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PH Rep. Leni Robredo Quiet Visit of Australia Last Year

One of the remaining flickering symbols of good governance in the Philippines,  Philippine  Congresswoman  Leni Genaro Robredo visited three Australian cities April 2015, under official Australian government invitation.

Congresswoman Robredo  is a political figure in the province of Camarines Sur in the Philippines and wife of the late Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo.  She was elected as representative for the third district of  Camarines Sur  in 2012, a few months after  her husband and  stalwart for good and efficient governance the late Secretary  Jesse Robredo  died in a plane crash. Mrs Robredo visited Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne under the Department of Foreign Affair and Trade’s special visit program.

The program brings influential foreign officials, academics and business people to Australia. They are personalities who are likely in positions which deals with issues of direct relevance to Australia’s  foreign and trade policy interests.

Mrs Robredo continued the humble and faithful public servant’s  lifestyle  of her husband  Jesse who had been vastly admired  for his government service.  The late Robredo was  a recipient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award achievement  for government  service.  The public had also lauded  Mrs Robredo’s  transparent   and honest lifestyle as a congresswoman, even most admired for her decision to take a provincial bus like common travellers on her monthly trip  to and from Manila and her residence in Camarines Sur,  rather than the expensive  public funded congressman’s  car.

Honest, dedicated and effective public servants who can provide popular inspiration, Mrs Robredo has not escape the eyes of  Manila’s opinion  and king makers  who are looking for more fresh and electable “presidentiable” in the coming  May 2016 election.

Whilst Mrs Robredo  enjoy the support  of a Facebook group  promoting  her election as president, close and loyal supporters in Camarines Sur say Mrs, Robredo may instead decide for the realistic goal of running 206842as  Senator in the coming election. At the moment, there is no token Senator representing Bicol provinces.

In Sydney, Mrs Robredo said in her Facebook posts that she met with Commissioner Megan Latham and Deputy Director Stephen Osborne of the Independent Commission Against Corruption and was briefed on the role and function of ICAC, the enabling law and its impact on the problem of corruption in the government.

Mrs. Robredo also had luncheon meeting with Mr Eduard Alcordo, of Australia-Philippine Business Council (APBC), PH Consul General Anne Jalando-on Louis, Consul Marford Angeles and Tourism Attache Consuelo Jones. They discussed  AustraliaPhilippines business relations, investment and opportunities for partnership in her electoral district.  Mrs Robredo also met with Commissioner John McMillian, Head of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner or OAIC, the office that ensures the proper implementation of the Freedom of Information Act of Australia,

Mrs Robredo  said,  she had requested for orientation of the Sustainable Sydney 2030 Campaign , which is the brainchild of the present Lord Mayor of Sydney , outlining the vision of  what Sydney would like to be by 2030. She said the vision identified 10 very ambitious but  doable targets on health, education, employment, environment and provides for yearly assessment and publication of results.

Mrs Robredo arrived in Canberra the next day and met with Deputy Secretary Greg Moriarty of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who briefed  her  about the work they are doing  and news about  Philippine politics.

She was  given a private tour of the Australian Parliamen in the afternoon .  Mrs Robredo sai d she was guided by Mr. Kevin Condon, an Australian married to a Filipina from La Union. He knows so much about the Philippines and speaks and acts like a local. He said he visits the Philippines every so often.

As of time of writing. Mrs Robredo has landed in Melbourne City to continue her fact finding  tour.