MANILA, Philippines – A landmark agreement between the Philippines and the European Union (EU) entered into force on Thursday, March 1, to strengthen ties in "political, social, and economic matters, including human rights."
"I am happy to see the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) coming into force. The EU-Philippine relations are now firmly anchored on an ambitious and shared agreement," said Philippine Ambassador to the EU Franz Jessen.
The PCA is "a general framework to allow better collaboration between the EU and the Philippines," the EU Delegation to the Philippines said.
The PCA was signed in 2012 and ratified by the Philippine Senate on January 22 this year.
As the PCA enters into force, a top EU official is also visiting the Philippines for a series of meetings.
Stefano Manservisi, director-general for international cooperation at the EU Commission, met with Special Envoy to the EU Edgardo Angara and Foreign Undersecretary Enrique Manalo on Thursday morning.
Jessen was among those who accompanied Manservisi on Thursday.
This comes as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte criticizes the EU for supposedly interfering in his anti-drug campaign. The Philippines earlier rejected at least P380 million (6.1 million euros) in aid from the EU, Jessen announced in January. – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.