Sep 222014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/04/09MANILA906.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MANILA906
2009-04-27 09:18
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO9600
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #0906/01 1170918
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 270918Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3939
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 000906

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KISL KPAO RP USAID
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR AS ENVIRONMENTAL EMISSARY ON PRE-EARTH DAY TRIP TO PHILIPPINE PROVINCES

¶1. Summary. During a pre-Earth Day trip to the Clark Freeport Zone
and Baguio City, the Ambassador focused on environmental issues,
U.S. investment in the Philippines, U.S.-Philippine military
cooperation, and Filipino cultural heritage. Highlights of the trip
included, remarks to the Supreme Court of the Philippines
Environmental Justice Forum, the ceremonial switch-on of a solar
lighting project, visits to U.S. companies, and remarks to U.S. and
Philippine troops preparing for joint military exercises. The
Ambassador’s trip received positive national and regional coverage
in print and broadcast media. End Summary.

———————————–
ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP PROMOTED
———————————–

¶2. A highlight of the trip was the Supreme Court of the Philippines
Forum on Environmental Justice, held at the University of the
Cordilleras and simulcast to far-flung locations across the nation,
where the Ambassador delivered a message of solidarity and support
for the cause of environmental justice. The forum was arranged with
assistance from the USG and is part of a comprehensive judicial
reform program focused on promoting judicial efficiency, integrity,
independence, and broader access to justice, including environmental
justice. Efforts in this area include the establishment of 117
environmental courts throughout the Philippines, addressing delays
in the resolution of environmental cases, and providing more
information about environmental laws. In her remarks, the Ambassador
praised the Supreme Court, law enforcement, the military,
legislators, and NGOs for working together to promote environmental
justice. She also cited the important role that everyone from the
Supreme Court to village leaders must play in making laws more
effective.

¶3. As part of the build-up to Earth Day 2009, the Ambassador
promoted the use of renewable energy in urban settings during a
ceremonial switch-on of solar lights in Baguio City’s renowned
Burnham Park. The solar electrification of Burnham Park’s lake was
made possible by a partnership – facilitated by USAID – between
local and national representatives of the Government of the
Philippines, academia, civil society, and the U.S. company SunPower.
As part of the ceremony, Ambassador Kenney witnessed the signing of
a Memorandum of Understanding between the partners and delivered a
message of advocacy for clean, efficient energy, during which she
praised Baguio City for “lighting the way” towards mainstreaming the
use of renewable energy. The event was covered by regional print and
broadcast media.

———————
GREEN U.S. INVESTMENT
———————

¶4. The Ambassador visited U.S. company Texas Instruments’ new $1
billion expansion facility at the Clark Freeport Zone. Despite a
soft opening earlier this year due to economic slowdown fears, the
plant has begun assembling digital processors for mobile telephone
clients and will eventually generate some 3,000 jobs. Its
construction features state-of-the-art earthquake resistance
technology and many innovative environmental practices, which will
be continued in plant operations. The Philippines won the
negotiations for the facility over vying countries China, Thailand,
and Vietnam and was chosen because of its quality workforce and
Texas Instruments’ positive previous experience in the country – its
Baguio City plant is one of its most successful sites in the world.

¶5. The Ambassador also visited Sitel’s Baguio City Contact Center
where she toured the facility and met with executives and local
staff. Sitel has six sites in the Philippines and employs around
11,000 people, with plans to expand further in 2009. The Baguio City
facility employs around 3,000 people and services several clients
including Hawaiian Air, AT&T, Capital One, and RCN Cable.

——————————————
MILITARIES STANDING ‘SHOULDER-TO-SHOULDER’
——————————————

¶6. The Ambassador visited Clark Freeport Zone where U.S. and
Filipino troops were preparing for the 2009 Balikatan or
“shoulder-to-shoulder” joint military exercises. Balikatan 2009 will
include community outreach activities, a field training event that
will integrate U.S. and Filipino forces, and a command-post
simulation which will bring senior leadership together. The
Ambassador met with U.S. and Filipino Balikatan 2009 commanders and
addressed a combined formation of Philippine Air Force and U.S.
Marines personnel. She commended the troops for working in
partnership to complete their Balikatan preparations, which will
further strengthen U.S.-Philippine military ties as well as provide
humanitarian assistance to communities in need.

————————–
CULTURAL TIES STRENGTHENED

MANILA 00000906 002 OF 002

————————–

¶7. The Ambassador met with National Artist Benedicto Cabrera and
toured his new museum, which showcases selections of the artist’s
work from the 1960s to the present, as well as his collection of
local indigenous artifacts. The Ambassador and Mr. Cabrera discussed
local environmental issues and efforts to preserve the arts of
indigenous people.

KENNEY

   

 

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