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Our President Duterte is keen on strengthening ties and partnerships with key stakeholders who can contribute to the country’s mission of development and growth. He has been in talks with various groups and representatives of different countries. I was also part of those engagements as a member of his official delegation in state visits and meetings.
Last Monday, I was invited to join the 10th Biennial National Convention and 20th founding anniversary of the Chinese Filipino Business Club Inc. (CFBCI) which is led by its president William Yap. The celebration was attended by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, China Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Sen. Cynthia Villar, and other Cabinet secretaries and government officials.
The gathering was made special with the attendance of President Duterte who thanked the Filipino-Chinese community for their “untiring toil to help the entire nation in the many catastrophes and crises faced in the past.”
A day after, my good friend and Go Negosyo advocate Rex Daryanani, and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce Inc. had their induction ceremony and oath taking of their new board of directors in Malacañang. It was actually the President who invited them and treated the whole organization to dinner after seeing their efforts in the country’s development.
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce Philippines has represented the Indian business community since 1951 and has contributed to nation building ever since.
When we had the Christmas Townhall with the President in December 2016, where we launched the program Negosyo Para sa Kapayapaan sa Sulu, the Indian Chamber was one of the first to respond to the call to help Sulu in its socio-economic development. Because of Rex and their members, construction is underway on the very first Indian Chamber Kapatid Village located in the municipality of Pata, Sulu. Aside from this, they have also provided the seaweed fishermen of Sulu with fishing boats. A total of 110 fishing boats were given to various barangays.
Additionally, they have been supporting the people of Sulu through donations of toys and clothes and through medical missions conducted by the military.
When Marawi was under siege, Go Negosyo called for the support of Kapatid brothers to help displaced Maranao brothers and sisters. Their chamber was again first in the list of supporters and donors. They sent a 40-foot container van of relief goods and basic needs of evacuees. They also partnered with two schools in Manila to write letters for kids in Marawi. The letters were full of encouragement, hope, love and prayers, wishes that all would end well.
Indians are one of the most charitable people I know. Rex and his chamber have always been a partner of Go Negosyo for its humanitarian efforts and MSME development programs. They also have one of the largest delegation who attended our ASEAN activities last year. And for that, I am always grateful for their support.
I am honored to have been given the Padma Shri Award from the Indian Chamber. As Rex mentioned in his speech last Tuesday, the award “seeks to recognize achievements in all fields of activities or disciplines where an element of public service is involved.”
To end his speech, Rex assured the President that the Indian Chamber is a partner in nation building. President Duterte appreciates the support from the Filipino-Indian community.
President Duterte shared that when he recently went to India and met with Indian President Narendra Modi, they mutually agreed to treat their citizens equally, protect each other and govern with the same compassion.
This is the kind of relationships that we need as our country continues to progress. With the support of different nations and stakeholders, we will all achieve prosperity for all.