Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Vice President of the European Commission, visited Manila (Philippines) on 28 to 29 July. Ashton met with House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Foreign Secretary del Rosario for an exchange of views on EU-Philippines relations.
The European Union reiterated its commitment to promote human rights and to eliminate torture during a forum, “End Torture” with the Medical Action Group (MAG) and Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) held in Makati City. This event took place to mark the "International Day in Support of Victims of Torture". "Torture is not only a tragedy for its victims – it is also degrading for those who perpetrate it, and inevitably it harms the welfare of societies which tolerate such outrages", EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux said in his speech .
The government of the Philippines and the European Union have joined handsto protect school children from chemicals known to have serious toxic effects on the brain. During a school visit organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the European Union (EU), Environment Sec. Ramon J.P. Paje and EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux signed a Solidarity Statement and led stakeholders in pushing for “Lead and Mercury Safe Schools for Bright and Healthy Children." See EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux's speech during his visit to the school.
On 04 June 2014, Kristalina Georgieva, Member of the EC in charge of International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, returned to Tacloban, Philippines, where, seven months ago, the world's most powerful typhoon ever recorded making landfall had devastated a large region of the Philippines. During her stay, she saw for herself the progress made in Tacloban's recovery, meeting local mayors and visiting an EU project for children. She was joined by representatives of the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM).
Kristalina Georgieva gave the opening speech of the ASEM Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction and Management. On this occasion, she met with Benigno Aquino III, President of the Philippines.The EU, its Member States and private European donations totalled €740 million. The EU also assisted the population affected by the earthquake in Bohol (€2.5million), by typhoon Pablo (€6.2 Million) and those displaced in Zamboanga (€0.3 million).
Europe Day, 9 May 2014 in Manila. Tourism was the theme of the evening as this is a growth area of mutual importance to both regions. In 2013, the Philippines managed to attract a record 4.5 million tourists, up 10% from the previous year. The number of EU tourists visiting the Philippines increased by 8%, reaching over 376,000. Tourists from the EU accounted for 8% of the total number of visitors to the Philippines in 2013. This makes the EU the 5th largest source of tourists to the Philippines, behind South Korea (26%), the US (15%), Japan (10%) and China (10%). 2013 was also a record year for tourists visiting the EU with 563,000,000 international visitors in 2013, 29 million more than in previous years.
The Commemoration event, "The Road to Recovery: Rebuilding with Communities after Typhoon Haiyan"; 9 May 2014
Six months after typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda tore through the central Philippines, humanitarian organizations are calling for increased participation and cooperation to ensure continuation along the road to recovery. On May 9th, Europe Day, European Union (EU)partner agencies celebrate the progress made by communities whilst highlighting that there is much more work to do. An exhibition, ‘The Road to Recovery: Rebuilding with Communities after typhoon Haiyan’, will showcase photographs taken throughout the course of the humanitarian response which demonstrate the remarkable resilience of communities and individuals. An accompanying panel discussion and Q&A, featuring representatives from the affected communities, humanitarian agencies, the Philippine government and the EU Ambassador, will focus on the next steps in terms of aiding long term recovery. Photo credit: ECHO Partaners 2014/A. Guevara
The European Commission has updated for the 23rd time the European list ofairlines subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union, better known as "the EU air safety list". On the basis of safety information from various sources and hearings before the EU Air Safety Committee, the Commission decided to remove Cebu Pacific Air from the EU Safety List allowing it to operate to the European Union.
On March 14, 2014, EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux and Italy Ambassador Massimo Roscigno visited the European Pavillon at the 2014 WorldBEX Building and Construction Exposition. With 150,000 visitors, the WorldBEX Expo is the largest annual trade fair for the construction industry in the Philippines. About twenty European companies were hosted under the European Pavillon this year, including a strong delegation of Italian companies. Ambassador Ledoux acknowledged the reputation of European suppliers in the construction industry in his address to guests. Ambassador Roscigno in turn congratulated European SMEs in attendance and encouraged them to make the best of the Philippines’ robust growth while offering quality products and creating jobs in the country.
The Pavillon was co-funded by the EU-Philippines Business Network, an EU-funded platform launched in December 2013 and offering support to European companies seeking to invest in the Philippines.
