PHL, Korea sign five agreements for development assistance

November 21, 2011 11:03 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 21 — The Philippines and Korea further solidified its relations spanning 60 years by signing five agreements on furthering agriculture, electricity, and development assistance between the two countries.

The signing ceremony was held at Malacañang’s Reception Hall on the occasion of the three-day State Visit of Republic of Korea President Lee Myung-Bak to the Philippines on Monday.

The first two agreements, signed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Kim Sung-hwan, center on simplifying the processing and obtaining of loans and grants.

The Framework Agreement for Grant Aid between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Republic of Korea will facilitate the processing of grant projects while the Framework Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Republic of Korea Concerning Loans from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund for the Years 2011 through 2013 enables the Philippine government to obtain soft loans of up to $ 500-million from the Republic of Korea.

The third agreement, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Energy and the Ministry of Knowledge Economy involves the setting up of a power plant in the Subic Bay Economic Zone using environment friendly technology to address the medium-term and long-term projected electricity needs of the Luzon grid.

This agreement was signed between DoE Secretary Jose Almendras and Knowledge Economy Minister Hong Suk Woo.

The fourth and fifth agreements are between the Department of Agriculture of the Philippines, Agriculture Minister Suh Kyu-yong and the Korea Export Import Bank President Kim Yong-hwan.

The MoU between the Department of Agriculture and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on the Multi-Industry Cluster Project in the Philippines is a type of public-private partnership business where the efficient use of agricultural resources of both countries is promoted while the MoU between the DA and Korea EXIM Bank on the Jalaur River Multi-Purpose Project Stage II is an irrigation project intended to significantly contribute to sustaining rice self-sufficiency levels by 2013.

Presidents Aquino and Lee witnessed the signing of the agreements.

In his speech, President Aquino cited the strengthening relations between the two countries and vowed to “steadily advance our bilateral relationship to reach even greater heights.”

“I have full confidence that our meeting this morning has helped position our two countries towards a more positive, dynamic and nurturing friendship that will best serve the mutual interest of the Filipino and Korean peoples,” President Aquino said.

For his part, President Lee cited the “limitless potential” the Philippines has due to its highly skilled labor force and abundance of natural resources.

“And in that regard, cooperation between Korea and the Philippines is also limitless as well,” President Lee said.

The Republic of Korea is the fifth largest trade partner of the Philippines with bilateral trade reaching 6.08-million dollars in 2010. It is also the third top investor in the Philippines with investments reaching 691.3-million dollars. (PNA)

DCT/PCOO/ssc

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