioned that Filipinos are present and contributing in different sectors in NZ, including in the reconstruction of Christchurch and the dairy sector. The President, meanwhile, thanked NZ for its support in the development of the Philippine dairy sector.
NZ requested PH’s support on the Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform (FFSR) Communique, which is to be endorsed in COP21.
The two leaders also discussed the ISIS issue, where both affirmed much more needs to be done as sharing of experiences and intelligence on the matter.
- AGREEMENT ON THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JOINT COMMISSION ON TRADE AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION (JCTEC)
Signed on 18 November 2015 after the PH-RU bilateral meeting, the JCTEC will be established as an overarching framework to facilitate and promote trade and economic cooperation. It will serve as a mechanism to exchange information on and address economic, trade, and investment issues. It will also identify areas in which concrete activities for cooperation may be undertaken. The DTI and the Russian Ministry for Economic Development are the implementing bodies.
- AGREEMENT ON COOPERATION IN COMBATING NEW PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES (NPS)
Proposed by RU in June 2015 and signed on 18 November 2015, this agreement aims to strengthen PH-RU cooperation to address problems relative to the production, spread, and abuse of new psychoactive substances through exchanges of information and advanced methods, advisory and expertise assistance, and conduct of research, among others. It was signed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Federal Service of the Russian Federation for Narcotics Traffic Control.
Highlights of the Meeting
- President Benigno S. Aquino III and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev discussed the whole gamut of Philippines-Russia bilateral relations, including political dialogue, trade and investments, combating illegal narcotics, military technical cooperation, education, humanitarian assistance, and cultural cooperation.
- RU Relations 40th Anniversary. Established on 02 June 1976, the PH-RU diplomatic relations will commemorate its 40th anniversary in 2016. Since the establishment of relations, the two countries have conducted high-level visits, regular political consultations, bilateral agreements, and other activities.
- PH-RU Political Consultations. The 9th PH-RU Political Consultations were held in Moscow on 22 May 2014 to discuss the status of various areas of cooperation, including trade, tourism and cultural exchanges, customs, simplification of visa procedures, defense, and labor. The 10th PH-RU Political Consultations will be held in 2016 in the Philippines.
- The bilateral meeting was the first between President Aquino and Prime Minister Medvedev. This was Prime Minister Medvedev’s first ever trip to the Philippines and the first for any Russian Head of Government in 17 years.
- Chile (State visit)
The President witnessed the signing of the Letter of Intent (LOI) on the Enhancement of Trade Relations, which aims to conduct a joint study on the possibility of establishing a bilateral FTA and the MOU on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, which will facilitate the exchange of best practices and experiences on disaster management.
The two leaders agreed to develop a program for the exchange of teachers, especially on languages, as well as to facilitate cooperation on rice cultivation.
The two leaders agreed to share best practices and experiences with regard to their respective counter-insurgency programs, peace negotiations and the war against illicit drug trafficking.
President Santos announced plans to open an Embassy in Manila in 2016.
- Mexico (State visit)
The President witnessed the signing of the Agreement on Avoidance of Double Taxation, MOU on Tourism Cooperation and the MOU on Combating the Trafficking of Illicit Drugs.
The two leaders emphasized the need to further raise the active economic partnership to a higher level
- United States of America
President Obama announced increase US assistance of USD 79 Million for maritime security, and the transfer of two vessels: (i) R/V Melville and (ii) an all weather cutter. He reiterated US’ ironclad to the defense of the Philippines. He called on China to halt its reclamation, construction and militarization activities in the South China Sea, and expressed support for the Philippines’ decision to use arbitration under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea to peacefully and lawfully address differences.
Both leaders reiterated their commitment to enhancing the bilateral relationship, especially as the Philippines has been designated Country in Focus and Priority Emerging Market, and on how it relates to meaningful collaboration in the areas of economic cooperation, development aid and promoting the welfare of the 700,000 Filipinos in Canada.
—From the Department of Foreign Affairs
 “Agreement between the PDEA and the Federal Service of the Russian Federation for Narcotics Traffic Control on Cooperation in Combating Illicit Traffic of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors”
 As a result of this, the Russian Embassy in the PH invited PDEA for a meeting in April 2013, during which they discussed possible exchanges of trainings, seminars, and intelligence and information sharing to combat illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, and their precursors. However, the plans did not materialize following the end of tour of duty of the Consul in charge. (Source: PDEA, Additional Inputs, 28 and 29 October 2015).
 The PH established diplomatic relations with then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which was carried by the Russian Federation after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The PH formally recognized the Russian Federation on 28 December 1991.