Davao City Mayor-Elect Sebastian Duterte expressed his thanks for New Zealand projects in Davao City to Ambassador Peter Kell during the envoy’s courtesy visit on June 09 at the Davao City Tourism and Investment Promotion Building.

The Embassy of New Zealand in the Philippines has been very active in various undertakings in the city and the whole of Mindanao. One of these successful projects is the New Zealand Short Term Training Scholarships (NZSTTS) Program wherein Davao City officials took part in. These include Mr. Julius Villafuerte – Officer-In-Charge of Barangay Cultural and Community Affairs Division; Ms. April Marie C. Dayap – Officer-In-Charge of Davao City Investment Promotion Center (DCIPC); and Mr. Christian D. Cambaya – IASU Unit Head of DCIPC.

Another notable venture which has greatly impacted the City’s development is the launching of the livelihood program entitled “BAHAYAHAY: A Learning and Workshop center for Indigenous Women” that mainly focuses on helping women in the city’s indigenous people (IP) communities under the initiatives of the New Zealand Embassy and Davao City’s Business Chamber, alongside several other government agencies. A proposed project under PEACE911 of the Office of the City Mayor of Davao, this was funded by the New Zealand government.

The center serves as a dedicated workshop for Ata women to conduct their traditional practices and sources of livelihood such as creating different traditional attires, mat weaving, and handicrafts making such as bolo, pana and bead works. It is also a space provided for them to gain easier access to learning and developing comprehensive and sustainable entrepreneurial skills and digital technologies in order for them to reach their full economic potential through the use of high-quality materials, computers, and other resources also donated by the NZ government.

During the courtesy call, Ambassador Kell thanked the honorary consul of New Zealand in Mindanao, Mr. Vicente T. Lao and to the Officer-in-charge of Peace 911, Ms. Aileen Mabanding for their unwavering support and assistance on the various collaboration projects of the New Zealand government with the City Government of Davao.

The courtesy visit was facilitated by DCIPC and was also attended by New Zealand Aid Manager – Ms. Dyan Magbunga Rodriguez and Hon. Augusto Javier G. Campos III – Chairperson of Sangguniang Panlungsod Committee on International Relations, who welcomed the New Zealand delegation.

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