News Release

PH, Brunei sign deals on tourism, food security, maritime, agriculture, seafaring

At least three memoranda of understanding (MOUs) and one letter of intent (LOI) were forged between the governments of the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam during the two-day state visit of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to the Sultanate on Tuesday.

The three MOUs signed were efforts on boosting tourism cooperation between the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam; on Mutual Recognition of Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) certificates; and on maritime cooperation.

An LOI to renew memorandum of understanding on food security and agricultural cooperation was also forged.

The MOU on tourism cooperation was signed between the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) of Brunei Darussalam, which aims to generate cooperative tourism projects and increase tourist arrivals between the two countries.

It also aims to support niche tourism development, particularly in the area of Islamic tourism and the promotion of Muslim friendly destinations.

Meanwhile, the MOU on STCW certificates allows the national agencies of the Philippines and Brunei to recognize the national certificates issued by both focal agencies of the two countries.

It also replaces and updates a prior MOU between the Philippines and Brunei signed in 2001.

An MOU on Maritime Cooperation was also signed between the Philippines and Brunei, which both sides agreed to further cooperation on wide ranging areas including pollution, skills training, research and information sharing.

*It is also crucial for maritime nations like the Philippines and Brunei.*

The LOI, on the other hand, was executed between the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Agriculture and Agrifood Department (AAD) of the Ministry of Agriculture of Brunei Darussalam.

It underscores the interest of both the Philippines and Brunei to explore further cooperation and collaboration on the field of agriculture for food security and sustainable agriculture between the two countries.

In a bilateral meeting with His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, President Marcos said the Philippines and Brunei has continued active and close engagements in all areas of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

“And for that, we hope to expand the partnerships that we have begun and we feel that there is much potential that we can examine,” President Marcos said.

“I think the MOUs that are being signed today that we shall witness, Your Majesty, will be a very good start to once again re-energize, and I think the areas that we have talked about – that we have paid attention to for these MOUs are certainly rich with potential,” he added.

The President hopes that the partnership between the Philippines and Brunei will go beyond the signed MOUs and LOI.

For his part, the Sultan said the economic ties and people-to-people exchange between the Philippines and Brunei continue to strengthen especially in ensuring mutually beneficial areas for the two countries.

“Your state visit today is customary to our two countries to continue the friendship and ties. That’s clear as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations. I believe that we are commemorating this significant occasion through visits,” the Sultan said.

“I’m looking forward to further enhancing our friendship in areas of future interest, which I believe will greatly benefit our countries and people,” he added.

He added the signing of the three MOUs and the LOI “will foster deeper cooperation and understanding between” the Filipinos and Bruneians.

President Marcos is embarking on a two-day state visit to Brunei Darussalam upon the invitation of the Sultan. The diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Brunei span over 40 years since it was formalized on January 1, 1984. |PND