Thursday, 10 January 2013

PIA News Dispatch - Thursday, January 10, 2013

President Aquino receives non-resident ambassadors in Malacanang

President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomed 14 Non-resident Ambassadors who will begin their tour as representatives of their respective countries in ceremonies held in Malacanang on Thursday.

The 14 envoys who called on him at the Palace were: His Excellency Jaime Alberto Cabal Sanclemente, Ambassador of the Republic of Columbia; H.E. Klas Molin, Ambassador, Kingdom of Sweden; H.E. Jerome Kloh Weya, Ambassador, Republic of Cote d 'Ivoire; H.E. Vladimir N. Lopato-Zagorsky, Ambassador, Republic of Belarus; H..E. Tamerlan Elmar Oglu Karayev, Ambassador, Republic of Azerbaijan;

H.E. Dr. Sayed Mohammed Amin Fatime, Ambassador, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; H.E. Dr. Charles Murigande, Ambassador, Republic of Rwanda; H.E. Francois Oubida, Ambassador, Burkina Faso; H.E. Zomahoun Dossuo Rufin Cyr, Ambassador, Republic of Benin; H.E. Fidelino Loy de Jesus Figueiredo, Ambassador, Republic of Angola; H.E. Martha Lidia Zelayandia Cisneros, Ambassador, Republic of El Salvador; H.E. Ruben Perez Valdes, Ambassador, Republic of Cuba; H.E. Isikeli Uluinairai Matailoga, Ambassador, Republic of Fiji Islands; and H.E. Banzragch Delgermaa, Ambassador, Mongolia.

In his speech, the President said the visit of the ambassadors to the country was a testament to the mutual efforts of Philippines and their respective countries to strengthen relations and “positively engage each other.”

“Your visit comes at a time when the Philippines is on the rise—a time when we Filipinos hold our heads high because of the great strides we have made as a people. The Philippines stands as a reliable and responsible member of the community of nations, ready to work with those who seek to advance goodwill and hope across the globe,” the President said.

“Your presence here is a testament to our mutual efforts to positively engage each other, on the understanding that it is in all of our interests to continue exploring ways to strengthen our relations,” he added.

“We know that it is only through sincere cooperation, founded on mutual regard, that we can help uplift our own peoples in an international environment of peace and understanding,” the President said. PND (rck)

Philippines, Japan agree for peaceful resolution of West Philippine Sea dispute

The Philippines and Japan shared common interests for the peaceful resolution of the West Philippines Sea dispute and both countries are cooperating to resolve the issue, a foreign affairs official said on Thursday.

“I think there’s a mutual agreement that we should pursue a peaceful resolution to these disputes and we’re trying to find out what the right formulation is,” Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario told the media in a press conference in Malacanang following Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida courtesy call on President Benigno S. Aquino III held at the Palace’s Ramos Room.

Del Rosario said he, the President and Kishida talked about the challenges that the Philippines and Japan are facing in view of China’s territorial assertions. In the bilateral meeting, Del Rosario said they expressed the Philippines’ position and how the country consistently carries out these strategies.

Asked by reporters how big does the China challenge pose to the Philippines and Japan, del Rosario said both countries recognize the magnitude of the challenge.

“I think we all understand that the assertions being made by China in terms of their nine-dash line claim, for example, do pose threats to the stability of the region. We also need to be able to address the possibility that the freedom of navigation would be adversely impacted,” he explained.

To enhance maritime cooperation, both countries became active in conducting maritime forums, he said. These expanded forums were very successful, and Japan and the Philippines are planning for a second expanded maritime forum under the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Aside from the West Philippine Sea issue, del Rosario said they also discussed economic relations, trade and investment, tourism, Japan’s official development assistance to the Philippines, as well as infrastructure projects funded by the Japanese government. PND (as)

Philippines and Japan agree to enhance cooperation in maritime security

The Philippines and Japan agreed to closely work together in enhancing cooperation in maritime security, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said.

Del Rosario said during a press briefing in Malacanang on Thursday that the Philippines and Japan will enhance ties between their coast guards.

"We also discussed maritime security and we discussed assistance to the (Philippine) Coast Guard in terms of its multi-role response vessels which is being funded by the Japanese government," del Rosario told the media following the courtesy call of visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Malacanang on Thursday.

President Benigno S. Aquino III received Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida who reaffirmed his country's commitment to work with the Philippines in fostering their relations on the basis of mutual respect and understanding.

The official visit of the foreign minister reaffirms the strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan.

Del Rosario said the Japanese government has been assisting the Philippines in strengthening the capacity of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) through human resource development and augmentation of much needed communications system equipment for maritime safety.

"We also discussed the communication system for maritime safety which also would be for the benefit of the Coast Guard. We discussed regional issues—the regional issues encompasse the West Philippine Sea," Rosario said.

Del Rasario noted that there will be a regular exchange of views and dialogue between officials of the two countries on maritime and ocean affairs.

"We have these multi-role response vessels. Ten of them are being funded by Japan for our Coast Guard," he said. PND (js)

Improved Philippine economy attracting Japanese investments, says Del Rosario

Japan is interested in putting more investments in the Philippines given the country’s improved economic environment, a foreign affairs official said on Thursday.

In a media briefing in Malacanang, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said there were discussions on business opportunities between Japan and the Philippines because of the country’s improved economic environment and the positive macro-economic results posted by the Philippines.

Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida met with President Benigno S. Aquino III in a meeting following his courtesy call on the President on Thursday at the Malacanang Ramos Room.

“A new Philippines is being presented and the Japanese are very much interested in upping their investment activities in the Philippines, and one area of possible investments iwhich we are pursuing with an aggressive passion are the SMEs (small and medium enterprises)—the Japanese SMEs,” Del Rosario said, who joined the President in a meeting with Kishida.

The Japanese government will also help the Philippines in building LRT-1 South that will connect Cavite and the LRT-2 East that goes to Antipolo, according to Del Rosario. The Japanese are also building the Bohol airport, he said.

Japan also remains committed for further developments in Mindanao especially after the signing of the Framework Agreement last year, Del Rosario said.

“The Japanese are very committed. As you know, Japan is the only country that is present in the IMT (International Monitoring Team) and in the ICG (International Contact Group). They are committed in a big way to the ongoing negotiations, and they also are very committed to helping in terms of the development programs there,” he said.

Del Rosario said Kishida invited the President to attend the 40th Commemorative ASEAN Summit in Japan this year. He said he highly recommended to the President to attend the commemorative summit.

In return, the President took the opportunity to hand over a personal invitation, through Kishida, to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a state visit in the Philippines. PND (as)