EU envoy joins Mindanao Development Forum, visits dev’t projects and maritime college

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From left, Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte welcomes European Union Ambassador Luc Véron during the envoy's courtesy visit

European Union Ambassador Luc Véron is in Davao City until May 19, 2023 to participate at the Mindanao Development Forum, where he will talk about the EU’s contribution to peace and security, environment, economic development and jobs creation in Mindanao.

Ambassador Véron said that his participation in the Forum is a reaffirmation of the EU’s long-standing commitment to supporting peace and development in Southern Philippines.

In this first trip to Davao City, Ambassador Véron paid a courtesy call to Davao Mayor Sebastian Duterte.

Ambassador Véron is also visiting two EU-supported development projects: a chocolate processing plant and model integrated farm in Barangay Cadalian, Baguio District, Davao City.

The EU has currently invested about €140 million (approximately PhP 2.9 billion) in programmes to strengthen institutions, and to support rural electrification, the use of renewable energy, and agriculture and aquaculture value chains in Mindanao.

However, besides the funding, the level and quality of engagement with stakeholders are equally important, he said. “Our support to Mindanao is fully in line with the new Philippine Development Plan and Bangsamoro Development Plan”.

Ambassador Véron said the mission was a reaffirmation of the European Union’s commitment to support the development in Mindanao. “The EU will remain engaged as long as that engagement is welcome by the Government and local authorities.” he said.

He said that the EU Delegation has recently started the design of future support measures which can be rolled out from end of 2024 – partly succeeding our current cooperation.

During his visit to the Davao Merchant Marine Academy College of Southern Philippines, Ambassador Véron recalled the recent decision of the European Commission to extend the recognition of the Philippines’ maritime education, training and certification system for seafarers.

“It is important that maritime schools like the DCSP continue to implement the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch Keeping for Seafarers’ requirements in their maritime programmes.” he said.

The Philippines is one of the world’s largest supply countries for maritime workers. There are about 50,000 Filipino masters and officers currently working on EU-flagged ships.

During his visit, Ambassador Véron will also meet with representatives from the business community to discuss the business climate, as well as opportunities for trade and investment in Mindanao.

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