THE Philippines is willing to establish schools in Papua New Guinea, in an effort to help the Pacific nation in developing its education and livelihood sectors, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday, November 16.
Duterte made the pronouncement, as he expressed gratitude to Papua New Guinea for accommodating the Filipinos residing and working in the host country.
In exchange, the President said he was ready to send skilled teachers to Port Moresby and provide vocational skills training to the Pacific country's citizens to “develop well Papua New Guinea.”
“I really thank you, Governor and the Prime Minister [of Papua New Guinea], that you have accommodated us and I've heard that you have treated us very well. I tell you the Filipinos who are here are really very industrious and the bright ones. You can take advantage of the expertise,” he said during his meeting with the Filipino community in Papua New Guinea.
“I am offering you, you know I was looking at... We can come here. We can establish schools and if you want a university, and we are good at that, we will try to help you," Duterte said.
Papua New Guinea is a home to over 40,000 Filipinos, according to a data from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
The DFA also noted that more than 200 Philippine companies are currently operating in Papua New Guinea.
In May 2018, Duterte received Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O'Neill during his official visit to the Philippines.
The President said he would meet with O'Neill on Saturday, November 17 at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.
He, however, did not disclose issues that he would raise during his meeting with the Papua New Guinea Prime Minister.
The Philippines provides important services to the citizens of Papua New Guinea, which include agricultural expertise, assisting local rice growers to improve yields and maximize efficiency.
In his speech, Duterte advised Papua New Guinea to prevent multinational firms to “encroach” on their lands.
Duterte told Papua New Guinea to “not allow big money to enter” and instead “take time to develop.”
“Most of the lands in the Philippines are not food crop. There are no more lands where we can plant to eat the palay (rice). It's overtaken by multinationals. Be careful about that,” the President said.
“You may but do not allow the encroachment of multinationals because at the end of the day, what you would get is the salary of your people, and yet, the bulk, it's multinational. The bulk of the money goes to the company and goes everywhere,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)