KUALA LUMPUR: With 30-day visa exemption, Malaysians must visit the Philippines at least once in their lifetime, says Charles C. Jose, the Ambassador of the Philippines to Malaysia.
Foreign tourists who have completed Covid-19 vaccinations are not required to undergo quarantine, he said.
The Philippines boasts idyllic islands such as Boracay, Palawan, Boho and Cebu and other UNESCO heritage sites, making it an ideal destination for Malaysians, he added.
Jose is upbeat about the outlook of the economic collaboration between Malaysia and the Philippines.
“There are many new investment projects yet to be explored,” he said.
Jose said Malaysian investors have been interested in manufacturing, renewable energy and infrastructure projects in the Philippines of late.
Bilateral trade between the two countries topped US$7.2 billion last year.
Malaysia is the tenth largest export market for the Philippines, and one of the largest ASEAN investors in the country.
Through the Philippine Trade and Investment Center, the Embassy of the Philippines in Malaysia has been actively promoting trade and investment between two countries, he said.
Maritime safety remains the key agenda for Malaysia and the Philippines in reducing terrorism and kidnappings through a trilateral cooperation pact signed among Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines in 2017.
On the issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah, Jose said the Embassy has assisted undocumented Filipinos in Sabah to process their passports.
The Embassy performed a total of eight missions in Sabah in 2019 providing documentations of Filipinos working in oil palm plantations. The missions were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Embassy have also set up groups to visit Sabah in order to help the Filipinos renew their passports, register births, process travel documents and others during the last two months.
In conjunction with the 58th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and the Philippines, Jose said his country hoped to enhance bilateral collaboration in sharing intelligence to combat cross-border terrorism, drug trafficking and other cross-border criminal activities.
“As one of the founding members of ASEAN, the Philippines will continue to cooperate with Malaysia to preserve peace, progress and prosperity in the region,” he concluded.