22 March 2017

Andanar: Ph, Thailand should tap rich area of cooperation in media and public information
BANGKOK, THAILAND — Communications Secretary Jose Martin Ruperto Andanar on Tuesday, March 21 met with Lt. Gen. Werachon Sukonthapatipak, Deputy Government Spokesman under the Secretariat of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand

to exchange on-ground experiences and forge cooperation in terms of training and practice in running the information and media arm of their respective governments to bring fast accurate and truthful reports to the general public.

Andanar was given a brief tour of the Information facilities, such as the media briefing room and holding room for guests, the studio for pre-recording of events message, and the work area for the local press.

“A very productive morning in Bangkok, Thailand,” Andanar immediately posted on his FB account. “My PCOO Team and I are happy to report to you [the public] that both sides (Philippines and Thailand) agreed to craft a Communications Bilateral MOU,” he added, with accompanying pictures of the Information officials exchanging tokens that are also conversational pieces from each country.

NBT or the National Broadcasting Services of Thailand is the counterpart of the PTV4 or the Philippine government’s People’s Television Network 4, which expects to undergo upgrading, together with other agencies supervised by the Communications Office namely, the Philippine News Agency, Philippine Information Agency, the Radyo ng Bayan, and the Bureau of Communications Services.

Recently, the Communications Office under Andanar has initiated a pioneering consultation on the draft policy related to social media, whose influence and accessibility have been the recourse of the public looking for alternative sources of information free of business and political interests of traditional media.

Andanar said that the areas of cooperation between the Philippines and Thailand may cover the services of TV, radio, and print; public relations, and social media management.

“The world is so connected now, and information is vital,” said Andanar, as he emphasized the value of fostering the Memorandum of Understanding between and among ASEAN neighbors.

He echoed President Rodrigo Duterte’s assertion of the independent position of the Philippines as a nation and enjoined the ASEAN community to strengthen ranks in regional cooperation in terms of media and information to serve the best interests of the public. ### PCO-Content

Duterte’s Thailand visit highlighted by signing of bilateral agreements
BANGKOK, THAILAND — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha witnessed the signing of documents on areas of cooperation between the Republic of the Philippines and the Kingdom of Thailand at the Santi Maitri Building, Government House in Bangkok on Tuesday, March 21.

The signing ceremony covers the agreement on areas of cooperation namely, Science and Technology;
Tourism, and Agriculture specifically Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) of the Republic of the Philippines on Swamp and Dairy Buffalo Production.

Both leaders gave a joint press statement following their meeting and the signing ceremony.

President Duterte in his speech after the signing ceremony, rallied for support from Thailand in moving forward to a future of greater peace, progress and prosperity.

“As countries facing similar challenges and as brothers in ASEAN, we have a joint stake in keeping our relations always vibrant, always strong and always geared towards upholding the greater and collective interests of our countries and our region,” he said.

Duterte also stressed the need to address traditional and emerging threats to the region’s collective security and stability.

These include transnational crimes such as terrorism and violent extremism, piracy at sea, as well as the trafficking in persons, and in illicit drugs.

“We stressed the importance of our defense cooperation to achieve these goals and looked forward to the inaugural Joint Committee on Military Cooperation this year,” he said.

On the issue of economic interest, the President said economic reforms are being instituted in the Philippines.

“With our emphasis on combatting corruption, eradicating criminality, and dismantling the illegal drug trade apparatus, we are hopeful of more investments coming from Thailand,” the President said.

The Philippines and Thailand have vibrant economic relations, with a trade value of over 9 billion (dollars) in 2016.

Both countries also recognized the importance of cooperation in agriculture where there have been significant advancements in this area.

“We look to greater cooperation and exchange of best practices in irrigation, artificial rain, livestock and fisheries, and application of technology for soil and water conservation,” he said.

In the area of tourism, the Philippines looks forward to activities such as promotion of joint tourism destinations to harness this key sector of growth.

Duterte stressed the need to maintain peace and stability in the region, including the South China Sea.

“We recognized too, that respect for freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea is in the interest of all counties within and outside the region,” he said.

Both sides emphasized the need for the full and effective implementation of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and expressed determination to complete the Framework of the Code of Conduct in 2017.

In closing, Duterte thanked Thailand’s continuing key role for the growth and stability of the Association. ###PND

“Strengthened cooperation”: PRRD completes ASEAN visits
BANGKOK, THAILAND – Foreign Affairs Acting Secretary Enrique Manalo praised the completed ASEAN visits of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte by emphasizing the importance of agreements between countries, including a framework on code of conduct, to promote cooperation, stability, and sustainability during a press briefing held March 22 at the Mandarin Oriental.

“The purpose of the Code is to see how we can manage disputes carefully, not to raise tensions, not to escalate tensions,” Manalo said.

The details of the framework will be under continuing negotiations and discussions, to be based on the “key principles of mutual respect and mutual benefit.”

Manalo summarized the positive results of President Duterte’s official visits to Myanmar and Thailand, which caps the ASEAN-wide introductory visits he has made since assuming office in July 2016.

Joining Manalo in the panel were Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Teo, Executive Director Arnel del Barrio of the Philippine Carabao Center of the Department of Agriculture, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar who led the briefing.

The meetings in Myanmar with President U Htin Kyaw and other officials such as State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, said Manalo, “reaffirmed the friendship and excellent relations” between the two countries, spanning six decades.


In Bangkok, President Duterte issued a joint statement with Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha, recognizing “the synergy to further deepen and expand cooperation in areas of mutual interest and to work together to strengthen the ASEAN Community.”

Common areas of cooperation identified with the two countries are on trade, tourism, agriculture, defense and security, intelligence, science and technology, cultural exchange, education, energy, and humanitarian assistance and development cooperation programs.

On a more specific note, Del Barrio shared that the Philippines and Thailand reached an understanding “to establish and promote cooperation and exchange in the areas of swamp and dairy buffalo.” The cooperation gives a boost to researchers and scientists to expand collaborative opportunities to exchange knowledge and techniques that will mutually benefit both agricultural countries.

Teo, meanwhile, is eyeing to improve the marketing and promotion of the Philippines in relation to Thailand.

“I would like to see more Thai people coming to the Philippines,” the Tourism Secretary said. Thailand has promised to start flying its airline to Cebu and Davao and back to Bangkok.


Trade Secretary Lopez shared the good news that Thailand made a commitment “to help us balance the trade” between Thailand and the Philippines. Currently, Thailand is the country’s sixth largest trading partner.

“But they have a trade surplus. In other words, mas malaki po ang export nila sa atin, kaysa ‘yung export natin sa kanila,” Lopez explained to illustrate the need to balance trade between economies.

Myanmar hosts some 800 Filipinos as overseas workers. Thailand has more than 14,000 Filipinos, with a number working as English teachers, engineers, and other professionals.

In Myanmar President Duterte extended a pledge worth US $300,000 to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as humanitarian assistance to Myanmar’s Rakhine State, the Foreign Affairs Acting Secretary confirmed.

Asked about whether the Philippines is going to file a protest against China on its planned construction of an environmental monitoring station, Manalo said that the Philippines is seeking clarification with China, but at the same time is “maintaining a regular close watch over Scarborough Shoal.”

Senator Cayetano explained the diplomatic stance of the President who in a statement expressed cognizance that “the respect for freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea is in the interest of all countries within and outside the region.”

Both Myanmar and Thailand reiterated full confidence and support to the Philippines as host of the ASEAN Summit this year.

Manalo is aware that the negotiations among the countries may not be always easy, considering the differences in each country’s background, history, and present needs.

“But I think with enough will, I think we can move forward,” he said. ###PCO-Content