While presenting his credentials at the Malacañang Palace to President Rodrigo Duterte, Belgian Ambassador Michel Parys said he was dedicated to good relations between the Philippines and Belgium.
During his tenure as an inspector of diplomatic and consular missions for the Belgian Federal Public Service for Foreign Affairs, Parys had already visited the Philippines before the start of his post in 2021, and was not new to the social landscape of the country. , even amid the pandemic. In fact, it had helped him identify several priorities for his stay.
As with all other Heads of Mission, enriching existing bilateral relationships with the host nation is a key responsibility.
A number of Belgian charities and non-governmental organizations active in the Philippines are supported by local partners. Some work within the framework of a joint strategic framework funded by the Belgian Directorate General for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid (DGD), focusing on human and children’s rights, agriculture, food security, health, university cooperation and the fight against poverty.
Belgium also participates in the core funding of international organizations active in the Philippines, such as the International Red Cross, which provides post-disaster recovery interventions.
Prior to the Philippines, Parys was posted to Los Angeles, Seoul, Cairo and Vienna. He was Counselor at the Belgian Embassy in Japan, Consul in Marseilles and Consul General in France. He has been married to his Japanese wife for over 30 years now.
“I’m amazed at the possibilities here in the Philippines… It’s an island country like Japan, about the same size as Japan, and should have the same economic potential,” he said. -he declares. When asked what he liked most about the Philippines, Parys mentioned the friendliness of its people and their ability to show strangers true friendship.
Ultimately, the Philippines doesn’t feel too far from home. “Belgians and Filipinos love good food. And beer,” he noted. —INQ contributed