PASAY CITY, METRO MANILA – The spirit of economic development and national prosperity were the unified goals of the top executives of the Filipino-Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, Inc. (FCGCCI), as the organization proclaimed during the recent celebration of its 110th anniversary.
With the theme “Pioneering Integration and Economic Growth” the officials heading the FCGCCI emphasize on safeguarding the interest and security of Filipino-Chinese amid a complex national and global situation while actively instituting civic and charitable programs for the rest of the population.
In his address, FCGCCI Chairman Dr. Benito Goyokpin harkened to the history of the native Filipino people and its Filipino-Chinese partners who have worked together to achieve common goals, from pushing for the freedom of the country from Spanish and Japanese occupiers to rebuilding the nation after wars and economic turmoil.
“Now, we are working together to fight poverty, put the Philippines to become a progressive country, and live peacefully and harmoniously,” Dr. Goyokpin said.
The event, held at the Sofitel Hotel in Manila, was attended by several personalities in politics, business, and media, including former Senator Nikki Coseteng, Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon, accounting mogul Washington SyCip, lawyer Lorna Kapunan, actor Ronnie Ricketts, and many others.
But the celebration’s guest of honor is People’s Republic of China (PRC) Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua. Addressing the guests of the anniversary, Ambassador Zhao’s opened his message with a simple statement of cooperation of China with its “neighbor, partner, and relative,” the Philippines. He added that China’s rapid economic growth was achieved not just internally but through working with neighboring countries, including the Philippines.
“We like to deepen our friendship to promote cooperation with the Philippines in all sectors. I am confident that our bilateral relationships will be bright,” Ambassador Zhao said.
Aside from Ambassador Zhao’s message, another major highlight of the event is the release of two commemorative stamps signifying the centuries-old history and ancestry of the Filipino-Chinese community, as well as their socio-economic contributions to the Philippines. Designed by Simon Lee Tiong Seng, the two stamps feature both the past and the present Filipino-Chinese community; the first stamp depicts a Chinese trader bartering with a tribal ancestor of Filipinos prior to the arrival of Magellan.
This stamp also shows an abacus and a Chinese junk, which meant that commerce between China and the Philippines were already existing long before the Spaniards came.
The second stamp features two Filipino-Chinese in modern garb using a laptop computer, with skyscrapers in the backdrop. This particular stamp shows how far the Filipino-Chinese industry has gone through the years, with the objective of further building the country’s sustainable economic development and inclusive growth.
Being one of the oldest organizations in the Philippines, the FCGCCI remains to be one of the most prominent institutions that shape the Filipino-Chinese community and the Filipino people in general. It remains steadfast in its goals of strengthening the nation economically while ensuring collective efforts and inclusive growth for all Filipinos.
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