Kuya Bong eyes solid inter-parliament relations

Upon the invitation of the British Group Inter-Parliament Union, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go joined Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri and Senator Grace Poe as they represented the Philippine Senate during an official visit to the United Kingdom last 16 to 18 October.

The visit, led by Zubiri and Poe as co-heads of delegation, was Go’s first visit to the UK, which was aimed at strengthening relations of the Philippine Senate with its parliament counterparts in UK through a series of dialogues to exchange best practices in policymaking while strengthening bilateral relations, fostering economic security, and exploring areas of cooperation between the two countries.

On Tuesday, the senators started their official visit with a tour of the UK Parliament, led by Tim Loughton, Member of Parliament and then joined a meeting on Economic Security led by The Right Honorable Kwasi Kwarteng, Member of Parliament. They also had a working lunch with the British Group Inter-Parliamentary Union.

Later that day, they met with the Speaker of the House of Commons, The Right Honorable Sir Lindsay Harvey Hoyle.

Go took this opportunity to express his gratitude for the UK’s support to the Philippines, particularly during the pandemic as he acknowledged the indispensable assistance provided by the UK during the early stages of the pandemic, particularly the donation of vaccines, which significantly helped the Philippines in its fight against Covid-19.

This was followed by meetings with the Science and Technology Committee and the All-Party Parliamentary Group.

The meetings also tackled how the UK-Philippines relations can further strengthen several sectors, such as defense and security, renewable energy, public health, trade and industry, tourism, and people-to-people exchanges, among others.

On 18 October, the senators continued their visit with meetings with the Foreign Affairs Committee and later on, with the International Development Committee. Go, for his part, expressed his gratitude for the Official Development Assistance extended by the UK to the Philippines as well as their help in strengthening the Bangsamoro Region.

Go also shared that during these meetings with his counterparts in the UK parliament, he was able to raise some concerns of Filipino nurses particularly in terms of protecting their welfare, promoting their rights to proper benefits and compensation, as well as in ensuring a safe working environment for them in the UK.

In between those meetings, the Philippine Senators were invited to observe the Question Hour with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the Commons Chamber.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *