MANILA – The Philippines and Singapore expressed mutual commitment to further revitalize the two nations' defense and security ties.
Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong, in a statement Monday, said the commitment was made during the 6th Philippines-Singapore Defense Policy Dialogue (DPD) last July 19 to 20 in Manila.
"Co-chaired by (DND) Assistant Secretary for Strategic Assessments and International Affairs Pablo M. Lorenzo and Singapore's Deputy Secretary (Policy) BGen. (Brig. Gen) Kelvin Fan, both sides acknowledged the positive momentum of bilateral defense relations, marked by the signing of two defense arrangements over the past year," he added.
The officials also exchanged views and insights on recent security developments in the region as well as future initiatives which the two defense ministries could further discuss through bilateral and multilateral platforms.
"The Singaporean side commended the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on its counter-terrorism operations, which contributed to a conducive environment for the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and expressed interest to learn the best practices and experience of the Philippines on counter-terrorism," Andolong said.
"In response, the Philippines looked forward to chairing in 2024 the Counter-Terrorism Information Facility (CTIF), initiated by Singapore in strengthening regional intelligence capabilities to monitor and deter terrorist activities through research and analysis, and information-sharing," he added.
Lorenzo also expressed the country's interest to learn more about the recently established Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS) of Singapore.
He also hoped that the Philippines and Singapore could work toward enhancing their respective cybersecurity initiatives through subject matter expertise exchange and information sharing.
"In addition, both sides saw a positive trajectory on enhanced bilateral cooperation through the establishment of working groups of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) and the Philippine Navy (PN) with their respective counterparts at the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). Opportunities for education and training exchanges were also explored in support of the thrust of the Secretary of National Defense (SND) in improving the professionalization of the DND," he said.
Before the meeting, DND Undersecretary Angelito de Leon received Fan during a courtesy call, where they briefly discussed future defense frameworks that could be pursued between the two countries.
"As part of his visit to the Philippines, the Air Force City Council of Commanders also welcomed Deputy Secretary Fan during his visit to the Clark Airbase on July 19, 2023. The visit provided an opportunity for both countries to discuss potential joint activities and initiatives to enhance cooperation between the air forces of the two countries," Andolong said. (PNA)