PHL Ambassador welcomes Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning and Director-General of the National Economic Development Authority to Wellington, New Zealand
Philippine Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez and the Philippine Embassy Team in Wellington, New Zealand welcomed Hon. Arsenio M. Balisacan, Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning and Director-General of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) who spoke at the 11th International Conference of the Western Economic Association International hosted by Victoria University of Wellington and Massey University on 8-11 January 2015. At the Session on “Public Policies for Inclusive Growth” organized and chaired by Dr. Majah-Leah Ravago from the University of the Philippines, Secretary Balisacan made a presentation on “Rising from the Doldrums: The Resurgence of the Philippine Economy” on 9 January 2015 at the Rangimarie Room 2 of the Te Papa Museum. Other presenters were Prof. James A. Roumasset from the University of Hawaii and Dr. Ravago on “Helping Farm Households Cope with Climate Change and Adverse Events” and Prof. Roumasset on “Efficiency, Equity and Land Reform: The Philippine Case”. Ms. Rio Yonson from Victoria University of Wellington joined Secretary Balisacan and Prof. Roumasset as discussants. Meetings were also held with New Zealand officials involved in the Treasury, Energy and Electricity sectors on a wide range of subjects related to policies, research, institutional linkages, capacity building and best practices, among others.
Ambassador Benavidez and Engr. Pio Benavidez hosted a welcome dinner in honour of Secretary Balisacan, Dr. Ravago, Prof. Roumasset and Mr. Jan Carlo B. Punongbayan, Head Executive Assistant, NEDA on 8 January 2015 at “Ang Bahay” (Philippine Ambassador’s residence). Other invited guests were Ms. Moira Turley, Unit Manager, South and Southeast Asia Division, Ms. Tiffany Babington, Deputy Director-Asia, Global Bilateral Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) and Ms. Rio Yanson, PhD Scholar, Victoria University of Wellington. There was a lively interaction and warm fellowship with Secretary Balisacan and the group on a broad range of subjects covering Philippines-New Zealand relations especially on development assistance, cooperation in dairy and other aid assisted projects, people-to-people and air connectivity, energy and power situation in the Philippines and New Zealand, the Filipino community, human resources development and other related matters.
Secretary Balisacan found his visit to Wellington productive and highly useful to the work of his agency. Together with Dr. Ravago and Prof. Roumasset and Mr. Punongbayan, they thanked the Philippine Embassy Team for the assistance and support given to them during their fruitful visit in New Zealand.