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US envoy visits Puerto Princesa, checks on programs to benefit Palaweños PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 04 November 2006

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Nov. 3 (PNA) - American Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie A. Kenney visited this city Friday to check on US-sponsored programs.

Kenney also met with US Peace Corps volunteers assigned in Palawan, discussed issues of mutual interest with local government business officials and enjoyed the beauty of Palawan, the country’s “last frontier.”

”Palawan is not only a renowned tourism destination but is also known for being a place that looks after its environment,” said Kenney in an interview by the Philippines News Agency.

The ambassador said she wanted to visit Palawan ever since she arrived in the Philippines.

”So many Americans have told me about the beauty of the island and friendliness of the people, and I’m very proud that the U.S. government is engaged with Palaweños on programs to protect this unique environment and bring prosperity to the island citizens,” she remarked.

Kenney met with Western Command (Wescom) chief Vice Admiral Tirso Danga to discuss security issues. She expressed gratitude for Wescom’s support of the recently-concluded joint RP-US amphibious landing exercises conducted in Palawan.

The ambassador was welcomed by Mayor Edward Hagedorn at the world-class city coliseum where she also spent time with the almost 3,000-member Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA).

Subsequently, Hagedorn, on board a tricycle, briefly drove Kenney in front of the coliseum.

The US official reiterated the American people’s support for Palawan’s many environment programs.

In 2003, the United States Agency for International Develoment (USAID) and the Puerto Princesa city government launched the “Clean Air Program” to reduce vehicle emissions from tricycles and improve the air quality.

TODA’s partnership and participation in this program, supported by Hagedorn, has greatly benefited the environment and improved the quality of life of the residents.

Kenney likewise met with local environmental non-government organizations to learn about their ongoing environmental initiatives, eco-tourism and sustainable development programs.

Several of the nine US Peace Corps volunteers who are living and working in Palawan met with Kenney to update her on their work.

The US Peace Corps is implementing environment and education programs in Palawan, helping students, teachers and communities in remote municipalities by adapting alternative teaching strategies and helping them improve their English proficiency.

Furthermore, Kenney spoke to students and faculty at the Western Philippines University (WPU) here, where Peace Corps volunteers teach two undergraduate classes and help develop the curriculum for some English courses.

She likewise paid a courtesy call to Dr. Concepto Magay, WPU president and WPU Dean Dr. Benjamin Gonzales.

The ambassador also met with Chambers of Commerce leaders to learn about opportunities for business and investment partnership benefitting Palaweños, which, she said, is important to the US government.

The ambassador, moreover, spoke with Governor Joel T. Reyes, Vice Governor David Ponce de Leon and Reps. Antonio Alvarez and Abraham Mitra about US-Palawan cooperation. (PNA) Source: pna.gov.ph

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