1st Global Terrorism and CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives) Conference in the Philippines; 04 to 07 March 2014
From March 4 to 7, 2014, the 1st Global Terrorism and CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives) Conference in the Philippines was held. The European Union supports actions to counter terrorism and to mitigate CBRN risks in the Philippines and South-East Asia and presented its projects under the Instrument of Stability to more than 150 participants of the Philippines and abroad. The Armed Forces of the Philippines set up its CBRNE unit four months ago and impressed with a Capability Demonstration in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City, on March 6. In a first exercise, an active bomb was safely removed from a car and brought to detonation in a secure location afterwards. Afterwards, the CBRNE unit responded to an explosion that released chemicals by rescuing the affected persons and decontaminating the site.
The Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC), the body appointed by President Benigno Simeon Aquino III thru Executive Order 120, launched on 24 February 2014 at the EDSA Shangri-la Hotel a Primer answering questions about its existence and the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which it has been tasked to draft. Made up of 15 Commissioners and chaired by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panel Chairman Mohagher Iqbal, the BTC was joined during the launch by Government peace panel Chair Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Head of European Union delegation to the Philippines Ambassador Guy Ledoux, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue's Asia Regional Director Michael Vatikiotis and Philippine Country Representative Ali Saleem.
PHP 45 BILLION (€750M) POURED INTO NEW PLATFORM FOR MALAMPAYA
Welcoming another large scale European investment in the Philippines, European
Union (EU) Ambassador Guy Ledoux together with Ambassadors Josef Muellner
(Austria), Roland Van Remoortele (Belgium), Massimo Roscigno (Italy); Chargés
d'Affaires a.i Michael Hasper (Germany), Hero de Boer (Netherlands), Mihai Sion
(Romania); Deputy Heads of Mission Jan Vytopil (Czech Republic), Nicholaos Verghis
(Greece); and Commercial Counsellor Ms Marie-Jose Connan (France) were today
welcomed at the Keppel Subic Shipyard in Subic, Zambales, the site of the fabrication
activities of the Malampaya Phase 3 (MP3) platform by the Malampaya Joint Venture
Partners and Keppel Subic Shipyard Leads to witness the ongoing construction of the
second offshore gas platform as part of the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power
Phase 3 Project.
A Picture Story
08/02/2014 - Three months after Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) devastated large areas of the eastern and central Philippines, communities are still struggling to rebuild their lives. In total, the European Commission and the EU Member States have allocated over EUR 178 million in humanitarian and early recovery assistance to the survivors, including EUR 30 million from the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department ECHO. This supports the vast international effort to provide food, water, medicines and shelter material to the affected populations.
EU Ambassador confirms completion of 4,000 homes in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental to house victims of typhoon Pablo; 09 January 2014
"The road to recovery and reconstruction is easier when all the stakeholders actively participate – the affected families, local government units, international organisations and non-government organisations." said European Union Ambassador Guy Ledoux at the ceremonial turnover of the certificates of ownership of homes made from traditional materials to 200 families from barangays Mamunga, Macopa, Naboc and San Isidro from Compostela Valley. They are part of a larger group of 4,000 families that have had their homes repaired or rebuilt thanks to this initiative of the European Union in collaboration with the Red Cross. Photos by the Spanish Red Cross
The Philippines is winner of the Award for Closing the Gender Gap in South and Southeast Asia at the Women in Parliaments Global Forum in Brussels, Belgium on November 27, 2013.
The award was given to the Philippines after the country ranked first among nations in South and Southeast Asia in the World Economic Forum’s survey of nations’ ability to close the gender gap.
Senator Loren Legarda, who received the award on behalf of the Philippine government, cited the Constitution as the country’s guidepost in the promotion of women’s rights, where the role of women in nation building and equality of women and men before the law are emphasized.
The EU's top official for Humanitarian Assistance, Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva visited the Philippines last 15 and 16 November and personally assessed the human and material devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). During her visit, she announced an additional € 7M in humanitarian aid for the survivors of the typhoon, bringing the total amount of aid from the European Commission to € 20M. EC Commissioner Andris Piebalgs announced the initial € 13M during his visit to the country, days after the typhoon struck Eastern Visayas.
European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, visited the Philippines for the first time from 10 to 12 November 2013 to explore ways on how to further advance bilateral development co-operation between the European Union and the Philippines.
"On October 16, 2013 the Green Philippines Project organised the 3rd EcoSwitch Award Ceremony at the Manila Hotel for 100 companies having achieved high environmental performance in 2013. The project conducts resource efficiency audits among its beneficiaries and monitors the implementation of recommendations on site. Since its inception in 2010, more than 300 companies have been certified and the most successful have reported significant savings on electricity consumption and water and raw material usage. The project is funded by the European Union through a 100 Million PHP grant.
