Korea gives back to Philippines marking 70 years of diplomatic relations

HSBC Philippines
Korea Philippines diplomatic relations
Several vehicles were deployed containing masks for the Korean War Veterans from the Philippines while Ambassador Han Dong-man holds up a box of masks with other officials during the mask hand-over ceremony.

South Korea and the Philippines remain united for 70 years now since the Korean War in June 1950. During this month of celebration, the two countries unite hand-in-hand against a more daunting enemy known as COVID-19.

To express gratitude to the Filipino veterans who fought in the Korean War, South Korea has provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), disinfectants, masks, test kits, and rice to prevent the spread of infection among the elderly veterans.

In May, South Korea donated 50,000 face masks to support the Korean War Veterans (PEFTOK) and the Veterans Federation of the Philippines in the fight against COVID-19.

Korea also extended help to the Philippines last April 2020 by providing 700 COVID-19 test kits which can generate a total of 35,000 tests (50 tests per kit) valued at PHP25.38 million. The donation further advanced Manila’s testing capacity.

Korea has also sent out a total of 950 metric tons of rice through the Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs.

Furthermore, the country’s first missile-capable frigate, “BRP Jose Rizal” vessel made by Hyundai Heavy Industries came from Korea to Subic Bay with 20,000 masks, 20,000 bottles of hand sanitizers, 180 barrels of disinfectant solution, 300 packs of disinfectant wipes, and 92 packs of vitamin C tablets.

When South Korea was embroiled in the war, the Philippines was the first Asian nation to send its troops. A total of 7,420 members of the Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK) members were sent in 1950-1955.

South Korea honors this sacrifice, with Korean Ambassador Han-Dong-man saying that it laid a solid foundation for the friendship between them and the Philippines.

“Just as the Philippines came to our aid during the Korean War, Korea is now extending its hands, not only by the government but also numerous Korean companies as well as Korean communities here, ranging from COVID-19 test kits, personal protective equipment, rice and other daily necessities, to help the Philippine government comprehensively cope with the pandemic,” the envoy said in his message for the 70th anniversary of Korean War published on the Philippine Star.

The ambassador also voiced out his firm agreement with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that solidarity and sacrifice must be remembered in difficult times, noting that the Korean and Filipino predecessors showed the spirit of solidarity 70 years ago for overcoming the common challenges the two countries were confronted with.

South Korea has shown their friendship with the Philippines tourism-wise as well, such as granting Filipinos visa-free entrance for up to 5 days and reduced visa processing time for applicants.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the continuing good relations between South Korea and the Philippines even amidst the COVID 19 pandemic.

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Cuitlauzina Brianna Cerbito
Cuit is a senior high school student who has always turned to writing as her comfort and inspiration. Her goal in life is to leave the world a happier place than it was before, be it through sharing stories of the world's beauty or bringing light to topics that impact different areas of society.