The Senate on Wednesday unanimously adopted a resolution celebrating the country’s ties with Norway.
The resolution was championed by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian. In the audience was Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Christian Halaas Lyster .
Senate Resolution No. 852 recognizes the enduring friendship and cooperation between the Philippines and the Kingdom of Norway, and commemoration of the 75th anniversary of their diplomatic relations on December 6, 2023.
Gatchalian, sponsor of the resolution, said around 25,000 Filipinos are currently employed on Norwegian ships, which accounts for one-third of the total number of seafarers on Norwegian-controlled vessels. In addition, he said, the Norwegian Shipowners Association, through the Norwegian Training Center, has provided scholarships to more than 7,000 Filipino cadets over the past 33 years. “Norway has been a true friend and ally of the Philippines in our quest for a just and lasting peace in our land. As we mark the 75th anniversary of our diplomatic relations this year, let us express our gratitude and appreciation to the Norwegian Government and their people for their invaluable contribution to the peace process and the development of our country,” Gatchalian said.
The resolution took note the long history of cooperation between the two countries, “which has expanded beyond the maritime sector and into the energy sector, extractive industries like oil and gas, aquaculture, IT services, telecommunications, academic exchanges, social security, labor, migration, and peace and reconciliation efforts.”
The Philippines and Norway established formal diplomatic relations on March 2, 1948, with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway being established in Manila in 1967 and the Philippine Embassy in Norway being established in Oslo in 2007.
The resolution stated that for over 100 years the two countries established maritime cooperation, part of which is the establishment of the Norwegian Shipowners Association (NSA) Cadet program, with the objective of developing Filipino maritime professionals through scholarship grants.
“The Norwegian Training Center [NTC] in Manila has produced almost 6,000 cadets and the NSA in Oslo has provided scholarships to Filipinos and employed NTC graduates in Norwegian ships,” the resolution read.
As of October 2022, there are already over 25,000 Filipino seafarers working aboard Norwegian ships or in shipyards, accounting for a third of all seafarers on Norwegian-controlled vessels.
Currently, the Philippines-Norway Business Council (PNBC) has around 50 member-companies and institutions, with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway being a founding member and permanent observer in the PNBC board.