The Philippines is expected to sign at least three bilateral agreements during the official visit of President Rodrigo Duterte to Thailand on March 20.
While Thailand's major investments in the Philippines include construction materials, agro-processing, and energy, the three bilateral agreements will focus on agriculture, tourism and science and technology.
The close ties between the two countries can be traced back to the reign of the former King, the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej (1927-2016).
“We have also established the mechanism of what we call the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation. We are hoping that this year, we can resume the holding of the 6th Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation,” expressed Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand Mary Jo Bernardo-Aragon in a press release from Malacañang.
Aragon said Duterte’s role is important in increasing intra-ASEAN relationship.
“We would like to have a peaceful resolution for disputes through a code of conduct,” Aragon said, when asked to comment on Duterte’s foreign policy with China. “We all would like to live in peace, because it is only through peace that we can benefit economically. We need peace and stability so we can economically move forward,” she added.
More than 14,000 Filipinos, mostly professionals, are currently working in the Kingdom of Thailand. Aragon said “over half of this (number) are Filipino teachers in the English language.”
About 2,600 Filipinos of the 3,600 registered last year voted Duterte. The ambassador said that the Filipinos in Thailand are very supportive of the President’s anti-drug campaign.
More than 1,600 Filipinos have expressed interest by registering for the President’s meeting with the Filipino community on Wednesday evening.