THE PHILIPPINES and the United States signed two agreements strengthening cooperation in higher education and science and technology during the Eighth Bilateral Strategic Dialogue held in Manila from July 15-16.

At the dialogue, the United States said it supported Philippine efforts to build up its infrastructure and expressed its willingness to deepen defense cooperation.

US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim said the two-day dialogue concluded with the signing of a Joint Statement on Higher Education Cooperation and Science and Technology Agreement.

“This will give us a way forward of expanding our educational ties. We also signed a science and technology agreement,” Mr. Kim said at a briefing Tuesday.

The two sides also agreed to an Alliance Fellowship, under which the US Embassy will be sending two Filipino scholars to the US every year to study national security and international relations.

“We intend to mold the alliance into one that gets ahead of the issues presented by the global environment. This way we ensure the alliance is proactive rather than reactive to sheer concerns,” Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel G. Romualdez said in the briefing.

“Some of this concern include tampering violent extremism including mitigating issues resulting from the return of foreign terrorist fighters, countering transnational crimes, defense modernization, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, US participation of the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program in the development of the New Clark City.” — Charmaine A. Tadalan