House adopts reso enhancing PH-Japan parliamentary ties

By Filane Mikee Cervantes

August 1, 2023, 9:47 am

<p><em>(PNA file photo by Joan Bondoc)</em></p>

(PNA file photo by Joan Bondoc)

MANILA – The House of Representatives has adopted a resolution seeking to strengthen parliamentary cooperation between the Philippines and Japan through the Philippines-Japan Parliamentarians’ Friendship Society.

During Monday's plenary session, the chamber adopted House Resolution 1146, which also designated the officers and members of the friendship society.

Speaker Martin Romualdez, an author of the resolution, said that through the Philippine-Japan Parliamentarians’ Friendship Society, the Philippines and Japan share a "common aspiration to intensify their collaborative endeavors in pursuit of regional peace and prosperity, to promote mutual understanding and cooperation, and to strengthen the bonds of camaraderie and solidarity between them."

According to the resolution, Zamboanga del Norte Rep. Glona Labadlabad will serve as the organization's chairperson and Pangasinan Rep. Ma. Rachel Arenas as vice-chairperson.

Designated as members are Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio Gonzales Jr., Deputy Speakers Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Isidro Ungab, Roberto Puno, Kristine Singson-Meehan, Camille Villar, Raymond Democrito Mendoza, Ralph Recto, Vincent Frasco and Senior Deputy Majority Leader Ferdinand Alexander Marcos, among others

“The Philippines and Japan have a history of close bilateral relations spanning more than 67 years now. And in those long years, Japan has always been a close ally in almost every facet of international relations, especially in the areas of trade and economy,” Romualdez said.

The resolution noted that the Philippines-Japan Parliamentarians’ Friendship Society was organized with the adoption of House Resolution No. 14 on Nov. 13, 1987, adding that the friendship society strengthened the inter-parliamentary dialogue and enhanced beneficial ties between the House of Representatives of both the Republic of the Philippines and Japan.

It added that the friendship society is based on “genuine friendship and mutual trust and respect,” where the relationship between the Philippines and Japanese governments was strengthened.

“As members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the World Scout Parliamentary Union, and the Global Parliamentarians on Habitat, the bilateral and international cooperation between the Philippines and Japan intensified and led to more purposeful exchanges of best practices and experiences in promoting sustainable development goals and other mutual concerns and interests," the resolution said.

It also said that with the accession of Japan as a dialogue partner to the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, “the special relationship of the Philippines and Japan is further developed, and the regional cooperation towards perpetual peace, everlasting amity, and collaboration among the peoples in ASEAN is enhanced."

Meanwhile, members of the House of Representatives led by Romualdez warmly welcomed members of the Japan-Philippines Parliamentarians Friendship League (JPPFL) headed by Chairman Hiroshi Moriyama in a courtesy call on Monday at the Batasan Complex.

Romualdez was hopeful that the meeting would pave the way for stronger bilateral relations, vigorous economic cooperation and productive parliamentary interactions.

He recalled that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. visited Japan early this year and had a fruitful dialogue with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on leveling up engagements on trade and business as well as defense and maritime security, among others.

Moriyama highlighted the importance of inter-parliamentary exchanges for further development of bilateral ties.

He assured the Speaker that Japan is actively supporting the Philippines’ economic growth. He likewise took the opportunity to express his sympathy for Filipinos affected by the recent typhoons.

Other House members present were Gonzales, Frasco, Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe, Minority Leader Marcelino Libanan, Deputy Majority Leaders Antonio Albano and Julienne Baronda, Arenas, Labadlabad, and Committee on Agriculture and Food chairperson Rep. Wilfrido Mark Enverga. Also present was Philippine Ambassador to Japan Mylene Garcia-Albano.

The JPPFL contingent included Vice Chairman Shinsuke Okuno, Secretary General Taku Otsuka, Executive Director Hideki Miyauchi and Deputy Secretary General Yamato Aoyama. They were joined by Japanese Ambassador to Manila Kazuhiko Koshikawa.

Lawmakers formally acknowledged the JPPFL members during the plenary session presided over by Singson-Meehan. (PNA)