PH commits to stronger friendship, cooperation with Singapore

Published August 10, 2020, 7:35 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The Philippines is committed to enhance its friendship and cooperation with Singapore, including in strengthening the partnership in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Republic of Singapore President Halimah Yacob raise their glasses for a toast during the state banquet at the Malacañan Palace on September 9, 2019. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The close relations between the two Asian neighbors were highlighted by President Duterte in a letter to Singaporean President Halimah Yacob on the 55th National Day of Singapore on Sunday, August 9.

The President’s letter to the Singapore leader was released by the Palace Sunday night.

“On this special occasion, I reaffirm the Philippines’ abiding commitment to its longstanding ties of friendship and cooperation with Singapore as a close neighbor and partner in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations),” Duterte said in the letter.

“May we continue to work together in solidarity and partnership to achieve our shared aspirations and to weather all challenges, including the current global pandemic, for the continued well-being of our peoples,” he added.

In a separate statement, the Palace noted the President extended his appreciation for Singapore’s assistance to the Philippines in enhancing its pandemic response.

“President Duterte has acknowledged Singapore’s continuing cooperation with the Philippines in fighting COVID-19, including in further strengthening the capacities of the Philippines’ public health system service providers and addressing immediate and short term needs relating to vital medical supplies and equipment,” a press statement from the Palace read.

Singapore marked 55 years of independence with a scaled down celebration on Sunday due to the pandemic.

Duterte, in his letter, noted that the Filipino nation joins the people of Singapore in celebrating its achievements that catapulted the nation into a “modern and prosperous country.”

Halimah paid a five-day official visit to the Philippines last year, which included a meeting with Duterte at the Palace. The visit coincided with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the Philippines and Singapore.

The two leaders agreed to strengthen economic and defense cooperation between the two nations during their meeting in Malacañang back in September, 2019.