09 March 2024, 6:30 PM | SMX Convention Center, MOA, Pasay City

Tonight, as we gather under the luminous glow of unity and shared aspirations, it is with a profound sense of honor and humility that I address this distinguished gathering, celebrating the milestone 70th anniversary of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII).

Seventy years is not just a measure of time but a summation of countless stories, endeavors, and triumphs. The FFCCCII is a monument to this rich heritage— a bridge of commerce and cultural harmony between the Filipino and Chinese communities. It embodies “Dugong Tsino, Pusong Pinoy”—a beautiful intertwining of Chinese lineage with a Filipino heartbeat, a pulsating symbol of economic vitality and social compassion that resonates throughout our archipelago.

In a world driven by relentless change, the federation’s unwavering commitment to entrepreneurship and its profound philanthropic spirit has been nothing short of inspirational. Your initiatives, extending far beyond the confines of commerce and into the very essence of social welfare, underscore a truth we hold dear—that the well- being of our people is the foundation upon which economic success is built.

The Federation’s dedication to elevating the Philippines to a globally competitive stage has set a benchmark for excellence. Through innovative approaches and strategic partnerships, the federation has accelerated our journey toward economic prosperity and ensured that this journey is inclusive, leaving no one behind.

Let us take a moment to commend the extraordinary contribution of the Federation’s Operation Barrio School, particularly the recent donation of a public- school building in Barangay San Roque, Iligan City, by the Honorary President Tan Ching. Such acts of generosity capture the very essence of the federation’s philosophy—that the growth of our nation is intertwined with the enlightenment and education of our youth.

It is with immense gratitude that we recognize the federation’s initiatives that permeate the socio-economic fabric of our society. These endeavors reflect a deep understanding of the need for a harmonious balance between economic development and social stability.

The foresight exhibited by Dr. Cecilio Pedro, as he articulated the crucial socio- economic reforms at the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) Prospects Forum, resonates with our shared for meaningful socio-economic reforms is unwavering and deeply aligned with the aspirations of the Filipino people.

I am acutely aware of the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in our ever-evolving global economy. In this context, the role of the Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry becomes even more critical. Your ability to adapt, innovate, and lead is crucial in navigating the complexities of the global market, driving economic growth, and fostering sustainable development.

The partnership between the Federation and the Philippine government remains pivotal. Together, we must continue to foster an environment conducive to sustainable development, ensuring that every Filipino enjoys the fruits of our collective efforts.

Moving forward, I envision a future where our collaboration continues to deepen, leveraging the strengths of our respective business communities to address global challenges, from climate change to technological disruption. I see us working hand in hand to promote inclusive growth, ensuring that the benefits of our partnership reach every corner of our society, particularly the underprivileged and marginalized sectors. Let us recommit ourselves to the values underpinning our successful partnership: trust, cooperation, and a relentless pursuit of excellence.

Tonight, we celebrate the past achievements and the promising horizon that awaits us. As the Secretary of Trade and Industry, I pledge to continue supporting the Federation’s initiatives, reinforcing our shared goals, and striving towards a future where economic prosperity and social welfare are the dual pillars of our nation’s progress.

In closing, I raise my glass to the FFCCCII, its esteemed members, and the unbreakable spirit of “Dugong Tsino, Pusong Pinoy.” Here’s to another 70 years of success, partnership, and heartfelt contributions to the narrative of our great nation.

Mabuhay ang FFCCCII, mabuhay tayong lahat. Salamat po. 

Date of release: 09 March 2024