Bong Go commends government’s independent foreign policy, fostering regional cooperation and stronger relations with Vietnam to help fight impact of COVID-19
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s independent foreign policy and for reaffirming stronger regional cooperation with Vietnam especially on the common fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and in ensuring stable long-term rice supply for the country.
He also cited Duterte’s commitment to continue nurturing strategic mutually beneficial relationship with neighboring countries while maintaining an independent foreign policy.
“Naniniwala ako na sa mga hakbang na ito, hindi lamang napapatatag ang ating ugnayan sa bansang Vietnam kundi nagtutulungan tayo sa ating mga kasamahan sa ASEAN region para mapalakas ang ating laban kontra COVID-19,” Go said.
The Senator, who was also present during the telephone conversation between President Duterte and Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on Tuesday, May 26, witnessed both leaders tackling issues regarding the assurance of adequate long-term supply of rice and of critical medical equipment to combat COVID-19 for the Philippines. They also discussed the mobilization of ASEAN mechanisms to ensure critical medical supplies and equipment, such as the ASEAN Response Fund and ASEAN Regional Reserve Medical Supplies.
“Vital partner country natin ang Vietnam at maganda na nakikipagtulungan po tayo sa kanila to push for mutually beneficial endeavors, lalo na sa panahon ng krisis,” the Senator said.
He emphasized that one of the key aspects of the Philippines-Vietnam cooperation is the long-term basis of the supply of rice at competitive prices.
“Bukod rito, napag-usapan din ang isyu tungkol sa supply ng medical equipment kung saan tutulong din ang Vietnam sa atin. At nagpapasalamat tayo sa bansang Vietnam, lalo na kay Prime Minister Phúc,” Go added.
The Vietnamese leader also took the opportunity to cite the Philippine government’s comprehensive approach in fighting the pandemic, saying “We appreciate the strong measures of the Philippines in fighting COVID-19, including preventing community transmission, implementing community quarantine measures and providing social protection to the Filipino people.”
In line with this, Go urged the government to further promote stronger ties with other neighboring countries in the region, especially on the need to boost production of vital medical equipment and supplies to overcome the health crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The teleconference requested by Prime Minister Phúc, who is also leading the chairmanship of Vietnam in the ASEAN network, also tackled on how both countries can work together in mobilizing ASEAN mechanisms to ensure that the Southeast Asian region can secure the health and food supply for all of its citizens.
This comes after the Special ASEAN Summit and Special ASEAN Plus Three Summits on COVID-19 last April held via videoconference where President Duterte underscored the need to boost production of medical supplies and equipment across the ASEAN region to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and future health crises.
“We appreciate this call and commitment from Vietnam. It truly sends a strong message that in the ASEAN region, we are one in fighting not just the COVID-19 pandemic but also the need for all nations in the region to work together to come out stronger in terms of economic and social cooperation,” Go said.