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PIA Press Release
2007/10/20

Davao has to explore its great potentials, says Australian Minister

Davao City (20 October) -- "Davao City is clean, it is peaceful", thus commented an Australian dignitary, AusAID's Minister Counsellor in the Philippines, Titon Mitra in an exclusive interview with the PIA (PIA).

On top of its peaceful atmosphere, Davao has to explore its great potentials. The area is a prime venue for investments; Mr. Mitra said who was in Davao Thursday together with Florante Igtiben, Chief of the Public Investment Staff at the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) to grace the Re-Entry Action Plan conference of Filipino scholars return to contribute to country's development.

The whole day Re-Entry Action Plan conference was also attended by respective supervisors of the awardees who participated in the Pledge of Commitment ceremony Thursday where both the awardees and supervisors promised to ensure successful implementation of the re-entry action plans for their institutions.

Twenty-seven (27) Filipino scholars have returned to the Philippines from their one-year postgraduate studies in Australia, and are now ready to implement their re-entry action plans that will contribute to the development agenda of their respective institutions.

"I congratulate the returning scholars and I hope that the training opportunities they have received have equipped them with relevant skills to help their institutions achieve their goals," Mr. Mitra said.

We remain committed to delivering a large development scholarship program in the Philippines, which ranks fourth among the major recipients of Australia's scholarship program in the Asia-Pacific region. The Australian Government recognizes that human resource development within institutions is critical to the achievement of the Philippines' development goals," he said.

Australia is one of the Philippines' top grant aid donors, with over A$100 million (Php 4 billion) in aid in 2007-2008. Australia's aid program to the Philippines has grown to be its fourth largest globally, with some A$570 million in grant contributions over the past decade alone.

The 27 Filipino scholars were awarded scholarships administered by the Philippines-Australia Human Resource Development Facility (PAHRDF), a A$ 60 million (approx Php2.3 billion), five-year initiative of the Australian Government through its international aid agency, AusAID aimed at improving the capacity of targeted partner institutions with assistance that may include long-term training and other shorter-term human resource development activities. (PIA XI) [top]

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