Call On President Benigno S Aquino III
Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, The Hon Julie Bishop, MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, The Hon Andrew Robb AO MP, together with the New South Wales Premier, The Hon Barry O’Farrell MP, reaffirmed the long-standing and strong relationship between Australia and the Philippines during a call on Philippines President H.E. Benigno S Aquino III at Malacanang Palace today.
“Both Ministers and the NSW Premier had a productive discussion with President Aquino on a wide range of issues, including regional affairs, bilateral economic ties, defence and maritime security, and Typhoon Yolanda relief and reconstruction,” said Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell.
“Ministers assured President Aquino that Australia was standing by the Philippines in the recovery process following Typhoon Yolanda, and that Australia looked forward to working with his Administration in supporting the recovery and reconstruction efforts.”
Australia provided A$40 million for reconstruction, clean water, food, shelter and health care, as well as military support with 550 defence personnel and equipment on the ground, to a total additional value of more than A$30 million.
Australia remains one of the Philippines’ largest bilateral grant aid partners, with A$170.1 million in official development assistance (ODA) expected for the 2013-14 financial year.
The call on President Aquino builds on the successful fourth Philippines-Australia Ministerial Meeting (PAMM) held earlier today by Ms Bishop and Mr Robb with the Secretaries for Foreign Affairs and for Trade and Industry, The Hon Albert del Rosario and The Hon Gregory Domingo.
“Australia is committed to working together with the Philippines to progress concrete initiatives to strengthen and deepen the bilateral relationship,” Ambassador Tweddell said.
Following a visit to Manila by Australia’s Governor General H.E. The Hon Quentin Bryce AC CVO in April 2012, President Aquino visited Australia later that year, in October.
Australia is home to over 250,000 people of Filipino heritage.
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