|VP Binay delivers Special Address to EDD 2012|
VP Binay Delivers Special Address to 7th EU Development Days (EDD
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17 October 2012 - Vice President Jejomar C. Binay spoke about the Philippine Governemnt’s 4 Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) in a special address delivered at Europe’s premier forum on international affairs and development cooperation, the European Development Days (EDD 2012) held from 16-17 October 2012 at the Belgian capital. The Vice President participated in the forum as the President’s Special Envoy to the EDD.
Vice President Binay was invited by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso to deliver a speech on the Philippines’ efforts at ensuring inclusive growth and development.
In his welcome speech, President Barroso highlighted the Philippines’ considerable success in implementing a practical model for development and poverty alleviation through the “4Ps conditional cash transfer program” that extends access, such as Universal Health Care program to essential services, to the vulnerable sectors of society.
EDD 2012 was centred on the theme ‘Inclusive and Sustainable Growth for Human Development”, with a focus on sustainable agriculture, food security and resilience, engaging the private sector for development and empowering people for inclusive growth.
EDD 2012 brought together the President of Cyprus, which currently holds the rotating Presidency of the European Union, and the Presidents of Benin, Mozambique, Senegal, Malawi, Gabon and Mauritania and Ministers of EU partner countries.
Previous EDD’s participants include European Leaders such as Jose Socrates, Prime Minister of Portugal; Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Sweden; International leaders such as Donald Kaberuka, President African Development Bank; Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and Administrator, United Nations Development Program; and business leaders such as Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin and George Soros, Founder of the Open Society Institute.
While in Brussels, the Vice President also met with several key European Union officials. He discussed air safety and seafarer training standards with European Commission Vice President and Commissioner Siim Kallas; talked about bilateral development cooperation, including the EU’s support for the Peace Process with Commissioner Andris Piebalgs; discussed the EU’s humanitarian aid to the Philippines, especially in the wake of Typhoon Sendong, with Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva; and explored possible cooperation on migration issues under the EU’s Global Approach to Migration and Mobility with Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom.
The Vice President also met with European Investment Bank Vice President Pym Van Bellekom to discuss new proposed financial arrangements for social infrastructure and climate change mitigation. The EIB has been a development partner of the Philippines since 1993, and has provided long-term financing for development projects in the country.
The Vice President also met with the Filipino Communities in Belgium and Luxembourg. In Brussels, the Filipino Community gathered at a Special Mass at the Filipino Chaplaincy of Saint-Remi, which was followed by a speech by the Vice President and a photo opportunity with various community organizations.
In his speech, the Vice President emphasized the Government’s continuing efforts to root out graft and corruption. He noted that the President’s personal commitment to good governance has made the Philippines “the darling of international investors”. He also recounted the various PH Government programs to promote and protect the interests of Overseas Filipino Workers, including the ratification of the ILO Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers, Absentee Voting registration for the May 2013 elections, and programs under the PAG-IBIG Fund.In Luxembourg, the Vice President had a “town hall” meeting with the community, speaking to them about the implementation of RA 10022, amending the Overseas Filipino Workers Act of1995, as well as the HUDCC’s housing program for OFWs. In a spirited question and answer portion, the Vice President addressed many issues that community members raised, including questions on PAG-IBIG membership benefits and the efficient delivery of consular services. END