Speech by Ambassador Bill Tweddell
at the Signing and Exchange of the Deeds of Donation
between the Australian Government and the Philippine Bureau of Immigration
23 September 2014
On behalf of the Australian Government, I extend a warm welcome to Commissioner Siegfred Mison and other officials from the Republic of the Philippines Bureau of Immigration to today’s Deed of Donation signing ceremony.
A warm welcome also to representatives from the Bureau of Immigration: Ms Maan Krista Lapid-Legaspi, Chief of Anti-Fraud Section, Mr Joseph Abundo, Chief of Property Section and Ms Ma Hazeline Pia Barroso, Technical Assistant to the Commissioner.
Today’s signing gives formal recognition to the gifting of forensic document examination equipment and software to the Bureau’s Document Examination Laboratories located at:
• Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3;
• Clark International Airport; and
• Mactan-Cebu International Airport
I understand that the establishment of these Document Examination Laboratories under the Anti-Fraud Section of the Bureau is a key initiative aimed at bolstering the Bureau’s border management capability by improving its capacity to deter illegal migration, human trafficking and human smuggling.
This builds on a long-standing relationship between our two countries which has seen the establishment of a document examination capability within the Bureau of Immigration that is recognised regionally.
Both Australia and the Philippines are committed to working cooperatively to combat irregular migration, people smuggling, and human trafficking and to counter terrorism, in accordance with our respective laws.
Document examination capabilities enable a proactive approach to illicit migration, by improving the ability of the Bureau to detect and mitigate document and identity fraud.
The gift of this equipment demonstrates Australia’s continued partnership with the Philippines and reinforces our mutual commitment to the deepening bilateral ties and increased cooperation between our two countries. The Immigration Section in this Embassy is as good as I have encountered in eight overseas postings; and the quality of their relationship with their Philippine counterparts is as good as I have encountered anywhere.