By Priam Nepomuceno

PARTNERSHIP. Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. (right) with South Africa Ambassador to the Philippines Bartinah Ntombizodwa Radebe-Netshitenzhe (left) during their meeting on Feb. 23, 2024. Teodoro said he is looking at a possible cooperation with South Africa to aid the country’s self-reliant defense posture. (Photo courtesy of the DND)

MANILA – The Department of National Defense (DND) is looking at a possible logistics and defense collaboration with South Africa to support the country’s self-reliant defense posture (SRDP) initiative.

DND Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. made this remark during his meeting with South African Ambassador to Manila Bartinah Ntombizodwa Radebe-Netshitenzhe in a courtesy call on Feb. 23.

“Secretary Teodoro highlighted that logistics and defense industry collaboration could be a potential area of cooperation, given the priority efforts of the DND to develop the SRDP of the Philippines, and expedite the capability upgrade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” said DND spokesperson Arsenio Andolong in a statement Wednesday.

The two officials also reaffirmed their commitment to enhancing defense and military relations between the Philippines and South Africa.

“Towards this end, both officials expressed optimism about concluding proposed defense cooperation agreements (DCAs), which will serve as a framework in formalizing and initiating joint activities in various areas of cooperation,” Andolong noted.

The South African envoy welcomed the initiative as she underscored the need for countries to work together to address common defense and security challenges.

Amid global security developments, the two officials stressed the importance of strengthening ties with like-minded states and upholding a rules-based international order. (PNA)