Philippines signs world's first inter-bloc air cooperation agreement
BALI, INDONESIA ? Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista Monday included his signature to the world’s first inter-region aviation cooperation agreement, one of the highlights of the 28th ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting.
Bautista was joined by other transport ministers in stamping their approval to the ASEAN-EU Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (CATA), and ASEAN Agreement on Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) Cooperation that is expected to strengthen connectivity and rebuild the economy in the South East Asian region.
In his message at the annual gathering of transport ministers over the weekend, Bautista expressed his support to the two agreements, saying, “As a key player in the transport affairs of the Southeast Asian region, the Republic of the Philippines is supportive and is one with the other partner nations in pushing for agreements and areas of partnership that will further develop the region’s transportation potentials.”
He said the ASEAN-EU CATA “is the world’s first bloc-to-bloc air transport agreement” aimed at reinforcing connectivity and post-pandemic economic recovery of the 37-member states of the ASEAN and EU.
“This agreement will prove to be a game-changer as both ASEAN and EU countries slowly recover and rebuild from the effects of the pandemic. The agreement will have a profound impact in the areas of trade and tourism for ASEAN and the EU. The ASEAN-EU CATA will also rebuild air connectivity between ASEAN and Europe which was suddenly suspended by the pandemic,’ he added.
Leading the Philippine delegation, autista added that the country stands to gain from the “information exchange and sharing of best practices” in the ASEAN Agreement on Aeronautical and Maritime SAR Cooperation.
The country is also one with the other partner nations in adopting several guidelines “in the areas of aviation safety, air traffic management, consumer protection, and environmental and social matters,” according to Bautista.
Echoing the ‘full speed ahead’ order of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Bautista underscored the government’s commitment to elevating the Philippines’ transport system to global standards by providing safe, accessible, comfortable, and affordable transportation.
The ASEAN Transport Ministers Meeting, as ASEAN’s highest transport body, provides an annual platform for transport leaders from ASEAN member states to discuss the priorities and initiatives to further bolster cooperation within the region and with dialogue partners. DOTr