PRRD reinstates his appeal for peace in the Korean Peninsula

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MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has reaffirmed his plea for Asean leaders to resume negotiations in order to restore peace in the Korean Peninsula.

He made this statement during the 22nd Asean-Republic of Korea Summit on Oct. 26, which was held via video conference.

“Securing peace in the Korean Peninsula remains a priority issue for all of us. The Philippines reiterates its call for all parties to continue dialogue and work towards lasting peace and stability in a denuclearized Korean Peninsula,” he said.

Despite the resumption of a provocative weapons test, South Korean President Moon Jae-in promised on Monday to push for dialogues with North Korea until the end of his term.

Meanwhile, Duterte welcomed Vietnam as the new country coordinator of Asean-Republic of Korea (ROK) Dialogue Relations for 2021-2024 and thanked Brunei Darussalam for being the previous country coordinator.

He also guaranteed the Philippines’ full support for Asean-ROK relations to be strengthened further.

Exceptional Covid-19 response

The Joint Statement on Advancing Asean-ROK Cooperation was described by Duterte as a “key action document” that highlighted complementarities between the New Southern Policy Plus of the ROK and Asean’s major strategies for building a community of peace and prosperity in the post-Covid-19 period.

He applauded the ROK’s “exemplary” Covid-19 response, which included containing the disease’s spread and advocating for vaccine multilateralism.

Duterte also thanked the ROK for its “considerable donation” to the Covid-19 Asean Response Fund.

“As we work towards recovery, we welcome collaboration on vaccine production and other initiatives under the Asean’s Comprehensive Recovery Framework,” he said.

Duterte said he looks forward to increased cooperation in public health security now that the Asean-ROK Health Dialogue Channel has convened.

Citing Covid-19 as an example of how economies might be exposed, Duterte also underlined the importance of greater regional economic integration.

He urged his fellow Asean leaders to make every effort to fully execute the Asean-Korea Free Trade Agreement and achieve the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement’s early entry into force.

“We welcome the signing of the Philippines-ROK Free Trade Agreement today. This is a step towards deeper integration which is needed for our economies to recover and bounce back,” he said.

Duterte backed the upgrading of the New Southern Policy, especially the big initiatives targeted at improving people-to-people connectivity.

“Cooperation in the digital content industry, through capacity building and co-production, can certainly bring our peoples even closer together,” he said.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.