The 5th Political Consultations between the Philippines and Hungary was held on May 9 at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Budapest. The Philippine Delegation was headed by Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for European Affairs Maria Zeneida Angara Collinson while the Hungarian Delegation was headed by Deputy State Secretary Peter Wintermantel.
The meeting discussed bilateral cooperation in the fields of agriculture, trade, water management, education, ICT, and tourism, as well as the possibility of high level exchanges and visits within the year.
Assistant Secretary Collinson encouraged Hungary to expand its cooperation with the Philippines in the area of agriculture to include other products and related services such as wheat and flour, aside from meat products. She noted Hungary’s expertise in water management which played a pivotal role in the aftermath of Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) when the Budapest Water Works company operated and eventually donated a seven metric ton water purification plant in Mercedes, Samar.
In the area of education, both parties agreed to discuss an arrangement where Filipino scholars availing of Hungarian scholarships would receive additional support.
Drawing attention to the return of Philippine carriers to Europe, Assistant Secretary Collinson made a pitch for more expansive tourism cooperation.
Hungary agreed with the Philippines that bringing the West Philippine Sea issue to the ITLOS was in consonance with international law and the peaceful settlement of disputes.
The meeting ended with both countries agreeing to hold the next round of Political Consultations in Manila next year.
Press release courtesy of the Department of Foreign Affairs, 15 May 2014.