MANILA — The Philippines and Thailand has signed the terms of reference (TOR) for the Joint Committee on Military Cooperation (JCMC) last August 17.
The TOR was signed by Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary Cardozo M. Luna and Thai Permanent Secretary for Defense General Chaichan Changmongkol.
DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Thai Ambassador to the Philippines Thanatip Upatising Signing witnessed the signing.
The defense chief said the endeavor completes the series of arrangements that have been previously inked at the level of the two countries’ major services, with that of the Philippine Navy being signed in 2012, Philippine Army in 2015 and Philippine Air Force in 2016.
With the TOR signed, the JCMC convened for the first time. co-chaired by DND Assistant Secretary Raymund Quilop and Thai Deputy Permanent Secretary for Defense General Chatudom Titthasiri, the committee assessed the current state of Philippines-Thailand defense cooperation and identified ways forward for the partnership.
With both sides acknowledging the robustness of the two ministries’ defense engagements, there was a shared sense to explore cooperation in the areas of research and development as well as science and technology, in recognition of the increasing need to develop defense capabilities that are indigenous to the two neighbors.
The two delegations also exchanged views on current and emerging security issues such as violent extremism and terrorism, maritime security and humanitarian assistance and disaster response (HADR).
Both sides expressed mutual support for each other’s advocacies and initiatives within the ambit of the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) and the ADMM-Plus.
With Thailand’s assurance of continued support to the Philippines’ chairmanship of the ADMM this year, the Philippine delegation thanked Thailand for its tangible contributions to the ASEAN defense sector, to include the establishment of an ASEAN Center for Military Medicine.