Leaders of the Filipino community in Berlin had a chance to exchange views with Senator Sherwin Gatchalian during a town hall-style-meeting organized by the Philippine Embassy on April 24 upon the invitation of the Senator.
Dubbed as “Hapunan at Balitaan”, Senator Gatchalian engaged the community in discussions to gain deeper understanding of the plight of overseas Filipino workers in Germany as well as provide updates on the Philippines. Discussions focused on the country’s efforts to use renewable energy as power source, climate change and Germany´s energy transition program.
The Senator informed the community that it will take time to take on renewable energy sources in the country but good things were now being put in place. He also said that the Philippines was the second fastest growing economy in East Asia and called on kababayans to “continue to learn from Germany, to give, and to later return to the Philippines to help build the country”.
Also in attendance were Embassy officers led by Ambassador Melita S. Sta. Maria-Thomeczek together with Minister and Consul Adrian Cruz, and Third Secretary and Vice Consul Alvin Malasig.
Senator Gatchalian was invited by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) to Germany as part of the delegation from the Network of Social Democracy in Asia (SOCDEM) for an orientation visit on the transition to renewable energy supply in Germany. He and other members of the delegation visited different renewable energy projects in Berlin and Frankfurt. The delegation consisted of policy makers, local chief executives and civil society representatives from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Akbayan Partylist Representative Tomasito S. Villarin, Mayor Mariano Tangson of the Municipality of San Luis, Aurora, as well as representatives from the academe and FES Philippines formed the rest of the Philippine delegation. The Senator, who chairs the Senate committee on Energy, said that his attendance in the forum was a “valuable opportunity for him and his group to study and explore other potential sources of energy for the country.”
The Senator led a seven-day rigorous program that ended in Frankfurt on 29 April. END