MANILA - Australia on Thursday committed to support Manila's education programs and the expansion of the Arroceros Forest Park, the city’s last lung.
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven Robinson asked Manila Mayor Isko Moreno to give him a tour of the 2.2-hectare forested area, which the city government intends to develop.
"We are interested in where we can potentially help the mayor in terms of his endeavor here because we think this is a wonderful opportunity to the people if this can be expanded or improved,” Robinson told reporters.
Australia is also looking for new ways to support public schools in Manila, the envoy said. He said Australia has donated some P5.2 million to Manila’s education sector since 2008.
"I’ve been down to Tondo to look at what’s happening and we’re looking now at where we can best make a difference,” Robinson said.
"What we wanna do is make a difference in the most effective way for the people and that’s what we are trying to do now,” he said.
Robinson was the 11th ambassador who paid a courtesy call on Moreno.
Envoys from the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Panama, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Russia, New Zealand and the European Union earlier committed to strengthen ties with the Philippine capital by funding some of Manila’s infrastructure, educational, tourism and cultural programs.