By: Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, SEOUL

31 MAY 2024, JEJU - Philippine House of Representatives Vice Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee Hon. Emigdio "Dino" Tanjuatco III reaffirmed the commitment of the Philippines to peace, stability, and development, upholding a rules-based international order in a statement delivered before world leaders, policymakers, business professionals, academics, and civil society at the 19th Jeju Forum held in Jeju Island from 29-31 May 2024.

Top: Philippine Head of Delegation Hon. Emigdio
As a manifestation of strong PH-ROK Inter-parliamentary relations, the Philippine Head of Delegation was joined by three other members of the Philippine Congress Hon. Peter B. Miguel, Hon. John Tracy F. Cagas, and Hon. Jonathan Clement Abalos. Philippine Ambassador to the Republic of Korea Ma. Theresa Dizon-De Vega also joined the forum as a panelist in two special roundtable sessions.

Speaking on behalf of the Philippine delegation, Hon. Tanjuatco III looked forward to elevated bilateral ties in the years to come, as PH and ROK continue to pursue shared values of freedom and democracy, respect for human rights, and the rule of law.

"As Vice Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Congress, I especially look forward to the 19th Jeju Forum serving as an important platform to enjoin all responsible members of the international community to adhere to the international rules-based order to preserve regional peace and stability, including in the West Philippine Sea. Any efforts towards peace and stability in the South China Sea must be anchored on international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS and the 2016 Arbitral Award, and respect the legitimate interests and legally settled rights of every state," said Congressman Tanjuatco III.

He highlighted the country's support for peace in the Korean Peninsula, underscoring that the Philippines has consistently called on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to comply with its international obligations under relevant UN Security Council resolutions and to commit to constructive and peaceful dialogue with the ROK. He also called for a complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of DPRK.

He also emphasized the importance of parliamentary diplomacy during the forum. "The insights and perspectives members of the Philippine Congress will take home will undoubtedly translate to the crafting of better legislation in the Philippines that supports our national interest but also upholds regional and global objectives for peace and stability," the Congressman said.

Ambassador Dizon-De Vega served as a panelist during the Jeju ASEAN+~ Roundtable: Acting Together for a Shared Prosperous Future and the Ambassadors' Roundtable: The Global South as Partners for Peace and Prosperity.

Speaking alongside ASEAN Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn and other ASEAN sub-national cooperation experts, Ambassador Dizon-De Vega underscored that local government units are at the frontlines of the delivery of services, attainment of the SDGs and cited the importance of technical level exchanges through city-to-city and province-to-province cooperation for growth. She likewise highlighted that the Philippine Embassy in Seoul fosters an ecosystem of empowerment for its nationals in Korea, constantly encouraging Filipinos in Jeju Island to act as a bridge for multicultural understanding and cooperation.

At the Global South roundtable, Ambassador Dizon-De Vega highlighted the Philippines' contributions to providing development-oriented programs in the Global South. She also underscored that existential challenges such as food security and climate change that require cooperation between partners, reform of existing multilateral systems, and scaling up the inclusivity of international financial mechanisms particularly for climate concerns.

The Philippine delegation held a bilateral meeting with Jeju Special Self-Governing Province Governor Oh Young Hun where both sides discussed the importance of strengthening people-to-people ties through greater air connectivity, two-way tourism, and youth and academic exchanges. Members of the Philippine Congress highlighted the importance of overseas Filipinos in South Korea to the Philippine economy and requested the Governor to continue to look after the welfare of those living in Jeju Island through multi-cultural programs and other initiatives.

The Jeju Forum is an annual peace forum held in Jeju Island, Republic of Korea. Under this year's theme of "Acting Together for a Better World," the forum brings together prominent foreign policy experts and former and incumbent figures from the government and private sectors to discuss key security challenges from geopolitical uncertainties and climate change to artificial intelligence and supply chains. More than 3,000 participants from some 30 countries and 30 international organizations took part in the three-day event.

The participation of the Philippine Congress in the 19th Jeju Forum is a manifestation of strong PH-ROK Inter-parliamentary relations. END