MANILA - The Philippines' and Australia's bilateral relations has grown "robust" in the last 3 years, the latter's envoy said Friday as he ended his tour of duty.
The two nations improved their relations in trade, investment, education, and diplomacy, according to Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson.
Robinson also noted that Australian Governor General David Hurley attended President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos' inauguration last month.
"I suppose the crowning glory of the last term here, of the last three years, is the elevation of the relationship between our 2 countries because it’s always been good but what it’s going to be now is even better. We talk here in the embassy and across the Philippines about mateship and bayanihan," he told ANC's Headstart.
"We stand together in adversity and help one another as good partners should. What we've seen and can see through this enhanced relationship is we can do things so much better when we link up together."
He added that he could never be kept away from the Philippines because he "loves the place."
The Australian government allots some 80 million to 85 million Australian dollars to the Philippines each year to "help the development" of the country, Robinson said.
"More than 50 percent of those funds go to Mindanao to promote stability and prosperity," he said.
There are also some 400 Australian companies in the Philippines and more looking to invest, he added.
"They're loking at green energy, infrastructure, logistics, product that come from Australia that can be distributed," he said. "Of course, mining companies have always been here."
The ambassador said he had also met with Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte and discussed "exploring K to 12," upgrading of classrooms, and upskilling teachers, among others.
More Filipinos also go to Australia to study, he said.
"We've got more and more people going to study in Australia, but at the same time Australian universities are coming out here to link with the Philippines...sharing curricula, lectures, and students," he said.
"So the bonds between our education institutions at the tertiary level are closer than ever."