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Envoys affirm stronger AU-PH tie, support in education, disaster relief

By Keren Anne Bernadas


THE Australia government through James Yeomans, its embassy counsellor for political, economic and public affairs in the Philippines, together with Alexander O’Hara, embassy second secretary for politics on Thursday, December 15, met with Camarines Sur Provincial Governor Vincenzo Renato Luigi Villafuerte and some local media to discuss their plans on fostering support to the country in matters of education, health, disaster relief, peace and security and economic recovery.


“As Australia and Philippines have celebrated about 75 years of diplomatic relations last year, we will continue to make opportunities to help, particularly in education support, where we have provided about 400 various scholarships for graduate school and further studies,” Yeomans said.


This is the third time that representatives from the embassy visited Naga City. This time, according to Yeomans, they met with scholars from the Bicol region and saw how the scholarships helped them and contributed to the development of their region.


The Australian counsellor also said that the dialogue he shared with Governor Villafuerte sprang the urgent need to collaborate programs related to disaster management and relief, as climate change becomes a challenging factor in the development of the province.


Furthermore, the Australian government looks into more junctures to give assistance to the Philippines, now that the country is recovering from the pandemic. Yeomans said that they are working for more programs and projects that are necessary for the country’s growth.

Stronger Tie James Yeomans (at the middle), Austalian embassy counsellor for political, economic and public affairs in the Philippines, together with Alexander O’Hara (leftmost), embassy second secretary for politics meet with the Philippine Information Agency Camarines Sur, and some members of the local media to discuss their plans on fostering support to the country in matters of education, health, disaster relief, peace and security and economic recovery, on December 15 at the Coffee Table, Naga City. Photo by Jam Madrid



In addition to educational backing, Yeomans mentioned the plan of building more classrooms and conducting capacity building activities. They also look forward in training more teachers in the country which may help in the knowledge recovery plan of the country’s education department.


“We are also looking at possibility of utilizing Australian technology in agriculture to be a means for agricultural production and growth in Philippines, as this is part of the priority agenda of the administration,” he said.


In trade and business, Australian companies are also venturing to invest in the country, particularly in Camarines Sur, the representative added.


“The first meeting between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese signals a positive start, it means both leaders aim for this relationship continue to grow. Next year, they agreed to alleviate their relationship into strategic partnership,” Yeomans said.


The mentioned diplomatic officer said that this strategic partnership means getting to do more and better across all engagements, but ultimately under these four key pillars namely: security, development, trade and investment and people links. (PIA5/Camarines Sur)

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