Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Overview of Philippines-Singapore Relations

Diplomatic relations were formally established between the Philippines and Singapore on 16 May 1969. H.E. Joseph del Mar Yap is the 12th Philippine Ambassador to Singapore. He presented his credentials to Singapore’s President, H.E. Mdm. Halimah Yacob, on 25 January 2018.

The Philippines and Singapore are both founding members of ASEAN. Relations between the two countries have remained strong and vibrant through the years.

The Philippines and Singapore also enjoy strong bilateral economic ties. Singapore is the Philippines’ 5th largest export market worldwide and the 1st in ASEAN, with export receipts amounting to US$3.83 billion in 2019. It is the 7th top import supplier of the Philippines, with receipts amounting to US$6.66 billion in 2019.

The country is also the Philippines’ top international investor in 2019, with investment commitments totaling P176.4 billion (roughly US$3.48 billion) or 45.2% of total foreign pledges.

Singapore is also the Philippines’ 9th biggest tourism market worldwide and the 1st in ASEAN with 158,595 passenger arrivals in 2019.

In 2019, the Philippines and Singapore celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic relations. Twenty-seven (27) projects and events were successfully organized during the year-long celebration. These projects showcased the breadth and depth of the two countries’ bilateral relations spanning the political, economic, environment, academic, people-to-people exchanges, and cultural spheres.

An estimated 200,000 Filipinos live and work in Singapore and actively contribute to the economic development of their host country. Approximately 60% of Filipinos in Singapore are professionals and skilled workers, while the rest are household service workers.

The Philippines and Singapore signed an MOU on the Philippines-Singapore Action Plan on 14 December 1998, Informal Consultations on the Philippines-Singapore Action Plan (IC-PSAP) have been convened regularly as a means of assessing developments in bilateral relations and identifying ways to further enhance cooperation in various areas.

The IC-PSAP has been convened in October 2004 (Manila), July 2014 (Manila), July 2015 (Singapore), and on 11 December 2018 in Manila.

Over the years, there have been several high-level exchanges of visits between the two countries. The most recent was the State Visit of President Halimah Yacob to the Philippines on 08-12 September 2019. Previous to that, President Rodrigo R. Duterte went on a State Visit to Singapore on 15-16 December 2016.

When the Philippines hosted APEC and ASEAN in 2015 and 2017, respectively, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong attended as Singapore’s Leader. The Philippines reciprocated Singapore’s support when President Duterte actively participated in the ASEAN Summits and related meetings during Singapore’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2018.

Significant Bilateral Agreements 

  • Air Transport, 1974
  • Double Taxation Agreement (DTA), 1977
  • MOU on the Participation of Singapore Air Force in Cope Thunder Exercise 84-4, 1983
  • MOU on Singapore Air Force Participation in Cope Thunder Exercise 87-2, 1986
  • EON on the Stationing of Singapore Air Force Detachment in Clark, 1985
  • EON on Scheme for Technical Assistance, 1988
  • MOU on PA-SAF Joint Training Exercise, 1993
  • MOU on Philippines-Singapore Action Plan, 1998
  • MOU on Cooperation in Information Technology, 1999
  • MOU on Air Transport, 2001
  • MOU on Cultural Cooperation Programme, 2001
  • Undertaking on the Recognition Certificates Under Regulation 1/10 of STCW, 2001
  • MOU on Tourism Cooperation, 2001
  • MOU on Mutual Cooperation on the Deployment of Air Marshals, 2006
  • MOU on Air Services, 2010
  • MOU on Exchange of Information relating to White Shipping, 2017
  • MOU on Innovations and Teaching and Learning of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) with Design Thinking, 2019
  • MOU on Agricultural Cooperation and Related Activities, 2019
  • MOU on Cooperation on Human Capital Development and Rescaling and Skills Upgrading of Workforce, 2019
  • MOU on Knowledge Sharing to Support Infrastructure Development, 2019
  • MOU between the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System and Public Utilities Board, 2019
  • MOU on Cultural Cooperation, 2019
  • MOU on Assisting Philippine Local Implementing Agencies with the Developmentor Implementation of PPP Projects, 2019
  • MOU on Cooperation in Personal Data Protection, 2019