Sep 232014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/04/09MANILA942.html#
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09MANILA942
2009-04-30 15:27
2011-08-30 01:44
UNCLASSIFIED
Embassy Manila

VZCZCXRO3579
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHML #0942/01 1201527
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 301527Z APR 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3998
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 000942

SIPDIS
STATE PLEASE PASS TO PEACE CORPS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV KISL KPAO EAID TP RP
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR’S VISIT SUPPORTS ENVIRONMENTALLY PROGRESSIVE PROVINCE

¶1. SUMMARY: The Ambassador’s April 24, 2009, trip to Puerto
Princesa, Palawan, emphasized the positive effects its
environmentally friendly practices are having on quality of life and
the local economy. The Ambassador also underscored the important
role the province plays in regional security. Highlights of the
trip included a tour of the city’s Baywalk with the Mayor, a visit
to a Peace Corps site on Coastal Resource Management, and
observation of the construction of a USG-funded maritime police
unit. The Ambassador also toured a local weaving business run by an
International Visitor Leadership Program alumna and was briefed by
the Western Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The
Ambassador concluded the day by reaching young audiences interested
in environmental issues through a regional FM radio interview. The
trip was widely covered by regional print and broadcast media. END
SUMMARY

————————————
Background: Puerto Princesa, Palawan
————————————

¶2. Puerto Princesa, the Philippines’ “Most Environmentally Friendly
Port,” is the capital of the province of Palawan. It is one of the
country’s largest cities in area, and is the Philippines’ number one
tourist destination for international travelers. The creation and
enforcement of laws banning dynamite fishing, large-scale mining,
carbon monoxide emitting tricycles, and littering have helped to
boost its status in the arena of environmentally progressive
destinations.

¶3. The western location and proximity of Palawan to Malaysia and
Indonesia makes it a focal point in the Philippines’ efforts to
deter terrorism, drug smuggling, and human trafficking. The
province is key to U.S. efforts to enhance peace, stability, and
development in the region.

————————————–
USG PROJECT PROVIDES REGIONAL SECURITY
————————————–

¶4. In 2006, Embassy Manila partnered with the Philippine National
Police (PNP) and the City of Puerto Princesa to fund a project to
develop a small maritime law enforcement unit with intercept
capability. To date, the USG has donated $550,000 to the project,
which is now 70 percent complete. The Ambassador toured the
construction site of the PNP Maritime Group Special Boat Unit (MSBU)
and confirmed that USG funds are being well used. The PNP has
recruited and trained 97 new personnel to staff the MSBU, provided
weapons, and pledged $500,000 for fuel and maintenance costs. Later
this year, the Embassy will donate four sophisticated patrol boats
to the unit. Due to Palawan’s western location, the addition of a
maritime law enforcement unit will serve to increase Philippine
national security.

———————————-
IVLP ALUM STIMULATES LOCAL ECONOMY
———————————-

¶5. A 2007 participant in the U.S. International Visitor Leadership
Program for the Small Business Development Program of the Department
now provides over 60 “green” jobs at her weaving facility,
stimulating the city’s local economy. The company uses natural raw
materials that would normally be considered waste to create their
products. The Ambassador toured the facility.

—————————————
PEACE CORPS PRESERVES AND PROVIDES JOBS
—————————————

¶6. The Ambassador visited a Peace Corps Coastal Resource Management
site in Puerto Princesa that is providing work for female fisherfolk
through a cooperative that preserves natural resources with its fish
sanctuary. The site encourages women fisherfolk to prevent their
spouses from engaging in destructive fishing practices. The
Ambassador met with Peace Corps Volunteers, observed the local women
processing fish and seaweed, and then participated in preparing
seaweed for drying.

—————————-
VISIT WITH THE “GREEN” MAYOR
—————————-

¶7. The Ambassador began her visit with a courtesy call on the Mayor
of Puerto Princesa, Edward Hagedorn. During discussions at City
Hall, the Ambassador expressed her support of the Mayor’s green
policies and efforts to promote sustainable eco-tourism. Together,
the Ambassador and Mayor Hagedorn toured the city’s new Baywalk
area. The Baywalk is an example of how a cleaner environment can
promote tourism and improve quality of life.

MANILA 00000942 002 OF 002

——————————————— —
WESCOM IS A MODEL OF COORDINATION AND NEUTRALITY
——————————————— —

¶8. During a visit to the Western Command (WESCOM) headquarters of
the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Ambassador emphasized the
critical partnership between the Philippines and the United States.
Underscoring the importance of the armed forces remaining neutral in
politics and elections, she also noted the key role that WESCOM
plays in stabilizing and protecting its region of the Philippines.
The WESCOM security brief chronicled the command’s efforts to secure
the western border of the Philippines, which includes the newly
claimed Kalayaan Island Group, a group potentially rich with oil and
natural resources. The Ambassador commended the WESCOM’s
inter-branch coordination efforts.

KENNEY

   

 

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