During the ceremony, H.E Ambassador Guy Ledoux awarded certificates to the most deserving companies both in the SME and large company categories. The ceremony was also attended by H.E Josef Rychtar, Ambassador of the Czech Republic and H.E Josef Muellner, Ambassador of Austria."
European Higher Education Fair 2013 gathers 1,500 students, faculty, 32 European Higher Education Instutitions; 15 October 2013
The European Higher Education Fair 2013 opened yesterday 15 October in full force at The Peninsula Hotel with the Ambassadors of the European Union and Member States and officials from the Commission on Higher Education and Department of Education.
A total of 1,500 students, faculty and academicians trooped to the European Higher Education Fair 2013 to explore education opportunities from 32 distinguished universities from the European Union from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and, for the first time from the Czech Republic, Hungary and Ireland.
The European Union attaches primary importance to disaster preparedness as envoy visits Camarines Sur; 01 to 02 October 2013
Ambassador Guy Ledoux witnessed the population of Canaman in Camarines Sur, as they coducted an evacuation drill. Canaman is one of the most vulnerable and disaster prone Barangay in the provinces of Bicol. The drill is part of a disaster preparedness programme financed by the European Union and implemented by CARE Netherlands.For 2012-2013, the European Union provided Php 90 million grants for disaster preparedness programmes to the consortium of NGOs including Care Nederlands, Action Contre la Faim, Plan International, Oxfam, Christian Aid and Handicap International working with Office of Civil Defence Bicol Region.
Embassy representatives in Manila converged to Malacañang on 25 and 26 September 2013 to visit the Regional Secretariat of the Centre of Excellence for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN CoE) Risk Mitigation for South-East Asia sponsored by the European Union (EU). The Delegation comprised diplomats from member states of the EU and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as of Australia, Japan, Switzerland and the USA. A live demonstration of a chemical incident response was held after an informative morning session. The Government of the Philippines is hosting the EU CBRN CoE Regional Secretariat for South-East Asia which does not only serve as a hub of expertise but is also facilitating the implementation of currently 19 projects in the region with a budget of more than 14 million Euros (more than 815 million Philippine Pesos) and addressing specific countries’ needs.
European Union Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard visits the Philippines to strengthen bilateral co-operation on climate action; 05 to 06 September 2013
Ms. Connie Hedegaard is the first European Union Commissioner to visit the Philippines in several years when she arrived September 5th to discuss an issue at the top of the EU agenda: Climate Action.
"As Cine Europa turns 16 it is reaching more Filipinos than ever before with screenings right across the country. With its expansion from three to six cities last year, attendance has increased by a quarter from 29,000 in 2011 to 36,500 in 2012. What is now perhaps the largest film festival in the Philippines will this year present an original, entertaining and thought-provoking set of 21 European movies, while reserving a special place for quality Filipino films." said Julian Vassallo, Political Counsellor at the EU Delegation to the Philippines.
EU-PH expand partnership for justice reform through new PhP 570 million support programme; 11 July 2013
The Government of the Philippines has embarked on a major reform in the field of justice and rule of law. In support of this important undertaking, a new Php 570 million (Eur 10 million) comprehensive support program financed by the European Union will be launched on Thursday at the Philippine National Police (PNP) National Headquarters in Camp Crame.
The European Commission updated on 10 July for the 21st time the European list of airlines subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union, better known as "the EU air safety list". Following improvements in the safety situation in the Philippines, Philippine Airlines is the first airline from this country allowed back into European skies since 2010.
European Union Ambassador Guy Ledoux, Mr. Jørn Mørkeberg, Sonion Group CEO, Mr. Niels Ole Jeppesen, General Director, Sonion Philippines and Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) Director-General Lilia de Lima inaugurated the new factory of Sonion Philippines, on 3 July 2013 in Batangas, the 289th European company operating in the PEZA.
The EU sponsored a workshop last 1 July 2013 on the interrelations between public policies, migration and development with the participation of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO). In the workshop EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux noted the role that migration played in pushing the EU's economy to become one of the world's largest, with the help of the 21 million migrants from developing countries. On this occassion the EU envoy also highlighted the EU-funded 2.8 Million Euro joint project of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.
EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux and Philippines Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo launched the 3rd Trade-Related Technical Assistance project between the Philippines and the European Union. "The new action further extends and expands our long-standing support to the country's efforts to promote economic growth and poverty reduction through trade." Guy Ledoux said.
