Philippines, US to launch veterinary exchange program

Philippines, US to launch veterinary exchange program
File photo

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines and the United States are set to launch a veterinary exchange program between faculty members of schools in both countries. 

This is among the two new initiatives announced following the conduct of the Food Security Dialogue between Manila and Washington’s respective Departments of Agriculture. The meeting follows several other high-level engagements and President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s official working visit to the US where he met with his counterpart US President Joe Biden. 

According to the USDA, the exchange program will be conducted via “leading US and Philippine universities to advance collaboration on veterinary sciences.” The program also includes discussions on sanitary and phytosanitary issues and technical barriers to trade. 

DA Undersecretary for Policy, Planning, and Regulations Mercedita Somnbilla and USAD Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs Alexis Taylor headed the meeting. Representatives from the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development also joined. 

Another initiative borne out of the meeting is Washington’s upcoming trade mission to the Philippines to look at Manila’s agricultural sectors, specifically agrichemicals and fertilizers, cold chain facilities, aquaculture, among others. Tthe US Department of Commerce will also co-sponsor the AgTech trade mission.

Manila and Washington envisioned the Food Security Dialogue to “exchange best practices” in the fields of agriculture and by adopting changes in response to climate change. 

The US also has other food security-related projects in the Philippines, including the Philippine Coffee Advancement and Farm Enterprise project and the Building Safe Agricultural Food Enterprises program.

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