By Monsi A. Serrano
“There is no better way to celebrate German Unity Day than to strengthen and make lasting cooperation and partnership between Germany and the Philippines”, said German Ambassador to the Philippines Anke Reiffenstuel to THEPHILBIZNEWS.
“I know you were the first one (pre-pandemic) I informed about the planned deployment of Filipino nurses in Germany back in 2019, and now it is happening. I am happy about it,” she said.
Read related story:
During her speech, the lady envoy underscores the depth of friendship between Germany and the Philippines and what the German government plans and has implemented in terms of programs.
“Germany’s relations to the Philippines comprise the cooperation in multilateral fora like the United Nations, but also a whole range of bilateral issues,” she said.
Ambassador Reiffenstuel also revealed the development projects for the Philippines in the pipeline as part of Germany’s commitment to enhance its bilateral relationships with the country. This includes the Mindanao peace process and capacity building of the people in the region through agriculture, trade, investment and business, human rights, technology, youth development program, and women empowerment.
Reiffenstuel also revealed that one of the programs that is closed to her heart and was successfuly implemented is a German-funded project in Quezon City with Spark! Philippines that provides job opportunities and income for less privileged women.
She narrated how she was moved by the conditions of women inmates in Quezon City, who were producing handbags and accessories from recycled plastic in order to generate an income to support their families that prompted the German business community in Manila to support the program and donated with sewing machines and collaborate with some Filipino illustrious designers of bags, Filipiniana clothings, and fashion accessories and jewelry.
She also said that all the works of the women inmates will be showcased in a fashion show.
The lady envoy also called out Russia to stop its aggression against Ukraine.
“So far, every National Day of Germany since 1990, was a reason to celebrate: to celebrate freedom and democracy,” the ambassador said. She noted, however, that times have changed since the aggression in Ukraine began. “This year, Germany finds itself in the most severe crisis since its reunification in 1990.”
“Russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law and the attempt to destroy forever the international rules-based order of the United Nations Charter,” Reiffenstuel said. She also cited that the German Unity Day is an opportunity to underline the commitment to live up to international responsibility in promoting peace and stability.