Philippines, Bahrain Reaffirm Special Relations in Manama

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Presidential Assistant for Foreign Affairs (PAFA) Robert E.A. Borje, Special Envoy of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, arrived here today for an official visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain on 28-31 December 2020.

Joining the Philippine delegation are Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Arriola and Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary for Global Media and Public Affairs JV Arcena.


Special Envoy Borje expressed the President’s warm wishes for His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and the gratitude of the Filipino nation for His Majesty the King’s personal care and concern for the welfare and well-being for the 50,000 overseas Filipinos living and working in the country, even in the midst of a global pandemic.

Assistant Foreign Minister H.E. Abdulla bin Faisal bin Jabur Al Doseri welcomed the Philippine delegation at Bahrain International Airport. Also present to welcome the Philippine delegation was the Philippines’ Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain Alfonso A. Ver.

President Duterte’s Special Envoy and Bahrain’s Assistant Foreign Minister reaffirmed the special ties between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Bahrain during their meeting at Bahrain International Airport.

Special Envoy Borje expressed the President’s warm wishes for His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and the gratitude of the Filipino nation for His Majesty the King’s personal care and concern for the welfare and well-being for the 50,000 overseas Filipinos living and working in the country, even in the midst of a global pandemic.

Special Envoy Borje also conveyed President Duterte’s recognition of and respect for His Majesty the King and the Bahrain Government’s leadership and contributions to regional and global efforts to uphold the rights of migrant workers.

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Presidential Assistant for Foreign Affairs (PAFA) Robert E.A. Borje with Assistant Foreign Minister H.E. Abdulla bin Faisal bin Jabur Al Doseri. Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary for Global Media and Public Affairs JV Arcena (background)

According to Special Envoy Borje, President Duterte valued the “partnership of brothers” between the Philippines and Bahrain which “continues to transform the lives of many.”

The Assistant Foreign Minister meantime recognized the role of Filipinos in the Kingdom of Bahrain and stressed that bilateral partnership in this mutually important area will continue.

Special Envoy Borje welcomed Bahrain’s many groundbreaking labor reform efforts to promote and protect the rights of migrant workers, including through the Flexi Visa System which allows a pathway to regular immigration status without an employer sponsor.

The two officials also reaffirmed the importance of further broadening and deepening Philippines-Bahrain cooperation, particularly in areas of mutual interest such as trade and investment, education, ICT, agriculture, and public health, including the diagnostics, management, and treatment of COVID-19.

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Special Envoy Borje conveyed President Duterte’s recognition of and respect for His Majesty the King and the Bahrain Government’s leadership and contributions to regional and global efforts to uphold the rights of migrant workers.

Throughout the visit, the Philippine delegation will participate in a series of intergovernmental meetings with officials of the Kingdom and undertake Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) and repatriation programs. Kalinga at Malasakit for Overseas Filipino Workers remain a focus area under the Duterte Administration.

This is PAFA Borje’s second designation as Special Envoy to the Kingdom of Bahrain. President Duterte previously appointed PAFA as Special Envoy to Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Tunisia in 2019.

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