The Philippines and Papua New Guinea signed a partnership for agricultural cooperation during the state visit of Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to the Philippines on May 16, 2018.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte received Prime Minister O’Neill in Malacañan Palace, where thy witnessed the signing of of economic partnership to further boost food security in both countries. The Joint Declaration was signed by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and Hon. Benny Allan, Papua New Guinea Minister for Agriculture and Livestock.
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.
“We have asked our relevant officials to negotiate and conclude at the soonest possible time an agreement that will bring our bilateral agriculture cooperation to the modern era, one that will truly be transformative and a hallmark of genuine partnership,” President Duterte said.
Along with President Duterte, Prime Minister O’Neill and the Papua New Guinea delegation were greeted by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ernesto Abella, Philippine Ambassador to Papua New Guinea Bienvenido Tejano, and Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Oscar Albayalde.
President Duterte invited Prime Minister O’Neill to visit the Philippines when they met in last year’s APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam.
“In our bilateral meeting, we extensively discussed defense and security cooperation, trade and investment relations, agriculture cooperation, and people-to-people exchanges,” President Duterte said.
“In the pursuit of greater peace, progress, and prosperity for our peoples, we have realized that we have to do more together to ensure what we want to achieve and the goals reached. There must be translated into actions the sustained projects and tangible results that can be measured,” President Duterte said.
Prime Minister O’Neill said the agriculture cooperation between the Philippines and Papua New Guinea will help ensure food security for both countries.
“We have agreed also to extend the cooperation in technical and development cooperation between our two countries where we want to see the technical skills and capacity of Filipinos who continue to build the economy to a very vibrant economy in the region so that they can also continue to train our people in our country,” Prime Minister O’Neill said.
“We acknowledge that we need to continue to extend our people-to-people relationship and that is an indication of the growing relationship between our two countries and the freedoms and the lawful activities that we continue to enjoy as citizens of both countries,” Prime Minister O’Neill said.
In photo: President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill pose for a photo following the successful bilateral meeting at the Malacañan Palace on May 16, 2018. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO