The Philippines and New Zealand signed late Tuesday a memorandum of cooperation aimed at improving the education system in the Southeast Asian nation.
The Commission on Higher Education and New Zealand’s Qualifications Authority forged the agreement during bilateral talks between President Rodrigo Duterte and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Adern was in Manila along with other dialogue partners of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations for the regional bloc's annual summit.
The memorandum tackles the comparative analysis of the two countries’ bachelor’s degrees, which, according to Duterte, means the Philippines “can have access to the quality of education in New Zealand.”
Duterte described the deal as “a good development.”
CHED chairwoman Patricia Licuanan and David Strachan, New Zealand ambassador to the Philippines, signed the agreement.
Ardern also told Duterte that plans by Philippine Airlines to launch direct flights to New Zealand beginning next month offered a “fantastic opportunity.”
Nonstop flights from Manila to Auckland will begin on Dec. 6, the Filipino flag carrier said in August.
Ardern also praised Romeo Udanga, a Filipino-born politician who ran under Ardern’s Labour party and had sought a seat in Parliament. She said Udanga “did a phenomenal job” during New Zealand’s election earlier this year, although he lost.
Malacañang did not release additional information on the bilateral discussion at the time this story was posted. — With a report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News