Former President and now Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo welcomed the delegates of the Australian Political Exchange Council (APEC) to the Plenary Hall of the House of Representatives on Monday, August 21, 2023.
The APEC is a non-government organization that aims to promote understanding and cooperation between political parties and parliamentarians in Australia and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
The APEC delegation, composed of young political leaders from various parties, is on a 10-day visit to the Philippines to learn about its political system, culture, and development challenges.
The APEC delegates were accompanied by Bohol Rep. Edgar M. Chatto, who hosted their visit to Bohol over the weekend. Chatto said that the APEC delegation was impressed by the province’s tourism, agriculture, and infrastructure development, as well as its efforts to preserve its natural and cultural heritage.
Chatto also said that the APEC delegates expressed their interest in strengthening the bilateral relations between Australia and the Philippines, especially in areas such as trade, investment, education, and security.
He added that the APEC visit was an opportunity to showcase the achievements and potentials of Bohol and the Philippines as a whole.
Arroyo, who served as president from 2001 to 2010, thanked the APEC delegates for their visit and expressed her hope that they would have a fruitful and enjoyable stay in the country.
She also highlighted the importance of political exchange programs in fostering mutual understanding and friendship among nations.
The APEC delegation is expected to meet with other government officials, civil society groups, and media representatives during their visit. They will also visit other places of interest in Metro Manila and nearby provinces before leaving for Australia on August 25, 2023.