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Defense Ministry Level TOR Signed between PH and Thailand

The Philippines and Thailand have always been natural partners bilaterally and through ASEAN-related engagements and the conclusion of the Terms of Reference (TOR) on the Joint Committee on Military Cooperation is another milestone. This was stressed by Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana during the signing of the TOR at the Department of National Defense on 17 August 2017.

Undersecretary of National Defense Cardozo M. Luna and Thai Permanent Secretary for Defense General Chaichan Changmongkol signed the TOR with Secretary Lorenzana and Thailand Ambassador to the Philippines Thanatip Upatising witnessing the signing. The TOR completes the series of arrangements that have been previously inked at the level of the two countries’ major services, with that of the Philippine Navy being signed in 2012, Philippine Army in 2015 and Philippine Air Force in 2016.

With the TOR signed, the JCMC convened for the first time. Co-chaired by Assistant Raymund Quilop and Thai Deputy Permanent Secretary for Defense General Chatudom Titthasiri, the committee assessed the current state of PH-Thailand defense cooperation and identified ways forward for the partnership. With both sides acknowledging the robustness of the two ministries’ defense engagements, there was a shared sense to explore cooperation in the areas of research and development as well as science and technology, in recognition of the increasing need to develop defense capabilities indigenous to the two neighbors.

The two delegations also exchanged views on current and emerging security issues to include violent extremism and terrorism, maritime security and HADR. Both sides expressed mutual support for each other’s advocacies and initiatives within the ambit of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and the ADMM-Plus. While the Thai assured the Philippine side of continued support for DND’s chairmanship of the ADMM this year, the Philippine delegation manifested its appreciation for Thailand’s tangible contributions to the ASEAN defense sector to include the establishment of an ASEAN Center for Military Medicine.

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