Press Release
May 29, 2024


British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils paid a courtesy call on newly elected Senate President Francis "Chiz" G. Escudero at the Senate, underscoring the flourishing partnership between the Philippines and the United Kingdom.

During their meeting on Tuesday, Beaufils noted the smooth UK-Philippines relations and emphasized that bilateral trade is at an all-time high.

Beaufils and Escudero discussed potential areas of cooperation in green infrastructure, renewable energy, defense, agriculture, and technology. They also explored strategic communications support, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence (AI).

"There should be an AI shift in the country in the next three years. Otherwise, we will be left out," Escudero stated.

He shared insights from his 23 years in Congress, noting the absence of a comprehensive platform to track amendments to laws from their inception to the present.

"We should take advantage of AI and digitization to improve the process for policy making, research, and education," he said.

Escudero had earlier directed the Senate's Legislative Records and Archives Services to identify at least 100 major laws, such as the Labor Code, National Integrated Protected Areas System Act, Intellectual Property Law, and Local Government Code, to develop an AI-backed tracking system. This system would allow researchers to trace amendments through various Republic Acts to the latest version of the law.

Beaufils expressed her support, stating, "The UK will be happy to share with the Senate or the government in general, knowledge on AI and finding balance in its thoughtful use."

The discussion also touched on regional security, with the UK reaffirming its support for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and the 2016 Arbitral Award.

Beaufils inquired about the Senate's priority bills, to which Escudero mentioned amendments to the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law, military modernization, and the national budget.

Addressing the UK's interest in women's rights and gender issues, Escudero provided insights into the divorce and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) bills.

Escudero also assured that the new Senate leadership would always prioritize the country's best interests.

The courtesy call marks a continued commitment to fostering strong UK-Philippines relations, with both sides looking forward to deeper cooperation across various sectors.

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