14 April 2017
Andanar visits Bahrain Ministry of Information Affairs
MANAMA, BAHRAIN — Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Thursday, April 13, paid a courtesy visit to Bahrain Ministry of Information Affairs (MIA) in Manama to pursue a mutual agreement between the two government agencies.

“We are rebuilding the Philippine News Agency, and we will ensure that it goes hand in hand with the building of the Salaam Television Network in the Philippines. It is the first Muslim, first Islamic channel in the Philippines that the government is building. It is going to be exciting and it is one of the reasons that I came here to talk to the Ministry of Information and the Bahraini News Agency, so we could somehow strike a cooperation and we can learn from Bahraini News Agency and the Bahraini Broadcasting, especially in the nuances of broadcasting in Muslim or based on Islamic culture,” the Communications Chief said.

He was greeted and toured in the complex by MIA officials led by Engr. Abdulla Ahmed Al Balooshi, general director of technical and technology affairs, who represents Information Affairs Minister Ali bin Mohammed Al-Rumaihi in welcoming Secretary Andanar.

A traditional welcome drink of Arabic coffee greeted Andanar and his entourage as the Communications Chief and the General Director exchanged pleasantries inside the receiving room of the Minister’s Office. Afterwards, he was led to view the state-of-the-art radio and television broadcast facilities.

“This is such a beautiful city, beautiful country. I also am very impressed by your television station and, of course, the Bahraini News Agency, what used to be the Gulf News Agency. I do think and agree that you are leading the way in news wire agency, Certainly, we can learn so much from the Bahraini News Agency, and this is a good step forward. I’m also looking forward that both our countries, both our agencies–the Philippine News Agency and the Bahrain News Agency–can work together very, very soon,” the Communications Chief said.

First stop was the 800-square-meter Production Studio 1, featuring a beehive interior motif and wall-to-floor video screen. Next, Andanar was ushered in the headquarters of the Bahraini News Agency, which has the Arabic, English, Social Media, and Internet sections. He then led to the News Center, which showcases a fixed and movable video walls, and Radio Bahraini which has a large studio that can be used for multipurpose production.

The Bahraini News Agency, Balooshi explained, has four television stations and nine radio stations. He also added the TV broadcast has already switched to digital, while the radio is in process to transition to digital broadcasting.

“So once you finished that, the nine radio stations can be multiplied to how many, 10 programs per channel in a digital platform. So you will have 90. The problem now is the content. Maybe, we can work out a mutual understanding where we can put Filipino programming,” Secretary Andanar proposed, considering there are about 60,000 Filipinos living and working in Bahrain.

An exchange of present took place where the Communications Chief gave a scale model of a “vinta”, or a traditional boat from Mindanao, to show his appreciation to his host. In return, he received an age-old memento from Balooshi.

Those who welcomed Secretary Andanar, aside from Balooshi, were officials of MIA and Information Affairs Authority (IAA) led by Abdulla Khalid Alnassar Al Dosseri, director of news, and Engr. Jasim Khaled (MIA) Al Jumairi Al hajri, head of microwave. Also, Yousif Mohammed Ismail, Director of TV of (IAA); Abdulla Buhejji, IAA’s director for public relations and marketing directorate; and Hosam Zaineddein, head of news of IAA.###PCO-Content

Duterte witnesses AMA-NEH Agreement Signing
MANAMA, BAHRAIN — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday, April 13, witnessed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between AMA Group Holdings Corporation and Nader & Ebrahim Sons of Hassan Company W.L.L. (NEH) held in Four Seasons in Manama.

The AMA Group, represented by its founder Dr. Amable Aguiluz V who is the current Special Envoy to the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Meanwhile, the NEH, represented by its chairman Ebrahim Hassan Mubarak Al Ameer, engages in various industries from hospitality management, property development, consumer electronics, to food distribution.

The parties agreed to expand their operation in Mindanao, particularly in Davao, targeting additional 10,000 hectares of farmland for agricultural production with additional investment of US$250-million over three to five years to ensure successful implementation of the expansion project.

This project, which is in line with President Duterte’s thrust to economically develop Mindanao, is expected to produce 560,000 metric tons with export value of US$280-million annually and generate about 3,000 farmworkers and 500 back-office support staff.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Philippine Ambassador to Bahrain Alfonso Ver were there at the ceremony. Among those Bahraini businessmen who witnessed the event were Shaikh Duaij bin Isa Al Khalifa, chairman of Bahrain-Asian Traders Committee, and Khalid Almoayed, chairman of Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry. ###PCO-Content

PH, Bahrain sign agreements on 2nd day of President Duterte’s state visit
(MANAMA, BAHRAIN) The Philippines and the Kingdom of Bahrain signed several agreements that will further strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries during the second-day of President Rodrigo Duterte’s state visit here.

President Duterte arrived at the Sakhir Palace at 8 p.m. (1 a.m. Friday in Manila) where he was accorded an official welcome ceremony with military honors led by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Bahrain.
His Majesty King Hamad welcomed Duterte to the royal palace where they held a bilateral meeting shortly after the welcome ceremony.

The President was accompanied by his official delegation, among are Foreign Affairs Acting Secretary Enrique Manalo, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and Special Envoy to the Middle East Roy Cimatu.

Following the bilateral meeting, President Duterte and His Majesty King Hamad witnessed the signing of four agreements including memoranda of understanding aimed at bolstering friendly ties between the Philippines and Bahrain.
Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Manalo, representing the Philippines, and Bahrain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa signed the memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the establishment of a High Joint Commission for bilateral cooperation between the Republic of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Bahrain and the MOU between Bahrain’s Diplomatic Institute and Foreign Service Institute of the Philippines.
Also signed was the protocol amending the convention between the two countries for the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and on capital. The protocol was signed by Manalo and Bahrain’s Minister of Finance Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa

Lastly, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Bahrain’s Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications Kamal bin Ahmed Mohammed signed the protocol to amend and supplement the air services agreement between Bahrain and the Philippines.
After the signing, the President and his official delegation attended an official dinner hosted by His Majesty King Hamad in honor of the visiting head of state.
The Chief Executive earlier graced a lunch hosted by Sheikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa, Deputy Prime Minister of Kingdom of Bahrain, at Ritz Carlton Hotel. ###PND