Addressing the Filipino-Chinese business community for the last time as the country’s Chief Executive, President Benigno Aquino III expressed his gratitude to the group for helping his administration not just in maintaining a vibrant economy but also keeping good ties with China.
“This isn’t new to you; I’ve thanked you many times before. Yet, given the weight of my responsibilities these past six years, I have to express my gratitude for the way you have taken part in building our nation,” President Aquino said in his speech during the joint celebration of the 118th Philippine independence and 15th Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day on Friday night, June 10.
The President cited the contribution of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) in the country’s bullish economic growth, even surpassing its Asian neighbors.
“We are the new darling of Asia; our economy is among the most resilient and the best performing in the world, which I’m sure you have felt in your respective businesses,” he said.
“More than 7 million Filipinos have risen above the poverty line—7 million Filipinos who have the ability and the confidence to work in your factories and offices, or who have the capacity to buy your products and make use of your services,” he added.
Aquino likewise noted the important role played by Chinese businessmen in preserving the friendship between the Philippines and China, which has turned sour due to territorial and jurisdictional disputes in the South China Sea.
“I must note the important role you play in fostering greater understanding and closer ties of friendship between the Philippines and China—whether in terms of cultural activities, trade and investment, or even in the informal manner in which you have served as a channel of communications, given the disputes in the sea known by many names,” he said.
“These efforts have certainly helped us — both the Philippines and China — continue to pursue peace, stability, and inclusive progress in our part of the world,” he added.
The President the Federation has proven time and again their willingness to help the Filipinos.
Aquino thanked them for carrying out programs such as medical missions, building schools, and extending donations to different government agencies.
He noted that the organization has an average of 45 medical missions every year, where at least 800 Filipinos are attended to per mission, and vitamins and medicines are provided free of charge.
The FFCCCII also helped the national police by donating vehicles, equipment, and even funding.
“There is your drive to provide students with safe and durable classrooms, and families with low-cost housing,” he said.
“There is your consistency, your dependability whenever disaster strikes: whether it’s a fire, a typhoon, or an earthquake, the FFCCCII has always been ready to help victims of calamities,” he added.