President Duterte’s declaration of an independent foreign policy is consistent with the wording of the constitution, but what is new is the Philippines’ pivot to China and Russia and its deteriorating relationship with the United States, its long-standing ally and partner.
The country has also strengthened its strategic partnership with Japan, its bilateral relationship with Australia and maritime security cooperation with neighbors Malaysia and Indonesia.
On the domestic front, a bill that will lengthen to 10 years the validity of the Philippine passport is awaiting Duterte’s signature. The president’s promise to open more Consular offices to decongest Metro Manila sites and avoid queues for passport applications seems to have hit a snag. So far only one satellite office was opened, part of a project that started in 2012. And the queues in booking appointments for passport application have become longer than ever.
On strengthening relations
with neighbouring countries
|PROMISE: “We have to
strengthen our coordination with Indonesia and Malaysia to suppress the
kidnappings in the waters of our neighbouring countries.”
The joint maritime patrol by the Philippines,
Malaysia and Indonesia to fight transnational crimes and terrorism in the Sulu
Sea began on June 19, 2017, one year after it was conceived. The Trilateral
Maritime Patrol was inaugurated in the Tarakan Naval Base in North Kalimantan,
While this trilateral cooperation kicked off
A similar Trilateral Meeting on Security with an
On sustaining bilateral
and multilateral relationships with other nations
|PROMISE: “We also endeavor to develop and cultivate partnerships with nations sharing common interests and concerns with the Philippines; maintain and sustain bilateral and multilateral consultations and dialogues.”|
The President visited 17 countries and Hong Kong
Two embassies have re-opened in the Philippines
New bilateral consultations and dialogue
On developing alliances
for security and fighting terrorism
|PROMISE: “We will continue to expand cooperation on human assistance, disaster response, maritime security and counter terrorism. We shall deepen security dialogues with other nations to build greater understanding and cooperation.”
President Duterte is building alliances with two
His visit to Russia in May 2017 signaled that
Agreements forged in Moscow covered defense
Duterte’s state visit to China on October 18-21,
The crisis in Marawi City enabled China to
The P370-million worth of rifles and ammunitions
Duterte’s visit to Japan on October 25-27, 2016
The Duterte government’s engagement with Canberra
In terms of maritime security, the Philippine
PCG and CCG also agreed to conduct bilateral
On the validity of Philippine passports
|PROMISE: “On the clamor of our citizens for timely issuance of Philippine passports, the government shall work towards amendment of the 1996 Passport Law to lengthen the validity of the passports from the current five years to 10 years.”
Ready and awaiting the President’s signature so it can become a law is Senate Bill 1365, which seeks to make regular passports valid for a period of 10 years. It is the full Senate version that was agreed on and adopted by the Bicameral Conference Committee last May.
The bill, part of his priority legislative
On streamlining DFA’s consular services
|PROMISE: “I have also ordered the DFA to streamline documentary requirements and passport applications and open additional Consular Offices in strategic places to decongest Metro Manila sites and avoid queues that have caused hardships and suffering to passport applicants.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs under the
But even with six satellite offices to service
Before they opened the first satellite office,
And from 15 days processing time in 2012, it now
There has been no change in the documentary requirements for passport application.
Find out how Duterte fared in other sectors here.