Diplomatic sources told The STAR that the hiring of the teachers is one of the matters to be discussed during the visit in Manila of Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Thailand has opened schools teaching the languages of Southeast Asia in preparation for the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community by the end of the year.
President Aquino and the Thai leader agreed yesterday to advance the “Partnership for Prosperity” between the Philippines and Thailand.
They cited the economic and political stability of the two nations and their mutual desire to promote peace and security in the West Philippine Sea.
The Partnership for Prosperity will cover areas such as trade and investment, tourism, education, technical and agricultural cooperation, energy and the strengthening of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“I must submit: Thailand has surpassed our country in terms of economic vibrancy,” Aquino said.
“Even your unemployment rate is something to marvel at – at 0.88 percent. For our part, our government is working to reach the same, and I have every confidence that our partnership will contribute to our mutual growth.”
For his part, Chan-o-cha cited the commitment of Aquino in translating his vision on national development into concrete action. “This is evidenced by the progress, good governance and the successful economic recovery to achieving a continued high growth at an annual rate of 6.2 percent during the past five years, which is also the highest economic growth in the past 40 years,” he said.
“As a result, the Philippines is widely praised by the international community as the ‘new rising star’ of the region.”
Aquino noted the new chapter of partnership between the two countries would certainly be beneficial for their peoples that signed a “Treaty of Friendship” 66 years ago.
The Philippines and Thailand have committed to work towards the signing of the memorandum of understanding on cooperation in combating illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, he said.
“As part of our efforts, coordinated operations between Philippine and Thai agencies will be conducted; and through this process, we look forward to sharing information between our relevant law enforcement agencies,” he said.
He and the Thai Prime Minister both recognize the importance of education in developing the abilities of their citizens so that they would have the wherewithal to fulfill their aspirations for their families, their communities and the future, Aquino said.
“This is the principle behind our continued work towards the signing of the memorandum of agreement on the exchanges of professional teachers,” he said.
“Through this, we will have the opportunity to further enhance the capabilities and competencies of both our Filipino and Thai teachers.”
In 2014, Thailand became the Philippines’ eighth largest trading partner and bilateral trade between the two countries reached more than $5 billion, Aquino said.
More of their people were discovering the beauty of each other’s country through expanded tourism exchanges, he added.
Thailand is a dependable and steadfast friend in times of need, as proven when it gave $100,000 in financial aid and 100 tons of rice to the Philippines following Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby) last year, Aquino said.
“Such an action only demonstrates the solidarity of your people with mine. On this note, please accept the deepest gratitude of my government and my people,” he said.
Aquino also expressed condolences to the people of Thailand for the recent bomb attack in Bangkok that killed 20 people and injured more than 100 others on Aug. 17.
“As always, we Filipinos will stand with our brothers, the Thai people,” he said.
Discussions with the Thai leader focused on trade and investments, security and the strengthening of people-to-people ties, Aquino said.
“In terms of investment activity, I noted that Philippine companies such as San Miguel Corporation, Liwayway Food Industries Company Limited, Goldilocks and Monde Nissin have established their presence in Thailand, while Thai enterprises have likewise opened doors of opportunity for my countrymen. Siam Cement Group, Charoen Pokphand Foods Philippines Corporation and the Dusit International are only some of the companies that have active operations here on our shores,” he said.
“We took note of how these companies have continued to expand in our respective countries, because of the sustained support that our governments and peoples have given them.”
The two leaders also welcomed the signing of the Terms of Reference for the Working Group of the Philippine Army and Royal Thai Army in April.
The Thai Prime Minister was instrumental in strengthening the partnership between the Armed Forces of the Philippines when he was chief of the Royal Thai Army, Aquino said.
“We are confident that this agreement will further strengthen our defense and security cooperation for the welfare of our peoples and of our brothers in ASEAN,” he said.
Aquino also thanked Thai Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, through Chan-o-cha, for including three Philippine schools in the Collaboration Project on Children and Youth Development. – With Pia Lee-Brago, Jaime Laude