Executive Director Bernardita L. Catalla of the Asian and Pacific Affairs Office from the Republic of Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs paid a courtesy call on President Christopher J. Loeak during an official mission to the Republic of the Marshall Islands, March 6-9, 2013.
During the courtesy call, President Loeak welcomed Executive Director Catalla to the Republic of the Marshall Islands and expressed the value placed on the relationship between both countries. President Loeak also took the opportunity to recognize the contributions of the Filipino nationals towards the Republic of the Marshall Islands development, in the areas of infrastructure, health, education, and general commercial activities. President Loeak welcomed the Government of Philippines proposal to enter into a bilateral cooperation agreement in the areas of mutual interest.
With the closure of the Philippines Embassy in the Republic of Palau, the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs now handles direct bilateral engagement with the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and vice versa. Amongst the important matters that were discussed, Executive Director Catalla suggested that the Republic of the Marshall Islands Government submit a formal request to her Government to elevate RMI representations in the Republic of Philippines from a medical referral office to also include a full diplomatic presence.
On a separate occasion, Executive Director Catalla met with Foreign Minister Phillip Muller to discuss the cooperation framework between both countries. Discussions also focused on bilateral trade, medical tourism, technical cooperation, teacher training, fisheries cooperation, and hosting of the Pacific Islands Forum, among others. Executive Director Catalla was accompanied by Mr. Siegfred T. Masangkay, FSO, Office of Asia and Pacific Affairs, and RMI Philippine Honorary Consul Dr. Alex Pinano. Executive Director Catalla met with the Filipino community before departing the Marshall Islands.
- RMI Office of the President, Majuro, Marshall Islands