TAIPEI — President Ma Ying-jeou said yesterday that Taiwan’s relations with the Philippines have made progress in recent years thanks to his efforts to promote cross-Taiwan Strait rapport and a flexible diplomatic strategy. These efforts have helped consolidate regional peace and stability, Ma told former Philippine President Fidel Ramos, who is visiting as part of a business delegation. Ma noted that the Philippines is one of the nearest neighbors of the Republic of China, with the two sides sharing common values of democracy and freedom and maintaining close people-to-people exchanges. The two countries have so far signed 21 agreements to promote various exchanges, Ma said. In the aftermath of the Typhoon Washi disaster in the Philippines last December, Taiwan’s government provided assistance to show its concern, he added. He recalled that at the 2009 Boao Forum for Asia, Ramos proposed that Taiwan, the Philippines, and the southern Chinese provinces of Fujian and Guangdong should jointly work toward economic co-prosperity by deepening their economic and trade cooperation.