President of the Senate, Juan Miguel Zubiri (file photo from the Senate Department of Public Relations and Information)

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate agreed during its plenary session on Wednesday to ratify two agreements that the Philippines had made – one with Brunei Darussalam and the other with the Republic of Korea.

Senators unanimously approved on third reading Senate Resolution No. 790, which aims to deepen economic relations between the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam, improving their cooperation in tax matters.

It also aims to address the adverse effects of double taxation on the “free flow of trade and investment” and further strengthen the enforcement of national laws in both countries to reduce tax evasion.

“With 22 affirmative votes, zero negatives and zero abstentions, SRN 790 is ratified and agreed, as we have reached the number of more than two thirds [of] votes in the Senate”, said the president of the Senate, Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Meanwhile, the Senate also agreed to the ratification of SRN 878, which aims to promote cooperation between the Philippines and South Korea in the field of social security.

Sen. Imee Marcos, the measure's sponsor and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, previously said the agreement would make Filipinos in South Korea, including dependents and survivors, equally eligible for social security benefits as South Koreans.

Marcos also revealed that a “benefits export” would allow eligible Filipinos to continue receiving social security benefits from South Korea even after they resettle in the Philippines.

“On the other hand, covered South Korean citizens who migrate to the Philippines may continue to receive benefits from the South Korean social security system even if Filipinos qualify for benefits under the social security system or the service insurance system government can choose to receive their benefits when they leave South Korea,” she said.

With 22 affirmative votes, zero negative votes and zero abstentions, Zubiri also declared the resolution “agreed”.

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