Philippine Embassy, Canberra
1 Moonah Place, Yarralumla, ACT 2600
www.philembassy.org.au *Tel. No. 02-6273-2535*
PH Congressional Delegation advance PH-AU cooperation on National Soil Health Strategy
18 December 2023, CANBERRA - Rep. Eddiebong Plaza led a delegation composed of Rep. Alfel Bascug, Rep. Maria Angela Garcia, Rep. Wilter Palma, Rep. Christian Tell Yap, Agusan del Sur Governor Santiago Cane Jr., and Tarlac Governor Susan Yap to meet officials in Canberra and Queensland on 06 to 11 December 2023 to build cooperation on the development of the national soil health strategy.
Officials from the Department of Agriculture, including Undersecretary Agnes Catherine Miranda, the Department of Science and Technology, the local government of Ilocos Norte, Agusan del Sur, and Agusan Del Sur State College of Agriculture and Technology also participated in the study visit.
In Canberra, the delegation met officials from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) led by CEO Professor Wendy Umberger, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) to learn best practices from Australia’s National Soil Strategy and exchange views on soil innovation, information systems and analytical methods as well as soil-related investments.
Rep. Eddiebong Plaza noted the opportunities and challenges in developing the country’s own national soil health strategy and the need to pursue science-based approaches in its agricultural practices.
He also referred to the MOU between the Philippines and Australia on furthering cooperation on the national soil health strategy signed during the meeting between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Prime Minister Albanese in Manila in September 2023. Rep. Plaza highlighted the success of the First Philippine Soil Health Summit held in Manila in June 2023 which sparked a national conversation on the role of soil science in agriculture.
Philippine Ambassador to Australia Ma. Hellen B. De La Vega welcomed the delegation at the Official Residence where they discussed developments in the bilateral cooperation on soil science.
The delegation visited Brisbane and met representatives from Griffith University to learn more about soil science research and development. - END