A March 19, 2013, press release from the Department of Foreign Affairs
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin, TD of Ireland called on Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario today, March 19 as part of his visit to Southeast Asia to promote Ireland during St. Patrick’s Day, which is celebrated every 17th day of March. Manila is the third stop in Minister Howlin’s three-nation Southeast Asian tour.
He is a senior Minister in Ireland’s current Government and a member of the four-person Economic Management Council, which includes the Taoiseach (the Prime Minister), Tánaiste (the Deputy Prime Minister) and the Minister for Finance. This is also the first visit to the Philippines of a senior Irish Government Minister in more than a decade.
During the meeting, Minister Howlin briefed Secretary del Rosario on Ireland’s economic recovery, as well as the country’s good prospects.
As Ireland is the current holder of the Presidency of the European Council, Minister Howlin presented the results, thus far, of the Irish Presidency’s thrust on stability, jobs and growth.
Meanwhile, Secretary del Rosario updated the Minister on the gains achieved by the Philippines as a result of the Aquino Administration’s focus on good governance, transparency and the rule of law, which are considered essential elements for the achievement of inclusive economic growth.
Official diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Ireland were established in 1984. Philippine relations with Ireland have always been characterized by its strong people-to-people links, in large part due to the presence of Irish missionaries in the Philippines, who have played an important role in the development and enhancement of friendly ties between the Philippines and Ireland. There is a large Filipino community in Ireland numbering around 12,000, while there are around 800 Irish nationals living in the Philippines.