The government of Hungary is offering assistance to the Philippines for the rehabilitation of Manila Bay and Laguna Lake. Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said that a €20 million (approximately P1.1 billion) grant was offered, without conditions, for the conduct of a study on how to clean-up Laguna Lake and the Manila Bay.
He said Hungary’s offer “is part of the European Union (EU) starts its Eastern Shift Policy and the strengthening of its ties with the Philippines.”
“The fund was offered by Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto during a call I made on him yesterday in Budapest after I mentioned the clean up of lakes, rivers, creeks and bays in the Philippines as part of the Dept. of Agriculture’s fisheries program for sustainable fishing,” he said in a social media post May 25.
“Your country’s 7% economic growth is something which we could only dream of,” said Foreign Minister Szijjarto as quoted by Piñol.
The Hungarian Foreign Minister also informed Piñol that the Hungarian Eximbank has allocated a €510-million credit facility which could be accessed by private business groups in the Philippines to fund businesses which could contributed to the strengthening of the ties between the two countries.
Hungary also offered 35 scholarship slots to Filipino post-graduate students in the field of agriculture to be sponsored by the Hungrarian government and 5 more slots under the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) program.
During the same meeting, Secretary Piñol presented to Foreign Minister Szijjarto documents which would allow three Hungarian companies to export meat products to the Philippines. Hungary is famous for its Hungarian sausage and is one of the biggest exporters of meat among the Eastern European countries.