Philippines and New Zealand renew cooperation on geothermal development

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It was signed by Commission on Higher Education (CHED) chairperson Patricia Licuanan and New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines David Strachan.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and the Philippines Commission on Higher Education on the Comparative Analysis of New Zealand and the Philippines' Bachelor's Degrees.

Ardern arrived in the country on Sunday, November 12, to attend the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings.

The offer of aid money, he said, was in line with New Zealand's general approach in the region.

During the Makati event, the Prime Minister announced her plan to appoint two Filipinos as honorary consuls based in Cebu and Davao, as part of a plan to increase New Zealand's commercial interests outside Manila.

Duterte, in response, told Ardern that this was the first time he has heard of the news.

Ardern said New Zealand was a peaceful nation and its police were not armed either.

"There is more than just economics to discuss, and the East Asia Summit has become the central place for discussing Pacific issues", he told a news conference Tuesday.

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Ardern added that New Zealand had its first Filipino candidate in their party, Romeo Udanga, to be a member of Parliament during the last election."He did a phenomenal job".

Despite Turnbull rejecting the offer, Ardern this week said it remained on the table and she would seek a second meeting with Turnbull to discuss the "unacceptable" situation inside the Manus island detention center. He, however, lost in the polls.

Ardern said earlier in the day she planned to raise human rights issues with Duterte, as many other leaders have in light of the state sanctioned execution of thousands of drug traffickers without trial.

Ardern made the frank statement before members of the Kiwi press Tuesday, hours ahead of her scheduled bilateral meeting with Duterte.

"There have been attempts from the worldwide community as my understanding [but] those have not been accepted", she added.

Under the U.S. deal, up to 1,250 asylum seekers detained by Australia in Papua New Guinea and Nauru in the South Pacific could be resettled in the United States in return for Australia accepting refugees from Central America.

"Certainly it would be the concern of any country - that level of death as a effect of that policy", she said.

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