The Philippine and Mexican governments signed two bilateral agreements during Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario’s working visit to Mexico recently.
The two agreements, signed by Del Rosario and Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa on February 16, include the establishment of a Joint Bilateral Consultation Meeting and providing for an exchange of information, training modules and scholars for diplomatic training.
Del Rosario noted that in the past 60 years of Philippine-Mexico relations, 21 bilateral agreements had been signed mainly on education and culture. He underscored the need to focus on bilateral trade and investments.
During his visit, the foreign secretary also met with Mexican First Lady Margarita Zavala to discuss Mexico’s social welfare programs, such as the Seguro Popular, Mexico’s public health insurance system, and Oportunidades, which is similar to the Philippines’ conditional cash transfer program.
The Philippines has been studying these programs to learn Mexico’s “best practices” in addressing the needs of the poor.
Zavala is president of Mexico’s Integrated Family Development Program, which provides welfare services to the country’s poor.
Zavala visited the Philippines in November last year and met with government officials led by President Aquino. Tina G. Santos