• PH, Indonesia ink pacts on education, illegal drugs

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     WIDODO AT RIZAL PARK Indonesian President Joko Widodo stands beside Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada after offering a wreath at the monument of Jose Rizal in Luneta. PHOTO BY MELYN ACOSTA


    WIDODO AT RIZAL PARK Indonesian President Joko Widodo stands beside Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada after offering a wreath at the monument of Jose Rizal in Luneta. PHOTO BY MELYN ACOSTA

    The Philippines and Indonesia on Monday reaffirmed their deep partnership with the signing of four agreements to bolster cooperation in education, in combating illegal drug trade and the protection of migrant workers.

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    The agreements were forged shortly after President Benigno Aquino 3rd and Indonesian President Joko Widodo held talks on efforts to enhance bilateral ties between the two countries in Malacañang.

    The Philippines is the last stop of Widodo’s three-country Southeast Asian trip. The Indonesian leader also visited Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam.

    The joint declaration on the protection of migrants and migrant workers “aims to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the promotion and protection of the rights of migrants and migrant workers through such mechanisms as cooperation on the matter between their respective diplomatic and consular nations.”

    Aquino said he and Widodo shared a “mutual interest to work closely with one another to protect our migrants wherever they may be in the world.”

    Another major highlight of the meetings were discussions on increased cooperation in technical vocational education and training.

    The agreement on technical vocational education and training will allow “the conduct of joint research, benchmarking and comparability of competency standards and technical qualifications” specifically in priority areas like “the recognition of education and training credentials and the hosting of symposia, conferences and workshops, among others.”
    The third agreement refers to cooperation in “defense and security studies.”

    Under the agreement, both countries will promote academic networking and exchanges, reciprocal access to libraries and exchanges of academic staff, teachers and researchers as well as of public literature.

    A cooperation agreement was also signed between the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and Indonesia’s Badan Narkotika Nasional (BNN) on “cooperation in combating illicit trafficking and abuse of narcotics, psychotropic substances and their precursors.”

    The Philippines had formally requested a judicial review of the case involving a Filipino drug courier on Indonesia’s death row.

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