Part of the European Culinary Season 2013, French cuisine came to the fore on 19 June when Chef Gabby Prats of The Culinary Institute of France demonstrated to the Filipino public how to prepare oignon gratinée Français soupe, (French onion soup gratinee, salade niçoise (salad nicoise), canard a l'orange (duck in orange gastrique) and crèpe suzette.
The 8th Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) between the European Union (EU) and the Philippines took place on 11 June 2013 in Brussels. Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific of the European External Action Service (EEAS) Mr. Viorel Isticioaia Budura and Philippine Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Evan P. Garcia co-chaired the meeting attended by officials and experts of both sides.
2nd European Union-Philippines Meeting on Energy: Energy Efficiency to Boost Economic Growth; 29 May 2013
The EU Delegation in partnership with the Philippines Department of Energy organised the 2nd EU-Philippines Meeting on Energy on May 29 with a focus on Energy Efficiency. The event served as a platform for a bilateral exchange of views on Energy Efficiency between policy makers in the Philippines and representatives from the European Union and its Member States. The Meeting was opened by DOE Undersecretary L. Ayson and EU Ambassador G. Ledoux. Congresswoman Abad also presented the work of the Congress Committee on Energy where the passage of an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Bill is a priority.
Part of the European Culinary Season 2013, Terry's restaurant in cooperation with the Spanish Embassy, showcased a Guitar concert with the performance of Benchito Cariño. The European Culinary Season 2013 is an event organised by the EU Cultural Group in the Philippines which features various European Cuisines from 16 May until the end of June.
The exceptional quality and diversity of Metro Manila's restaurants is an important element of its tourism product that's worth celebrating. To this end the European Union Cultural Group made up of the Embassies and Cultural institutes of the European Union and Switzerland will launch on 16 May the first European Culinary Season that will run for six weeks till 30 June.
Over 20 participating restaurants and establishments will celebrate European cuisine and food culture in Manila in the manner they know best – through chef demonstrations, wine and beer tastings, special European degustation menus, culinary film screenings and a pub quiz. Everything from the Sublime to the Delicious.
On the occasion of Europe Day, Ambassador Guy Ledoux, Head of Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, said relations between the EU and the Philippines has strengthened in the last year as news of the Philippines’ high economic growth and good governance has reached Europe. He noted that in November, at the sidelines of the Ninth Asia-Europe Meeting in Laos, President Benigno Aquino III met with EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, citing as well the flurry of visits of European political leaders in the country over the past six months.
European Union to help the Philippines manage its migration flows by financing a project implemented by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM); 15 March 2013
The EU will provide 86 million PHP or 80% of the financing for a regional project aimed at improving regular migration flows from targeted countries including the Philippines. Placing an emphasis on safe and legal migration, this two-year project follows on others implemented between 2006-2010 on facilitating legal migration and promoting regional dialogue.
EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux said:
"The EU's support reaffirms its commitment to cooperate with the Philippines in the area of migration."
The European Union Chemical, Biological Radiological and Nuclear Centres of Excellence Initiative Regional Secretariat for South East Asia opens; 06 March 2013
To boost the European Union (EU) cooperation with the Philippines on regional security issues, the EU Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Centre of Excellence (CoE) Regional Secretariat for South East Asia will open in Malacanang on 6 March 2013.The CBRN CoE Regional Secretariat will be launched by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr.; the European Union Ambassador Guy Ledoux; and Dr Jonathan Lucas, Director of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI)."Today's launch is a milestone in itself as the establishment of the CBRN CoE Regional Secretariat in Manila will see the development of a common and coherent risk mitigation policy both at national and regional levels", said the European Union Ambassador Ledoux.
Visit of European Parliament Delegation to explore opportunities for greater European Investment; 11 to 15 February 2013
A Delegation from the European Parliament will be in the Philippines from 11-15 February to learn about the positive developments taking place in the Philippines that have created opportunities for new European investment in the fast-growing Philippine economy. The Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), who together with European governments legislate for 500 million Europeans, will also visit Mindanao to lend their political support to the peace process.
The European Union will concentrate on the impact of development assistance in the Philippines; 30 January 2013
In advance of the Philippines Development Forum, the EU Delegation and European member States in Manila present a new publication describing European development assistance to the Philippines. The European Union provides development assistance to the Philippines as a group and some member States go further by also providing bilateral development assistance.
A forum on Fair Competition: Key to Economic Growth on Thursday, 24 January 2013 at Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Makati City will highlight how competition benefits government, investors and consumers alike.
