As the Philippines looks forward to the day when newly-elected president Rodrigo Roa Duterte formally assumes office, Taiwan officials have expressed eager anticipation about strengthening ties between the two countries.
Unofficial results of the recent national elections held last May 9, 2016 showed that Duterte, a city mayor from Mindanao, is indeed the runaway winner, besting out four of his rivals by a huge margin.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan and Philippines, as neighboring countries, are maintaining close exchanges in investment, trade, and tourism. With this in mind, Taiwan “hopes to work with the new government to continue cooperation and deepen bilateral relations, based on the existing foundation,” said the ministry.
Taiwan will be sending a congratulatory message to the Philippines’ president-elect and vice president-elect once the official election results have been formally announced. The Commission on Elections (COMELEC), on the other hand, says that official results will be released within a week following the elections.
Last January, 71-year-old Duterte visited Taiwan and stayed there for three days to gain a clearer understanding of Taiwan’s political, economic, social and infrastructure development. Back in 2012, he also went to the country to promote police exchanges between Davao City and Taiwan.
Furthermore, Taiwanese businessmen based in Davao City say that Duterte is very much friendly to them and they anticipate that things will only get better as he effectively assumes the highest post in the Philippines.
During the presidential campaign, Duterte has repeatedly mentioned that he aims to improve health care and education if he wins. Along with that, he has said that fighting corruption and criminality will be among his foremost priorities.
Currently, numerous Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are employed in Taiwan. With the new leadership, hopefully Taiwan and Philippines will be able to work together and come up with policies and programs that will mutually-benefit both countries.
Also the Taiwan President Tsai gave a hand to congratulates the new Philippine presumptive president Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte.