PHL, Timor-Leste agree to collaborate in fields of civilian commercial aviation, education

Also agree to work on social security pact for professionals

President Bongbong Marcos and Timor-Leste President José Ramos-Horta hold a joint press conference after their bilateral meeting on Friday, Nov. 10./PCO/

(Eagle News) — The Philippines and Timor-Leste have agreed to work together in the fields of civilian commercial aviation and education,  and on a social security agreement for professionals.

President Bongbong Marcos announced the agreed-upon reconvening of policy consultations to be hosted by Timor-Leste in the near future  in a joint press briefing following a bilateral meeting with Timor-Leste President José Ramos-Horta on Friday, Nov. 10.

Also announced was the exploration of the possibility of direct flights between Manila and Dili through an Air Services Agreement.

The Presidential Communications Office said the Philippines and Timor-Leste also agreed to establish a Bilateral Social Security Agreement to “provide a safety net for both Filipino and Timor-Leste professionals, and strengthen educational cooperation between their higher learning institutions as well as increase student exchanges.”

“In recent months, under the direction of our Technical Cooperation Council of the Philippines, an attached agency of the Department of Foreign Affairs, we have deployed a team from our Department of Science and Technology who assisted the Timorese people in enhancing [their] skills on food processing,” President Marcos said.

“We committed to increase [our] engagements in such technical cooperation and we have tasked our respective Ministries to explore and enhance future partnerships on this matter,” he added.

According to the PCO, President Marcos also  affirmed the Philippines’ support of Timor-Leste’s membership bid in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), recalling the adoption of the Roadmap for Timor-Leste’s full ASEAN membership by the ASEAN Leaders during the recent 42nd ASEAN Summit in Indonesia.

Timor-Leste President Ramos-Horta, for his part, welcomed the further strengthening of relations between his country and the Philippines.

“Let’s expand, upgrade the relationship between our two countries … You cannot have a more warmer, more productive, healthy relationship between two country than the one enjoyed by Timor-Leste by the Philippines,” President Ramos-Horta said.

The Timor-Leste leader arrived in the Philippines on Wednesday, Nov. 8, for his official visit.

The PCO said there are an estimated 1,480 Filipinos in Timor-Leste as of February this year.

The Philippines and Timor-Leste established their formal diplomatic relations on May 20, 2002.