PHILIPPINE President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter Charles Paire O’Neill at the Malacañang Palace on Wednesday, May 16, witnessed the signing of a joint declaration on agricultural cooperation for the expansion and strengthening of agro-industries in both countries.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol and Papua New Guinea Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Benny Allan signed the Joint Declaration on Agriculture Cooperation between the two states.
In his speech, Mr. Duterte said the Joint Declaration “signifies the shared commitment of the Philippines and Papua New Guinea to expand and strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation in the field of agriculture and agro-industries, particularly in areas such as rice grains and industrial crops production; aquaculture and inland fish farming; livestock breeding and improvement; and agri-business development.”
For his part, Mr. O’Nell said: “I appreciate the communiqué that we have signed today between our two ministers to advance again the agriculture relationship between our countries, particularly in the production of rice in our country where we need to ensure that there is food security for both Papua New Guinea and the Philippines.”
The Prime Minister also thanked the Filipino citizens who currently live and work in Papua New Guinea for their significant “contributions” to his country’s economic progress.
“We have a very strong presence of the Filipino investment community and not only that but also Filipino workers who are providing good technical support and particularly in education and health in our country,” Mr. O’Neill said.
Mr. Duterte also said that he expects to work closely with Prime Minister O’Neill and “to actively engage him in both bilateral and regional matters such as ASEAN Region Forum.”
The President congratulated Mr. O’Neill and expressed his full support for the Papua New Guinea’s APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) chairmanship in 2018. — Arjay L. Balinbin