Republic of the Philippines

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

PHL Ambassador meets with the Dairy Workers and Filipino Community in Tokoroa and Cambridge, Waikato Region, North Island, New Zealand

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As part of the Philippine Embassy’s priority to reach out to Filipinos in various sectors throughout New Zealand, promote their welfare and well-being as well recognize their vital roles and contributions to nation-building in the Philippines and New Zealand, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez accompanied by Administrative Staff Hilario Reyes visited three dairy farms managed by Filipinos in Tokoroa and attended a birthday celebration of a leading and highly respected member of the Filipino community in Cambridge, Waikato region in the North Island of New Zealand on 17 January 2015. The engagements with the Filipinos are done simultaneously with the Philippine Embassy’s first mobile consular services for 2015 that kicked off on 16-19 January 2015 in Tokoroa.

The first farm, Alex Graham Ltd. is managed by Mr. Harvey Cabug, Herd Manager and President of the North Island Filipino Farmers Association (NIFFA) and Mr. Francisco Fortuno, Assistant Herd Manager and they take care of 600 cows being milked on a 60 bail rotary automatic shed. The second farm, Megaton Holdings Ltd. is run by Mr. Nilo Llubit, Herd Manager who looks after 250 cows and operates a herringbone shed. The third farm, Ashdale Ltd. employs Mr. Julius Caoing as its Herd Manager who ensures that its 450 cows and 40 bail rotary shed are handled well. They shared with Ambassador Benavidez their valuable dairy farm experiences, learnings, positive work relationships with their employers and contributions to the daily operations of the farms. She encouraged the Filipino dairy farmers in Tokoroa and surrounding areas to continue to excel in their respective roles and responsibilities and said that they serve as inspiration and model for other Filipino dairy workers to follow their much appreciated work and exemplary contributions to the development and upliftment of Filipino dairy workers and the dairy industry in New Zealand and the Philippines. “The leaders and people of New Zealand continue to convey their distinct recognition and deep appreciation to the hugely important presence and contributions of Filipinos in the dairy farms throughout the North and South Islands in New Zealand,” Ambassador Benavidez stated.

Ambassador Benavidez and Mr. Reyes also joined the 60th birthday celebrations of Ms. Cely Gamble, one of the longest staying members of the Filipino community who is well known for her motherly care, concern, assistance and support for Filipinos in the Waikato region. The Filipino dairy farmers, among many other members of the Filipino community, are fond of her and speak very highly of her. The attendance of many Filipinos from several areas in the North Island demonstrated their love, respect and gratitude to Ms. Gamble, her husband, Mr. Jim Gamble and her family. Ambassador Benavidez conveyed birthday greetings to Ms. Gamble in behalf of the Philippine Embassy Team and the Filipino community and thanked her and her husband for their generosity, kind heartedness, compassion and help to the Filipinos in the Waikato region. It was a meaningful and heart-warming celebratory evening which highlighted Filipino hospitality and graciousness.

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