PNG PM Highlights Value Of Increased Flights Between PNG And Philippines In Meeting With Outgoing Ambassador

Points to increased tourism, healthcare exchanges, and skilled labor recruitment

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, August 03, 2016) – The Prime Minister, Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, has highlighted the value of increased flights between Papua New Guinea and the Philippines during a farewell meeting by outgoing Philippines Ambassador, H.E. Bienvenido Tejano, today at the Sir Manasupe Haus.

The Prime Minister said the number of tourist arrivals in the country from the Philippines has quadrupled of the last decade from 42,000 in 1995 to 182,000 in 2014, with the number continuing to grow.

“The increase in passengers flying between the two countries is stimulating business and job growth, as well as creating more opportunities for people from the two countries to meet,” the Prime Minister said.

Under the agreement, flights by Air Niugini between Port Moresby and Manila have increased to three each week, there is now a Port Moresby to Cebu service, and there are two weekly flights by Philippines Airlines.

“Healthcare exchanges are also increasing with more Papua New Guinea patients able to received treatment in the Philippines, and we are encouraging more doctors to come and work in Papua New Guinea.

“With increased flights it makes it easier for a doctor in the Philippines to consider practicing in Papua New Guinea as they have more flexible options to carry out their practice, and have regular visits to their families at home.

“The same can be seen in the recruitment of teachers, with the Education Department having recruited 200 Filipino teachers over recent years.”

The Prime Minister said trade between the two countries continues to expand and he will discuss further opportunities with Philippines President, H.E. Rodrigo Duterte, when they meet in November.

“I look forward to my first meeting with President Duterte at the APEC Summit in Peru later this year.

“We have a number of issues to consider including increasing exports to the Philippines from Papua New Guinea.

“There is opportunity to strengthen cooperation with the Philippines in the agricultural and fisheries export sectors.”

The Prime Minister asked Ambassador Tejano to extend Papua New Guinea’s warmest regards to President Duterte and thanked the Ambassador for his service to strengthen the bilateral relationship.

PNG Post-Courier
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