A Defense cooperation agreement between the Philippine Government and France was signed Wednesday last May 11, 2016 during the ceremony at Department of National Defense.
The agreement was signed by French Ambassador Thierry Mathou and DND Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. Both countries have been working on this arrangement since 2014.
Cooperation agreement shows a framework to develop bilateral relations between the two defense agencies. It also aims to promote the bilateral defense cooperation relating to defense equipment, defense industry, and logistics.
The agreement also strengthened cooperation by having high-level visits, dialogues and defense policy consultations, exchange of information, training and capacity building, and the development of naval cooperation.
Decision of the Philippines-France Defense Arrangement is very timely, given the increasing defense and security challenges both countries are confronted with.
The cooperation provided in the agreement could enhance both countries in defense capacities and capabilities essential in addressing challenges, defense spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said.
Furthermore, this would enable France and the Philippines to cooperate in various regional security concerns including humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR), maritime security, counter-terrorism, and among others.
Both countries look forward to the initiatives that would be implemented in accordance with the defense arrangement.
The two countries started enhancing their bilateral relations in the past year.
In February 2015, a series of agreements was signed by France and the Philippines that intensified cooperation in key areas. Which includes;
- declarations concerning the protection of the environment and development of the marine resources of the Philippines
- Cooperation on Area of Higher Education
- Tourism cooperation
- Contract for the design and construction of Manila Light Rail Transit Line 1 Extension
- Agreement for the Management, Operation and Maintenance of the Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway
- Credit facility agreement for Cebu Bus Rapid Transit Project.
The agreements are mainly focused on the environment and marine resources, higher education and research, tourism, and Transportation.
This was all signed on the first day of State visit of French Republic, President Francois Hollande.
In the middle of maritime tension in the Spratlys group of islands and Scarborough Shoal, the Philippines continues to strengthen its defense alliances with other friendly states.
Aside from the countries key ally, the United States, it also has standing defense cooperation agreements with Japan and Australia.