Philippines, Australia ink new strategic partnership
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese signed a new strategic partnership on Friday to boost ties between the two countries.
Marcos and Albanese signed the Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership following a bilateral meeting in Malacañang.
“This signing of the Joint Declaration of Strategic Partnership signals our mutual commitment to deepening collaboration across the spectrum of areas that are vital to both our country’s growth and prosperity,” said Marcos during a speech after the partnership’s signing.
“Furthermore, the agreements signed and witnessed today symbolize our joint determination to enhance our cooperation across various domains from development to cultural exchanges. These agreements represent a tangible commitment to work together for the betterment of our two nations,” he added.
Meanwhile, Albanese said the new agreement symbolizes “the strength of our relationship and our shared commitment to do more together.”
Bilateral meeting discussions
The Australian Prime Minister made several announcements during his speech regarding new projects and plans with the Philippines.
According to Albanese, he and Marcos have agreed to formalize an annual defense minister’s meeting.
“Australia works closely with the Philippines to support peace and stability in conflict-affected Mindanao, and I’m pleased to announce today a new 5-year program to help further reduce violent conflict reintegrate former combatants and improve community development and livelihoods, particularly for women and those in vulnerable situations,” said Albanese.
Albanese also announced that the Australian government will double the number of scholarship awards available to students from the Philippines.
“We’re also supporting the reestablishment of the Philippines Institute at the Australian National University, which will boost partnerships between Australian and Filipino academic institutions,” said the prime minister.
Additionally, a memorandum of understanding has been executed to allocate $4.4 million for joint research efforts aimed at assisting the Philippines in crafting its national soil health strategy.