Duterte to sign sports, tourism, crime, labor pacts with Cambodia
PHNOM PENH – President Duterte may sign four agreements with Cambodia during his two-day state visit to the country, Philippine Ambassador to Cambodia Christopher Montero said.
Montero said agreements on sports and tourism cooperation have been drawn up, while agreements on transnational crime and labor were being drafted.
The agreement on sports cooperation would involve an exchange between the two countries of the best practices on sports management and training, and an exchange of sports officials.
“We’d like to highlight sports as a means to foster people to people exchange,” Montero told reporters here.
Cambodian sports officials have also sought a meeting with Sen. Manny Pacquiao in preparation for their hosting of the Southeast Asian games in 2023, he said.
Pacquiao is hugely popular in Cambodia, and even Prime Minister Hun Sen is a fan, he said.
The agreement on tourism cooperation would contain the protocol to implement an existing agreement on tourism management, tourism marketing, exchange of best practices, and the conservation of heritage sites.
Montero said the agreement with Cambodia on transnational crime, which was still being drafted Tuesday, could be the first such agreement under the new administration.
The police institutions of the Philippines and Cambodia, under the deal, could be expected to work together to address drug trafficking, terrorism, extremism, and financial and economic crimes, he said.
“If it will be signed during the President’s visit here in Cambodia, it will be the first agreement on transnational crime under the new administration. It highlights and supports, lends an international dimension against the President’s campaign against the drug menace,” he said.
The agreement on labor cooperation is still being drafted, but Montero said the Philippines and Cambodia had signed in May a declaration of cooperation on migrant workers.
He said Cambodia was interested in vocational training because they feel the Philippines has a high level of expertise in this area.
Cambodia has an education and a human resources gap because during the time of the Khmer Rouge, the entire educated class was exterminated, and this was followed by decades of civil war, he explained.
Filipinos actually play a significant role in training Cambodians. Many of the more than 5,000 Filipinos in Cambodia work as managers, supervisors, professionals, and skilled workers, he pointed out.
Duterte is scheduled to arrive in Phnom Penh on Tuesday evening, and would proceed to a meeting with the Filipino community. CDG
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.