Australian delegation lauds Filipino resilience amid Robredo death, floods | Global News

Australian delegation lauds Filipino resilience amid Robredo death, floods

/ 03:05 PM August 27, 2012

MANILA, Philippines – Visiting Australian senators and members of the Australian federal  parliament have expressed their confidence that Filipinos could stand up from the disasters that befell them this month.

In a statement released Sunday, the Australian Embassy in Manila said that the delegation, headed by Queensland’s Senator Claire Moore, was in Manila to hold meetings with local government officials, private sector representatives, and non-government organizations  aimed at deepening the two countries’ bilateral relationships.

“Our delegation is very pleased to be in Manila at a time when the long-standing and warm relationship between the Philippines and Australia is in such a good state.  We are here to meet our political counterparts and other interlocutors to discuss the ways in which our partnership is advancing the interests of Australians and Filipinos,” Moore said in a statement.


While in Manila, Moore noted how the country was struck by widespread flooding due to the southwest monsoon rains that occurred early August but said that disaster risk reduction initiatives with the country were underway to mitigate these effects.


“We are saddened by the flooding earlier this month and the resultant loss of life and property.  But we also believe in the resiliency of the Filipino people, which is why our cooperation activities also target disaster risk reduction in conjunction with Filipino authorities,” Moore said.

In August 10, the embassy announced that the Australian government offered up to P88 million in assistance to the Philippines at the aftermath of the flooding, provided P44 million of which were used to buy emergency kits for distribution to families which included medical supplies, mosquito nets and water containers, and the other P44 million was used to purchase 1,000 tons of rice.

Moore also reiterated how Australia was also “deeply moved” by the loss of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, whom he described as “one of the Philippine Government’s most effective champions of good governance.”

“But we have faith in the country’s ability to bounce back and will continue to pursue cooperation programs on political reform that would serve to continue Robredo’s legacy,” Moore said.

In an email interview Monday, Juan Pedro Agcaoili, member of the Australian embassy’s public affairs office, said that the delegation, composed of representatives from three different political parties from both Australia’s Senate and House of Representatives, arrived in Manila over the weekend as part of their “Asean Study Tour.”

While in Manila, he said the delegation would meet with their counterparts from the Philippine Congress including, among others, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., Deputy Speakers Isabelle Maria Climaco and Jesus Crispin Remulla, and Senators Loren Legarda, Edgardo Angara, Panfilo Lacson and Alan Peter Cayetano.


He added that they would also be meeting officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Health, and Department of Education, as well as representatives from civil society organizations like the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) and the World Food Program (WFP) Philippines.

In the statement, the embassy said that the meetings would cover discussions on development cooperation, police and security cooperation, trade and investment links, health and education policies, disaster preparedness and response, foreign policy and political reform.

It also noted that Australia was the country’s largest bilateral grant aid donor, with an estimated P5.5 billion aid program for 2012-2013.

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After visiting the Philippines, the delegation would also head to Laos and Burma, it said.

TAGS: August 7 deluge, Diplomacy, Features, Floods, Global Nation, Philippine-Australia relations

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