MANILA — The Philippine government is ready to help Papua New Guinea by building schools and sending teachers over to help in its development, President Rodrigo R. Duterte said Friday.
“But we are ready to build schools, ask teachers to come here, and help in the education of your young people,” Duterte said during his meeting with members of the Filipino community.
“You can take advantage of the expertise. We can come here…we can establish schools…and if you want a university. And we are good at that. We will try to help you,” he added.
Duterte was in Papua New Guinea to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting.
There are over 40,000 Filipinos in the country, mostly in services and agriculture sectors, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
Duterte also praised the government of Papua New Guinea for making sure that Filipino workers are treated well.
“I really thank you, Governor and the Prime Minister, that you have accommodated us and I’ve heard that you have treated us very well,” Duterte said, referring to East Sepik Governor Allan Bird, who was present during the event.
Duterte noted that Filipinos staying or working in Papua New Guinea are really “very industrious and bright,” noting that the nation could take advantage of those qualities.
Meanwhile, Duterte also thanked the Papua New Guinea government for accommodating the Philippines through a tie-up for a venture in rice production.
It may be recalled that Philippines already sent agriculture experts to the country and would help in cultivating palay, with the excess production going to the Philippines for local consumption.
Duterte also advised its leaders not to allow encroachment of multinational companies in its agriculture that could threaten its food crop production in the future.
“Do not allow the encroachment of multinationals because at the end of the day, what you would get is the salary of your people and yet the bulk — it’s multinational, the bulk of the money goes to the company and goes everywhere. So what you get you even buy and also the salary is just the employment. So just do not allow big money to enter. You take time to develop,” Duterte said. (PNA)