28 August 2015
President Benigno S. Aquino III welcomed Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha of the Kingdom of Thailand and his wife Madame Naraporn Chan-o-cha on the second day of the Thai leader’s Official Visit to the Philippines.
Upon his arrival in Malacañan Palace, Prime Minister Chan-o-cha was accorded honors at the Palace grounds led by President Aquino and his sister Maria Elena Aquino-Cruz. Afterwhich, he signed the guest book then proceeded to the Music Room for a courtesy call on President Aquino, followed by an expanded bilateral meeting at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room.
In their joint press statements, President Aquino cited the numerous agreements between the two governments that enhanced cooperation in the areas of air services, defense, agriculture, energy, tourism and culture.
“Our discussions specifically focused on trade and investments, security and the strengthening of our people-to-people ties. Our two nations also committed to work towards signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs which reiterated our shared belief that our peoples must be protected from dangerous drugs,” he said.
Likewise, both leaders recognized the importance of education which is the principle behind the two governments’ efforts towards the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the Exchanges of Professional Teachers. The MOA is expected to further enhance the competencies of Filipino and Thai teachers.
Moreover, President Aquino stated that Thailand has proven to be a reliable friend for its continuing support to the country in times of need.
“In the aftermath of typhoon Hagupit last year, Thailand generously extended to us US$100,000 in financial assistance and 500 metric tons of rice. Such an action only demonstrates the solidarity of your people with mine,” he said.
After the joint press statements, a state luncheon was hosted in honor of the Prime Minister and Madame Chan-o-cha at the Rizal Hall of Malacañan Palace. In his remarks, President Aquino recalled that the Thai leader, who was then chief of the Royal Thai Army, led a delegation of officials and turned over US$30,000 for the victims of typhoon Bopha (local name: Pablo) in December 2012. On the other hand, the Philippines extended various assistance after the onslaught of severe flooding in Thailand back in 2011.
“These expressions of support are but contemporary manifestations of the long history between our peoples. Looking back on what we have achieved together, I can say with all certainty: we look to the horizon with great optimism,” President Aquino said.
Prime Minister Chan-o-cha arrived past six in the evening on August 27 at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay City. He was welcomed by Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Albert Del Rosario, Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Gregory Domingo, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairperson Francis Tolentino and officials from the Embassy of Thailand in the Philippines.
He offered a wreath at the Gat Jose Rizal Monument in Luneta before going to Malacañang. The Prime Minister is scheduled to leave Manila for Bangkok this afternoon.
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