IN A bid to further enhance the country’s ties with Vietnam, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. vowed to support efforts and initiatives to boost people-to-people relations and culture and tourism.
In a meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Ching, Marcos renewed the Philippine government’s commitment to promote people-to-people relations with Vietnam particularly in education.
Marcos said the implementation program for the agreement on Cooperation on Tourism for 2024 to 2028 that aims to boost tourism between the two countries is already being finalized.
The program seeks to extend the air services between the Philippines and Vietnam, which will boost both economic activity and interpersonal relationships.
In 2022, a total of 38,605 Vietnamese tourists have arrived in the Philippines, far higher than the 1,785 arrivals in 2021 but still lower than the 66,798 Vietnamese tourist arrivals in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in the closure of borders of all countries around the world.
“This will be achieved through exchanges of publications, exhibitions showcasing arts and culture. This will also encourage an exchange of information amongst our esteemed experts, researchers, and professors,” the President said.
Marcos also reaffirmed the Philippines’ commitment to work with Vietnam in protecting both Filipinos and Vietnamese, including addressing human trafficking in the region, which is part of the two countries’ efforts to promote closer ties among its peoples.
In a meeting with the Filipino community in Vietnam, Marcos expressed gratitude to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) there, saying their presence in the Southeast Asian country manifests the strong Philippine-Vietnam relations.
“Isang patunay ng malapit na ugnayan ng ating dalawang bansa ay ang tinatawag nating people-to-people connections. At kayo, ang mga Pilipino na nandito sa Vietnam, ang patunay kung gaano kalapit ang ating mga bansa,” he said.
(A proof of the close relationship between our two countries is what we call people-to-people connections. And you, the Filipinos here in Vietnam, are proof of how close our countries are.)
“Kaya’t ako’y lubos na nagpapasalamat sa inyong lahat dahil napapadali ang aking trabaho dahil sa magandang reputasyon na itinaguyod niyo sa pamamagitan ng inyong sipag at tiyaga dito sa Vietnam,” he added.
(So I am very grateful to all of you because my work has been made easier because of the good reputation you have promoted through your hard work and perseverance here in Vietnam.)
The Malacañang said Vietnam currently serves as a home to some 7,000 OFWs whose remittances amounted to $13,683,000 in 2022. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)