Philippines-Singapore relations

LIST: Deals Marcos gov’t signed in Singapore

Sofia Tomacruz
LIST: Deals Marcos gov’t signed in Singapore

STATE VISIT. A Philippine President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. accompanied by his wife, First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos with Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and wife, Joy Balakrishnan attend an orchid naming ceremony at the National Orchid Garden in Singapore September 7, 2022.

Roslan Rahman/Pool via Reuters

Agreements include a memorandum of understanding on the development of New Clark City in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his Cabinet officials signed at least five agreements with Singapore during the Philippine leader’s inaugural trip overseas.

The five deals, including a joint comminiqué on the deployment of Filipino nurses to the Southeast Asian country, cover cooperation on areas ranging from counter-terrorism to data privacy.

Marcos traveled to Singapore upon the invitation of Singaporean President Halimah Yacob, whom he held a bilateral meeting with on Wednesday, September 7. Marcos also met with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his visit.

The agreements signed include a memorandum of understanding on the development of Clark, as well as potential collaboration between the Philippines’ Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) and the Public Utilities Board of Singapore.

Here are details of the deals signed:

1. Arrangement Concerning the Assignment of a Team to the Regional Counter-Terrorism Information Facility in Singapore between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Singapore Armed Forces

  • The deal will facilitate intelligence sharing and will provide “early warning, monitoring, and analysis capabilities” in the field of counter-terrorism. Both parties likewise agree to hold regular military exchanges and dialogue among high-level officials. Aside from these, the agreement is envisioned to pave the way for a separate bilateral agreement focused on strengthening cooperation on defense and security.

2. MOU in the Field of Digital Cooperation between the Department of Information and Communications Technology of the Philippines and the Ministry of Communications and Information of Singapore

  • The MOU is on cooperation on data protection and collaboration between both countries in the digital economy.

3. MOU for collaboration on the development of New Clark City, between the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) of the Philippines and Enterprise Singapore

  • The deal aims to boost trade and investment between both countries, as well as facilitate the joint development of New Clark City through “technology transfer and partnerships in urban and smart city solutions.”

4. Renewal of MOU on Cooperation in Personal Data Protection between the National Privacy Commission of the Philippines and the Personal Data Protection Commission of Singapore

  • The MOU is for cooperation on data protection and collaboration between both countries in the digital economy.

5. Renewal of MOU on Water Collaboration between the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System of the Philippines and the Public Utilities Board of Singapore

More deals eyed

During Marcos’ visit, the Department of Migrant Workers of the Philippines and the Ministry of Health of Singapore also signed a joint communiqué on the recruitment of Filipino healthcare workers.

Like in many countries across the world, Filipino nurses served as frontliners in Singapore’s battle with COVID-19, working in hospitals and heath facilities, as well as other essential services. Halimah took note of this in her meeting with Marcos, expressing Singapore’s gratitude for Filipinos workers’ “invaluable contributions” to its pandemic response.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said the communique will facilitate continued deployment of Filipino healthcare professionals and “greater bilateral cooperation in the field of healthcare.”

In addition to these deals, the Philippines and Singapore eyed a specific agreement on air transport “which will increase connectivity” between the neighboring nations and open for collaboration and growth, the DFA said.

The DFA said both countries were looking to renew a 2019 MOU between the Philippines’ Department of Education and Nanyang Polytechnic International and Temasek Foundation which will focus on the teaching and learning of “Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics with Design Thinking.” – Rappler.com

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Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs and is the lead reporter on the coronavirus pandemic. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter via @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.