DAVAO CITY — Republic of Palau President Thomas “Tommy” Remengesau Jr. paid a courtesy call on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte here on Thursday, February 15.
During the courtesy call held at the Presidential Guest House, the two leaders tackled enhancing areas of mutual interest such as foreign labor, maritime security, medical tourism and education.
President Duterte conveyed the Philippine government’s strong commitment to strengthen its relationship with Palau noting that the bond between the two countries remains “good and solid.”
The Chief Executive commended the people of Palau and its government for being “good-natured” and for having a peaceful nation.
He stressed that police cooperation will not become a problem between the two nations due to the peacefulness of Palau.
He also discussed sustainable maritime defense with President Remengesau saying that he has been working with the key players in the sector to improve maritime security in the Asia Pacific Region.
President Duterte also expressed his interest in providing scholarships for Palau citizens who wish to study in colleges and universities for higher education, particularly in the field of medicine.
Both leaders likewise noted that their nations had a memorandum of understanding where both countries would exchange knowledge and expertise on medical tourism and referral and higher education.
For his part, President Remengesau expressed his gratitude to the Filipinos for having been “very instrumental” in the economic development of Palau.
He said Filipino workers make up about 60 percent of the foreign population in their country.
He also reiterated his appeal to the Philippine government to reopen its embassy in Palau.
He also mentioned his country’s effort to set up more direct flights between the Philippines and Palau to further improve connectivity and boost tourism cooperation.
Remengesau was accompanied by Governor of Ngiwal State Ellender Ngirameketii, Governor of Airai State Tmewang Rengulbai, Chief of Staff Secilil Eldebechel and Oscar TJ Remengesau.
On the Philippine side, present were Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Enrique Manalo, Commission on Higher Education officer-in-charge Prospero de Vera III, Dangerous Drug Board Chairman Catalino Cuy, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director General Aaron Aquino, Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Undersecretary Eduardo Gongona and Department of Health Assistant Secretary Abdullah Dumama Jr. PND