Honorable Zhou Youbin, Consul and Head of Post, Consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Laoag City, affirmed this in his keynote message during Filipino – Chinese Friendship Day celebration at the Botanical Garden here, Thursday (June 10).
Youbin shared that in 2018, China was the second biggest tourist origin of the Philippines with around 1.2 million Chinese visiting the country. Bilateral trade volume also reached $55.7 billion making China the largest trading partner of the country.
At the same time, China remains the largest source of import and the fourth largest export market of the Philippines.
Stronger ties were also showcased during Pres. Duterte’s visit to China last month. His meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping resulted to P7.7 billion approved grant for the Philippines and 19 agreements amounting to $12.16 billion worth of wide range areas of investments, he added.
The Chinese official also congratulated the City Government and the Baguio Filipino – Chinese Community for always showcasing stronger ties and continuing partnership for socio – economic development.
“Baguio is one of the best cities that illustrates the two countries' friendship,” he stressed.
The Filipino – Chinese Friendship Day celebration opened with the playing of the national anthems of the Philippines and the PROC.
Youbin, joined by Baguio City officials headed by Mayor Mauricio Domogan and heads of the Baguio Filipino – Chinese organizations also spearheaded the ceremonial unveiling of the garden’s marker and a symbolic tree planting in the area.
The Baguio Filipino – Chinese Community also turned over 25 pine tree saplings to the City Environment and Parks Management Office and a brand new Kawasaki Bajaj Dominador 400 police motorcycle to the Baguio Police Traffic Management Unit.
In coordination with the City Social Welfare and Development Office, a gift – sharing activity was also conducted with children in conflict with the law and children at risk as beneficiaries.
The Filipino – Chinese Friendship Day is being celebrated in the Philippines every June 9 by virtue of Republic Act 8491 signed in 2002 by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
For Baguio City, it has been an institutionalized event by the city government and the Baguio Filipino Chinese Community. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR with Danielle Garin-UC Intern)
By Carlito C. Dar