29 August 2012
The Netherlands Ambassador to the Philippines, H.E. Robert Gerard Brinks bid farewell to President Benigno S. Aquino III during a farewell call in Malacañan Palace.
In a simple ceremony, the President conferred the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Grand Cross (Datu, Silver Distinction) to the outgoing Netherlands envoy for his various contributions in the country which included his active participation in the country’s maritime sector through the Netherlands-Philippines Maritime Institute in Palompon, an institution that trains cadets with Dutch standards for work in Dutch vessels. He also introduced to the Philippines a specific visa policy that addresses the increasing number of visa applicants in the country, thus reducing the waiting period for the issuance of visas to three days for seafarers and one week for other types. He also helped combat human trafficking in the Philippines by adopting an integrated approach at the Dutch Embassy that dedicated most of its financial and manpower resources to address this illegal activity, and the promotion of programs on the cause and the preservation of cultural heritage.
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