PH, South Korea boost labor, trade, security agenda | Inquirer News

PH, South Korea boost labor, trade, security agenda

PH, South Korea boost labor,trade, security agenda

CLOSER AND CLOSER | President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol shake hands after signing a free trade agreement in Jakarta in September. (MALACAÑANG PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and South Korea reaffirmed strong cooperation on migrant workers, trade and security during a bilateral meeting held just before Christmas, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Wednesday.

Last week, Foreign Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega and South Korea’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hong Seok-in met to discuss labor relations between the two countries, noting the good condition of overseas Filipino workers in South Korea.


“I commend the cooperation between the Republic of Korea (ROK) government and the Philippine Embassy in strengthening relations, especially people-to-people relations,” De Vega said.


Philippine Ambassador to Seoul Theresa Dizon-De Vega said more projects on migration will be coming next year.

“Both sides also exchanged notes on recent incidents that threatened regional security. The meeting allowed both sides to reiterate their mutual commitment to a rules-based international order,” the DFA said in a statement.

South Korea has been an active supporter of the Philippines in the 2016 Arbitral Award that reaffirmed Manila’s 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea and struck down China’s 10-dash line claim for having “no legal basis in international law.”

Hong added the two allies can further develop and expand its cooperation in the areas of “politico-economic and security.”

During the 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Jakarta in September, President Marcos signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea.

The DFA said Manila and Seoul looked forward to the ratification of the FTA next year, which will allow smoother trade between the two nations, offering deeper access to each other’s markets and lesser or no tariffs at all.Also on Wednesday, the South Korean Embassy in Manila announced the arrival of about 460 members of the South Korean Navy for the 28th Cruise Training Task Group in Manila.


460 sailors onboard

According to the Korean Navy, the task group is composed of the 4,500-ton training ship named “ROKS Hansando (ATH-81)” and combat support ship “ROKS Hwacheon (AOE-59),” bringing along 460 sailors onboard that include 150 midshipmen from the ROK Naval Academy.

The visit marked the 70th year of the armistice that ended the Korean War. The Philippines was the first Asian country to send troops upon the call of the United Nations when the Korean War broke out in 1950.

Then President Elpidio Quirino sent five Battalion Combat Teams known as the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea, composed of 7,420 soldiers, including a very young Fidel V. Ramos, who would later become president of the Philippines.

From Dec. 27 to Jan. 2, the Korean task group will hold a series of engagements that include a wreath-laying ceremony at the Korean War memorial, a ship reception, a ship tour, and a defense industry exhibition.

This year also marked the 28th visit of a Korean training task group to the Philippines, the highest record for the port calls made among Asian countries, the Korean Navy said.

The two Korean ships will hold combined exercises at sea with the Korean-built PH Navy frigate BRP Jose Rizal when they depart Manila on Jan. 3.

All three ships were built by Korean shipbuilder Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI). The Philippines and South Korea signed a P16-billion deal in 2016 for the missile-armed frigates, now known as Rizal-class ships.

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Manila has also placed an order for two corvettes and six offshore patrol vessels from HHI.

TAGS: Ferdinand Marcos Jr., PH-South Korea relations, Yoon Suk-yeol

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