While House Bill 4835, a measure that penalizes anti-competitive agreements and mergers, and abuse of dominant position is yet to be passed, support for the bill is compelling. “Competition policy lies at the heart of a competitive economy. It is well known that no strong and sustainable growth can be attained without a solid competition law,” said H.E. Guy Ledoux, Head of the European Union Delegation to the Philippines, one of the co-organizers of the event.
In celebration of the human rights week this December, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines supported by the European Union gathers on 4 December in Mandarin Hotel to raise attention to the human rights violations cases and to call on all sectors to help protect victims of these violations.
European Union and Philippine officials open European Higher Education Fair dubbed as "Brighter Prospects" on 14 November 2012 at the Peninsula Hotel. The Fair marks the 25 years of the European Union's Erasmus Scholarship and Mobility Programmes and provide a platform for dialogue and exchange of best practices between Philippine and EU Universities and higher education institutions.
Mrs. Norica Nicolai, Member of the European Parliament, visited the Philippines from 28 October to 2 November 2012
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III meets European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission Jose Barroso during the 9th ASEM; 5 to 6 November 2012
President of the European Council Herman VAN ROMPUY and President of the European Commission José Manuel BARROSO met today with Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III in Vientiane, Lao People's Democratic Republic, in the margins of the ASEM 9 Summit. The meeting between the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission with the President of the Philippines is a culmination of the high level political dialogue between the two sides in the year 2012, reconfirming their determination to bring the bilateral relations between the European Union and the Philippines to the new heights.
EU Ambassador Ledoux witnesses disaster risk reduction programmes in Southern Leyte; 28 September 2012
Ambassador Guy Ledoux of the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines witnessed progress in disaster risk reduction programmes in Leyte and has commended the collaborative efforts of the local government units, NGOs and the communities to help save lives and to lessen damages in times of disasters. The European Union provided Saint Bernard at least Php 20 million (€ 384,000) in DRR funds across five years while the LGU contributed Php 2.6 million (€ 48,000) as their counterpart. The EU contribution is on top of other equally significant inputs of other local and international NGOs to the municipal LGU. The EU disaster preparedness programme aims at improving the capacities of at-risk communities to prepare for and protect themselves from natural disasters. For 2012-2013, the EU has allocated PHP 130 millions for disaster preparedness actions in the Philippines.
The 15th edition of the Cine Europa Film Festival will open with a splash at Shangri-La Plaza on 5 September including a performance by the Manila String Quartet, a painting exhibition by local artists and the screening of the movie "Upperdog" to mark the inclusion for the first time of a movie from Norway. To mark its fifteenth year Cine Europa will draw on its collaboration with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) to double the number of Film Festival locations from three to six. In addition to keeping its long-standing tradition of screenings at:Shangri-La Plaza ( 6 to 16 September);Ayala Center in Cebu (21 to 24 September); Liceo de Cagayan in Cagayan de Oro ( 27 to 30 September);
Cine Europa 15 will then continue in its three new locations: FDCP Cinemateque, Davao (4 to 7 October);FDCP Cinemateque, Baguio (11 to 14 October); and FDCP Cinemateque, Iloilo (18 to 21 October).
EU Ambassador unveils peace murals and reiterates EU's commitment to the peace process; 25 September 2012
In support of Peace month launched by President Benigno Aquino III on 14 September, EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux unveiled peace mural and billboards at Cotobato City Airport on 25 September. The murals and billboards display paintings of the children of Maguindanao who participated in a competition organised by the International Monitoring Team, of which the European Union is a member, with the Department of Education of Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao.
The EU and the Philippines sign Partnership and Cooperation Agreement; 11 July 2012; Phnom Phen, Cambodia
Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice- President of the European Commission, signed the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario today in Phnom Penh, at the sidelines of the 19thARF Ministerial meeting.
"With the Philippines, Europe has a long historical relationship. We share many common beliefs such as on human rights or on democracy. The level of trust between the Philippines and the EU is such that sensitive political issues are already part of our daily work, be it co-operation on counterterrorism, non-proliferation or the peace process in Southern Mindanao, where the EU is a willing and engaged partner," said Catherine Ashton.
The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement is the first agreement between the EU and the Philippines since 1980.
The "Competition Policy & Law and the Media" seminar aims in orienting government information agencies and media organisations on competition law and its economic and governance benefits, and the role of media in the advocacy of competition policy and law.
