Republic of the Philippines

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Philippine Embassy in New Zealand featured in "Frontliners" program of UNTV in Manila

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Public diplomacy took centre stage as the Philippines’ UNTV – Your Public Service Channel has featured the Philippine Embassy in New Zealand in its program entitled “Frontliners” to highlight the services that foreign service posts bring to the Filipino communities and host countries around the world. Since it was first aired on 5 March 2014, “Frontliners” weekly forty-five minute program is hosted by former Congressman Erin Tañada and Kuya Daniel Razon provides its viewers and listeners with a comprehensive overview of the mandate, services, programs, projects and accomplishments of the Department of Foreign Affairs in implementing the three pillars of Philippine foreign policy - political, economic and assistance to nationals. This is part of UNTV’s public service offerings to let the people know about the different functions, roles and responsibilities, programs and activities for the welfare and well-being of Filipinos at home and overseas.

At the start of the interview, Congressman Tañada welcomed Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez and invited her to share information and insights on Philippine diplomatic relations with New Zealand and situation of the Filipino community in the country. On behalf of the Philippine Embassy Team and the Filipino communities in New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Cook Islands, Ambassador thanked Congressman Tañada and the UNTV for choosing New Zealand and for the wonderful opportunity to share the closeness of bilateral and regional relations as friends and partners in the Asia-Pacific region and the deep appreciation for the Filipino communities in aforementioned countries. The extensive interview and animated conversations between Ambassador Benavidez and Congressman Tañada focused on the history and evolution of Philippines-New Zealand diplomatic relations 48 years ago, the flourishing political, economic, socio-cultural bilateral relations at the personal and official levels of leaders, ministers, senior officials, businessmen, representatives from various organizations and groups and people from different sectors of society, partnership in ASEAN, APEC, United Nations and other regional and international for a, the composition, functions and services of the Philippine Embassy, the profile of jobs, occupations and organizations of more than 40,350 Filipinos in New Zealand, channels of communication, problems encountered by Filipinos and the actions being taken to address and resolve them, visa requirements for those going to New Zealand, trade, tourism, education and people-to-people ties, iconic places to visit in New Zealand, development assistance and various aspects of Philippines-New Zealand cooperation in key areas such as dairy, geothermal and renewable energy, higher value knowledge processing in the ICT sector, air connectivity, agriculture, environment, Christchurch rebuilding and reconstruction projects, public-private partnerships, disaster preparedness and mitigation, among others.Ambassador Benavidez said that as a multicultural and ethnically diverse nation, New Zealand is a hospitable haven and welcoming destination for Filipinos and a model melting pot with strong connections to Asia. Filipinos are well loved, widely acknowledged and wonderfully known for their positive and impressive work ethics and talents, strong family values, ardent Christian faith, “bayanihan” and compassionate spirit, sacrificial service, entrepreneurial skills, rich cultural heritage and law abiding and active members of the local communities.

The UNTV local team of Mr. Jay Biluan and Mr. Arnel Matutina assisted in the technical arrangements. “Frontliners” is aired on UNTV every Wednesday from 5:00 pm to 5:45 pm and over UNTV Radio La Verdad 1350 every Monday from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Livestream is available via and and via the UNTV Mobile App available on iOS and Android devices.

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