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Speaker lauds Portuguese bid to help PH fight ASF

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Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Wednesday welcomed the offer of Portugal to help the Philippines eradicate African Swine Flu (ASF) that has been wreaking havoc on the country’s hog industry.

The Speaker also cited Portugal’s willingness to open its doors to Filipino workers.

The twin offers were relayed to Romualdez by Portuguese non-resident Ambassador to the Philippines, Maria Joào Falcào Poppe Lopes Cardoso, when she paid him a courtesy call at the posh Manila Golf and Country Club.

Romualdez committed to endorse the matter to the concerned agencies of the Executive department for appropriate action even as he hailed Portugal’s offer of assistance and other initiatives to expand bilateral trade and cooperation in technology and defense.

“These propositions are of great mutual interest to both countries,” Romualdez noted.

TOKEN OF APPRECIATION. Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez hands over a token of appreciation to Maria Joào Falcào Poppe Lopes Cardoso, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Portuguese Republic to Indonesia, with concurrent jurisdiction over the Philippines during a courtesy call on Romualdez at the West Room of the Manila Golf and Country Club on Wednesday morning. Ver Noveno 

According to Ambassador Cardoso, who is the concurrent Portuguese Ambassador to Indonesia and Brunei, a company in her country is “willing to make a donation of expertise and to travel to the Philippines to support eradicate swine flu.”

She noted that Portugal has extensive expertise on the matter, being one of only two countries in Europe that successfully eradicated ASF.

Reports earlier said that as of June 1, there were 15 provinces in the Philippines that have active ASF cases, although there were fewer detections in the past few weeks.

Ramon Garcia, Jr., Portugal’s honorary consul in Manila, said an organization of pork producers in Portugal was willing to send over two experts to train Bureau of Animal Industry personnel in eradicating ASF.

Cardoso also said Filipino workers, particularly with their facility in the English language, were welcome in her country’s booming tourism industry.
She also said many Portuguese firms, particularly those involved in technology, were interested in doing business in the Philippines.

“Our President is the foremost advocate of utilizing technology, and he is sincerely welcoming foreign investors. Besides, it makes a lot of sense for your companies to locate here, being among the fastest growing economies in the world,” Speaker Romualdez said.

The Portuguese ambassador said one of their hi-tech firms specializing in biometrics and e-gates and currently serving over 100 airports in the world has entered into a joint venture with a Filipino company to pilot test their services that could increase the capacity of airports by facilitating the entry and exit of passengers.

Garcia added that the hi-tech Portuguese firm was willing to establish its regional headquarters in the Philippines and put up a factory to service the technical needs of the airports, thus creating jobs for Filipino workers.

Cardoso also said another Portuguese firm has partnered with a Filipino firm and offering its secure communication technology to the Philippine defense establishment.


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