Legarda receives award of distinction from EU

MANILA -- The European Union (EU) Delegation in Manila, led by Ambassador Franz Jessen, has conferred on Senator Loren Legarda a special award for her contribution in strengthening the Philippine-EU bilateral relations.

The Award of Distinction by the EU was given to Legarda to honor her work as chairperson of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and her role in the process of ratification of the Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation Between the Philippines and the European Union (PH-EU PCA).

Legarda sponsored the Senate’s concurrence in the ratification of 33 treaties when she chaired the Foreign Relations Committee in the 15th and 17th Congresses. Among the treaties are the PH-EU PCA, the Free Trade Agreement Between the European Free Trade Association States and the Philippines, the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the Social Security Conventions with Spain, Germany, and Sweden.

“I am deeply grateful and honored to be given the Award of Distinction by the European Union. I share this recognition with my colleagues in the Senate who supported me as chair of the Committee on Foreign Relations and unanimously voted for the ratification of the PH-EU Partnership and Cooperation Agreement,” she said in a news release issued on June 7.

Legarda, who will be ending her third term as senator on June 30, and will assume her post as representative of the province of Antique, assured the EU Delegation that she will continue to be a strong voice in supporting PH-EU relations as a member of the House of Representatives.

“I will always help out not only in economic initiatives but also in cultural diplomacy,” Legarda said, adding that she looks forward to nurturing the robust bilateral relations between the Philippines and the EU through the implementation of the PCA.

Legarda said she will also propose the establishment of a PH-EU parliamentary association in the House of Representatives.

Present at the awarding were Ambassadors Michel Goffin of Belgium, Jana Sediva of Czech Republic, Jan Top Christensen of Denmark, Gordon Kricke of Germany, Jozsef Bencze of Hungary, and Saskia de Lang of The Netherlands; EU Deputy Head of Delegation Thomas Wiersing; French Embassy Chargé d’affaires Christine Carole; Deputy Counsel of Embassy of Italy Eugeniu Rotaru; Embassy of Poland Chargé d’affaires Jarosław Szczepankiewicz; and British Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Alastair Totty.

The Award of Distinction was started by Ambassador Jessen in 2017 for individuals who have contributed to EU-PH bilateral relations. Previous awardees include former Secretary Jesus Dureza and National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose. (PR)