Manila, 16 November 2021 (TDI): Colombia and the Philippines organized a virtual conference. The event was the 5th round of the Philippines-Colombia Bilateral Consultation Mechanism (BCM). It commemorated the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two.

The Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, Ambassador Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro and the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Colombia, Ambassador Francisco Javier Echeverri Lara cohosted the virtual event.

During the conference, the two sides concurred to prioritize the South-South and Triangular Cooperation on the reintegration of ex-combatants. The two will collaborate with the UN Country Team in the Philippines; in this regard.

They also discussed tackling the global drug problem, tourism, disaster risk reduction and management, visa waiver for diplomatic and official passport holders.

The Philippines’ Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs appreciated the courses offered by Colombia; on law enforcement in fighting illegal drugs and the Spanish language. The Philippines is optimistic about collaboration in this regard between the two; even after the pandemic.

However, the Colombian Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs showed interest in learning about online education and alternative learning systems from the Philippines.

Both sides agreed to explore the enormous opportunities in trade and investments. The duo will explore opportunities through the 2021-2025 work plan. The work plan will be adopted between the Pacific Alliance and ASEAN. The 6th round of the BCM will be hosted by the Philippines; at a mutually agreed date.