The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines (Teco) hosted a reception at the Grand Ballroom of the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Hotel on October 9 to mark the 102nd National Day of Taiwan.
With over 1,000 guests in attendance including officials from the Philippine government and local Taiwanese community, the celebration signified the close ties that continue to exist between the two nations. The guests of honor and speakers during the important event were the evening generous host Ambassador Raymond Wang, representative of Teco to the country, and representatives from the Philippine government.
In his remarks, Wang highlighted the advancements in the national development of Taiwan in the past year. He also stressed the important announcement of Republic of China President Ma Ying-jeou that Taiwan, as a responsible stakeholder in the international community, should “play the roles of a standard bearer of Chinese culture, a promoter of cultural exchange, a provider of humanitarian aid, a peacemaker, and a creator of new technology and business opportunities.”
In the field of economy, Wang cited how Taiwan, which is ranked as the 18th largest trading nation in the world, was able to establish itself as “a world-class manufacturer of innovative high technology products” through “the government and the people’s unwavering endeavor and resolute determination.”
He further elaborated on the successful efforts of Taiwan under the “viable diplomacy” policy of President Ma Ying-jeou in improving the Cross-Strait relations with Mainland China, and in participating in various international organizations like the WHO and the Icao.
As of October 8 this year, the viable diplomacy has paved the way for the granting of visa–waiver privileges to Republic of China nationals by a total of 134 countries. With this, Wang urged the Philippine government to give the same privilege to his countrymen declaring that “the Philippine economy will definitely benefit from this policy reform.”
In closing, Wang emphasized the robust bilateral relationship of Taiwan and the Philippines, especially in the fields of trade and investment, labor and tourism.
“Despite meeting unexpected challenges this year, we have been able to advance our relations based on mutual trust and interest,” he commended.
Among the highlights of the event was the special attendance of the three Filipino fishermen, namely Edwin Zoilo, Hener Mendoza, and Ronald Dumaran, who were rescued by Taiwan Coast Guard Administration in July after being adrift in the sea for five days. They expressed their profound and heartfelt thanks to the people and government of Taiwan. This serves as an example of Taiwan’s commitment to providing international humanitarian assistance and a testament to an even stronger and closer Taiwan-Philippine relationship.