Malacañan Palace
12 April 2012

President Benigno S. Aquino III officially received the Governor General of the Commonwealth of Australia, Her Excellency Quentin Bryce, and her husband Mr. Michael Bryce, in a welcome ceremony at the Malacañan Palace.

In a joint press statement, the Australian Governor General expressed her sincere appreciation to President Aquino for the warm reception given to her and the Australian delegation since they arrived on April 11, 2012 (Wednesday) at the NAIA Terminal 2. She mentioned the development cooperation program shared by Australia and Philippines in the fields of disaster preparedness and response, security and defense cooperation, trade and investment and collaboration in regional and global forums. H.E. Bryce also stated that Australia is the largest bilateral grant aid donor of the Philippines. She cited the significant contributions of over 200,000 Filipinos residing in Australia in the sectors of academic, sports, arts and politics. President Aquino was invited by the Governor General to visit Australia this year.

In reply, the President acknowledged the important role of the Australian Government Overseas Aid (AUSAID) Program that provides technical and financial support to the Philippines. This assistance paves the success of Millennium Development Goal-related projects in the country. He requested the support of Governor General Bryce in achieving MDGs for Filipino women such as economic empowerment, occupational health and capacity for climate resiliency. He said that the continued bilateral relationship of Philippines and Australia has resulted to 66 years of fruitful and dynamic partnership of both countries.

Governor General Bryce is scheduled to go back to the Palace for a state dinner after visiting the sites of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program and Building the Resilience and Awareness of Metro Manila Communities to Natural Disaster and Climate Change Impacts (BRACE) Program.

The four-day state visit of Her Excellency is upon the invitation of President Aquino.

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