The Philippines has become a member of the Madrid Protocol the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) announces. This will make it easier and more affordable for companies to register their trademarks here in the Philippines and abroad as trademarks registered through the protocol will be automatically registered in member-countries. The Philippines’ major trading partners including Japan, United States, China, Singapore, Korea, Australia and the European Union are all members of the Madrid Protocol.
On 28 May, Ambassadors from European Union Member States and Head of the EU Delegation in the Philippines, Mr. Guy Ledoux, met with the Philippine NGO Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) at Bantayog Memorial, Quezon City - a well-known place of commemoration for the victims of Martial Law and torture. The diplomats were welcomed by Sister Crescencia Lucero, Co-Chairperson of the TFDP Board, and by Executive Director Emmanuel Amistad. The visit was a welcome opportunity not only to receive an implementation update of a project funded by the EU with PHP 2.750.000 but to also discuss the situation of human rights in the Philippines, especially with regard to the upcoming 2nd Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the country, to take place on 29 May 2012 at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Today a group of Ambassadors of the European Union (EU) and its Member States visited Vestas Services Philippines Inc., a European BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) active inthe field of renewable energy, located within the Philippine Export Zone in Makati City. During the tour the Ambassadors were able to witness how EU investments contribute to the thriving BPO sector in the Philippines. PEZA Director General Lilia de Lima welcomed the delegation, representing the EU and ten EU Member States.
Tools and Techniques for Detection and Investigation of Anti-Competitive Practices with Focus on Cartels; 27 to 29 February 2012; Pan Pacific Hotel, Manila
The workshop "Tools and Techniques for Detection and Investigation of Anti-Competitive Practices with Focus on Cartels" was funded through the EU-Philippines Trade Related Technical Assistance Programme 2. TRTA contributes to the reduction of poverty in the Philippines through further integration into the international trade system. It is implemented by the Philippine government with an EU grant of 417 million pesos. In the next phase of the Programme 2012-2016, with a budget of 448 million pesos, a special component to support competition policy is foreseen.
With shared ambition and common policy objectives in mind, the EU Delegation to the Philippines, EU Member States Embassies and the Department of Energy will jointly organise the 1st EU-Philippines Meeting on Energy on February 27, 2012.
The theme for this year's meeting will be "Sharing Experiences on Renewable Energy Promotion".
The event will be jointly opened by EU Ambassador Guy Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jose Almendras and Senator Edgardo Angara, who authored the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.
The Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) with the Delegation of the European Union to Philippines launch the Department's food safety e-portal. AgricultureSecretary Proceso Alcala said the portal “will be useful to the private sector stakeholders as the codified issuances may be accessed electronically, thereby facilitating trade through improved information availability and transparency of food safety related regulations and measures which the industry needs to know and comply with.” Ambassador Guy Ledoux said: "We strongly support the Department of Agriculture in its efforts further enhance its food safety regime. This is good for Philippine consumers and consumers of Philippine food worldwide. Aligning to international standards will improve the access of Philippines food exports to markets abroad. Getting the regulatory framework right and making it easily accessible is key."
EU diplomats visit Cagayan de Oro to express support to Sendong victims and assess progress in relief assistance; 04 January 2012
EU Ambassador leads a group of EU diplomats on a visit to Cagayan De Oro, Northern Mindanao on 4 January to express support for vulnerable families affected by typhoon 'Sendong' (International name: Washi). European Union aid for tropical storm Sendong victims reached Php 389 million making the EU the largest foreign contributor in relief aid for typhoon-stricken Northern Mindanao.
The Philippine Government and the European Union held their Seventh Philippines-European Union Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) from 12 to 13 December 2011 at the Diamond Hotel, Manila. The SOM is the Seventh since it started in 1997 and the first since the establishment of the European External Action Service (EEAS). On this occasion, two Financing Agreements were concluded by the Assistant Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Elisabeth Buensuceso and by the EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux. The EU Ambassador confirmed that "The new projects address key areas in the expanded bilateral relations namely environmental protection including climate change and maternal and child health which are fully in line with the Philippine Development Plan".
EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux met with recently appointed Bureau of Customs (BOC), Commissioner Rozanno Rufino B. Biazon and confirmed the European Union's support to key reform efforts of the Bureau. In emphasising the BOC's vital role, Mr. Ledoux stated in the margins of the meeting "The Bureau of Customs is the entry point for international trade to the country and it plays a key role in the Philippines' efforts to further strengthen its position as a hub for trade and investment."