Jun 062013
The Philippines and Timor Leste have inked three bilateral agreements in areas of education, policy consultations and infrastructure to further strengthen the cooperation between the two countries.

The signings were announced during the five-day visit to the Philippines of Timor Leste Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao — a visit that aims to strengthen his nation’s bid to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The first agreement—a Memorandum of Understanding and Policy Consultations between the Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste—was signed by DFA chief Albert Del Rosario and his Timor Leste counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation José Luís Guterres.

The MOU will define the cooperation between the Philippines and Timor-Leste, particularly on issues of regional and international mutual interest.

A second agreement that recognizes the expertise of trainers from the Philippine Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and aims to build the capability of Timor-Leste Public Works’ personnel in infrastructure planning, quality control, and maintenance was also signed.

DPWH chief Rogelio Singson and his counterpart, Timor Leste Minister of Public Works Gastão Francisco de Sousa, inked the agreement that will establish a cooperative approach between the two countries in terms of mentoring, to facilitate capacity development.

Finally, Commission of Higher Education (CHED) chair Dr. Patricia B. Licuanan and Timor Leste Minister of Education Bendito dos Santos Freitas signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippine Normal University and the Ministry of Education of Timor-Leste, which will develop a training program for Timorese teachers using the Philippines’ best practices as model. Patricia Denise Chiu/KBK, GMA News

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