To celebrate the 103rd anniversary of the Republic of Taiwan, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in the Philippines held a grand reception on October 9 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay City. The event gathered some 1,000 guests comprised of Philippine government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, and Taiwanese officials and expatriates.
Newly installed TECO Ambassador Dr. Gary Song-Huann Lin led the evening’s celebration, highlighting the cultural and economic relations of Taiwan and the Philippines in his welcoming speech.
“In the area of tourism, Taiwan makes up the ninth largest visitors to Philippines, while Filipinos are also the ninth largest visitors to Taiwan,” he began. “In education and culture, Taiwan continuously provides scholarships to young Filipino students for the opportunity to do research and further studies in Taiwan universities.
“In our people-to-people relationships, there are on the average 200,010 Taiwanese visitors coming to the Philippines every year, who are fascinated by the beautiful country. In turn, there are 100,000 Filipino workers in Taiwan, and there are more than 7,000 Filipino married to Taiwanese nationals,” the ambassador continued.
The diplomat further praised the two nations for being the Asian models for freedom and democracy, and urged a more multifaceted cooperation between Taiwan and the Philippines.
Song-Huann Lin also made sure to recognize the efforts of Filipino workers in Taiwan and their contribution to the country’s economic development, and went on to show his country’s sincere concern for Filipinos in general as he talked about $12-million worth of aid his government extended to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.
Ambassador Lin concluded his message with a promise to steel the two nation’s economic partnership with Taiwan’s intentions to expand investments in the Philippines. “The economic success will create more room and opportunity for growth and cooperation,” the ambassador assured.
Among those who attended Taiwan’s National Day were Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives Chairman Al Francis Bichara, MECO Chairman Amadeo Perez Jr., and former President Fidel Ramos, among others.