Australian Embassy
The Philippines

MR090318- Young Philippine Leaders Participate in Political Exchange Program in Australia


Seven young political leaders from across the Philippines are in Australia this week, participating in an exchange program organised by the Australian Political Exchange Council.

Australian Ambassador Rod Smith said the exchange program would provide young Philippine political leaders with the opportunity to meet Australian counterparts on areas of mutual interest including trade, education, employment and climate change.

Past and present participants of the Australian political exchange program pay a courtesy call on Ambassador Rod Smith (fourth from left). In the photo are (from L-R) Councillor Antonino Jumawid (Bohol), Provincial Board Member Jonathan Yambao (Zamboanga Sibugay), Congressman Edgar Chatto (Bohol), Councillor Placido Cesar Mapa (Tanjay City, Negros Oriental), Governor Dakila Carlo Cua (Quirino), Katherine Purugganan, Board Member Von Mark Mendoza (Pangasinan), Australian Embassy Second Secretary Matthew Harrison, and PCYPL Executive Director Rollie Fabi.

“The exchange program aims to establish enduring political links that will contribute towards the strengthening of Australia-Philippines relations,” Ambassador Rod Smith said.

The delegation is composed of Quirino Governor Dakila Carlo Cua, Provincial Board Members Von Mark Mendoza (Pangasinan), Jonathan Yambao (Zamboanga Sibugay) and Jinky Avance (South Cotabato), and Councilors Antonino Jumawid (Batuan, Bohol) and Placido Cesar Mapa (Tanjay City, Negros Oriental). They will be accompanied by Katherine Purugganan from the Philippine Council of Young Political Leaders.

“The interaction with Australian leaders will enhance the knowledge and political experience of the participants which in turn will help them as they perform their duties in their respective constituencies,” Ambassador Smith said.

The program will include visits to Melbourne, Canberra and Goulbourn (New South Wales). In Canberra, the participants will attend a session of the Australian Parliament which will give them the chance to observe and gain insights into the Australian political system.

“Australia and the Philippines are committed to the principles of democracy and human rights and share common perspectives on regional, economic and security issues. The young political leaders will have the opportunity to exchange views with Australian policy makers and gain a broader understanding of the key issues that affect both countries,” Ambassador Smith said.

Each year, the Australian Political Exchange Council offers a number of young political leaders the opportunity to participate in overseas exchange programs. Previous participants include Cong. Edgar Chatto (Bohol), Cong. Maria Isabelle Climaco (Zamboanga) and Gov. Miguel Dominguez of Sarangani. The current delegation is the fourth from the Philippines to visit Australia under the program.