President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed his intention to improve the Philippines' maritime security cooperation with Indonesia to stop terrorists from entering the country.
Duterte made the remark during the courtesy call of Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi at the Presidential Guest House in Davao City on Wednesday.
"While declaring that the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in Marawi are in full swing, President Duterte said that he wants to intensify maritime security in cooperation with Indonesia as foreign and local terrorists continue to enter and exit the country despite the military efforts to go after these elements," a press release from Malacañang read.
President Duterte welcomed Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi at the Presidential Guest House in Panacan, Davao City earlier today. : Palace
Aside from maritime security and terrorism, Duterte also raised the possibility of the resumption of the Philippines-Indonesia routes to further strengthen trade.
He also said he is interested to provide scholarships for Muslim students, especially those who are enrolled in the Madrasa institutions.
Retno, meanwhile, expressed her interest to pursue the joint education program between the Philippines and Indonesia to "spread the Islamic values" in Southeast Asian nations, Malacañang said.
She also relayed to Duterte her government's desire to confer passports for around 300 Indonesian descents living in Mindanao.
Retno was joined by Indonesian Embassy in Manila Charge d’affaires Budi Dhewajani, Consul General for Indonesian Embassy in Davao Berlian Napitupulu, and Indonesia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director for Southeast Asian Affairs Deni Abdi, among others.
Undersecretary Enrique Manalo of the Department of Foreign Affair as well Undersecretary Lorna Dino and Director Marge Ballesteros of the Department of Education joined Duterte during the meeting.