No. of :

No. of Shares:

Currently viewed by: Marcus Rosit

PBBM commits to strengthening cooperation with Marshall Islands covering various fields

MANILA -- President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Thursday reaffirmed the Philippines’ commitment to strengthen bilateral cooperation with the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) after President Hilda C. Heine asked for increased collaboration in various areas such as labor, education and skills training, and agricultural production.

Heine, who paid a courtesy call on President Marcos in Malacañang, said her country is looking for labor arrangements with the Philippine government, as well as with the private sector as the country carries out millions of dollars of infrastructure projects and as some of Marshall Islands’ construction companies recruit quite a number of Filipino workers.

Heine expects that in the next couple of years, the private sector, as well as the government, will be looking for many workers to come and they must address several issues such as visa issuance.

“In the past they used to require US visa but there’s a way to go directly to the Marshall Islands without having to go through Guam. So the visa issue can be eliminated and maybe very faster to bring in,” Heine said.

“We have a historical collaboration with — between our two nations on overseas employment program. We utilize your services of your POEA, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. And we express mutual commitment to ensuring the welfare and rights of your workers while they reside and work for us in our country. And we look forward to the mutual benefits of both our countries,” she said.

Aside from the construction sector, Heine said the Marshall Islands also needs medical professionals in specialized fields such as radiology, orthopedic surgery, general surgery and other medical services that are not available in the Pacific island nation.

Heine, who is in the country to attend the International Women’s Day event organized by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), said her country is also looking for support from the Philippine government on seaweed farming, as her country diversify people’s livelihood amid the threats posed by climate change that triggers sea level rise.

“We’re trying to get all the island communities to cultivate seaweed as an alternative source of income. Right now most of all the island communities [live] on copra. They make copra and so we sell the oil [but] climate change impact our copra industry and others,” Heine told President Marcos.

According to President Marcos, many people have made a very good living out of the carrageenan business, telling his counterpart that it is actually a good idea “because the demand for the seaweed products — semi processed seaweed products is still quite high,” he said.

Formal diplomatic relations between the Philippines-Marshall Islands was established on September 15, 1988.

In 2023, the country’s total trade with the Marshall Islands reached US$36 million, with exports valued at US$3.5 million and imports at US$32.4 million.

Top imports from the Marshall Islands include skipjack or stripe-bellied bonito, (excluding livers and roes), frozen; helicopters of an unladen weight not exceeding 2,000 kg; yellowfin tunas (Thunnus albacares), (excluding livers and roes), frozen; bigeye tunas (Thunnus obesus), (excluding livers and roes), frozen; and fish fillets, frozen.

There are around 1,500 Filipinos in the Marshall Islands working mainly in the fields of clerical support, craft and trade, machine operators, and professionals, among others.

In terms of tourism, a total of 233 tourist arrivals from the Marshall Islands were recorded in 2022, and in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippines recorded 557 tourist arrivals.

To date, there have been no bilateral agreements reached between the two countries. (PND)

About the Author

Andrea Bancud


Information II from the Creative Production Services Division of PIA Central Office who also writes scripts for IEC materials such as AVP, TV Commercial, Radio Commercial and print materials. 

Feedback / Comment

Get in touch