Republic of the Philippines

50 Hobson Street, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand 6011

PHL Embassy in Wellington and PHL Consulate General in Auckland welcome Filipino officials from the Department of Agriculture to New Zealand

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As Philippines-New Zealand relations continue to grow from strength to strength, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez and Honorary Consul General to Auckland Atty. Paulo R. Garcia welcomed the Philippine delegation from the Department of Agriculture composed of Undersecretary Dennis Guerrero, Assistant Secretary Paz Benavidez, Bureau of Plant Industry, Atty. Annaliza Vitug, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Dr. Rico Capulong, Bureau of Animal Industry and from the International Finance Group-World Bank, Mr. Roberto Galang who attended a conference and study tour in Wellington and Auckland on 16-28 March 2015.The World Bank Group Trade and Competitiveness organized the event “Towards a Coordinated Border Management Approach: Connecting Customs and Quarantine Agencies” aimed at exposing officials involved in agriculture, quarantine and customs from the Philippines, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and India to the successful policy experience and best practices of New Zealand in carrying out a well- coordinated border management approach focusing on connectivity of customs and quarantine agencies on risk management systems and decisions. A comprehensive and targeted programme of visits, briefings and interactive sessions brought participants to the Wellington Ministry of Primary Industries, Agriculture Testing Laboratories, New Zealand Customs Service, Auckland Customhouse, Biosecurity Centre and other sites.

Ambassador Benavidez hosted a fellowship dinner for the Philippine delegation with members of the Filipino community who were formerly employed at the Department of Agriculture in the Philippines, Filipino scholars pursuing post graduate courses on Agri-Science and Veterinary Clinical Science at Massey University and Philippine Embassy officers at “Ang Bahay” (Philippine Ambassador’s residence) in Wellington on 20 March 2015. A lively interaction followed and interesting conversations focused on updates on developments in the Philippines, the cooperative arrangements with New Zealand and possible areas of partnership on key areas in agriculture, among others. Honorary Consul General Garcia met with Undersecretary Guerrero, Assistant Secretary Benavidez and Mr. Galang in Auckland where they discussed the proposed dairy farm project and other developments in the dairy sector in the Philippines and New Zealand.

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