PGMA wants Filipinos, Chinese 'best friends forever'
Roxas City (11 June) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said the old friendly ties between the Chinese and Filipinos deserve to be further deepened and nurtured since it has proved beneficial for both parties then and now.
The message was conveyed by President Arroyo to officials and representatives of the Filipino-Chinese community on the occasion of the 8th Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day rites held Wednesday, June 10, at the Sofitel Plaza Hotel in Pasay City.
The President traces Chinese-Filipino relations back to the Ice Age when the Chinese started migrating to parts of Asia, including the Philippines, via land bridges.
In Capiz, the Filipino-Chinese community here, represented by the Capiz Halaran Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Roxas City Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has been active in supporting local development endeavors.
Among others, they have participated in crafting the current development agenda of the province and city especially in pushing tourism. They have invested in tourism-oriented public transport and spearheaded the Capiz Visitors and Convention Bureau.
The 8th Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day presages the nationwide observance of the 111th Philippine Independence Day tomorrow, June 12.
In her first year as the country's top leader, President Arroyo issued Presidential Proclamation No. 148 for the celebration of June 9th of every year as Filipino-Chinese Friendship Day, in recognition, according to the President, of the "centuries-old friendship and affinity between our two peoples."
The President said China is likewise a very important development partner, particularly as source of Official Development Assistance for projects, as well as investments in key sectors that have big impact on the lives of Filipinos.
"Under my administration, the Philippines and China saw the dawning of a new era in bilateral relations, with intensified engagement that cut across many areas," she informed her audience.
She said the friendship has enabled both countries to develop various channels of dialogue covering different areas of policy and cooperation. (OPS-PIA) [top]