Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the 33rd Biennial Convention of the FFCCCII

Speeches 23 March 2023

Thank you very much, Secretary Jimmy Bautista. [Please take your seats.]

The Excellencies of the Diplomatic Corps who are with us today; DICT Secretary Ivan Uy; National Housing Authority General Manager Joeben Tai; the Philippine Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Artemio Abu, he is taking a – I am surprised to see him here at busing-busy siya doon sa mga problema natin sa oil spill. But as I understand from our foreign experts, mukhang maganda naman ang ating ginagawa. We are doing everything that is possible to do. So I’m glad that nakapagpahinga ka nang kaunti Admiral.

Pasay City Mayor, our proverbial reception committee, Pasay City Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano; Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, the President of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry; Mr. Jose Sio, Chairman of the Board, SM Investments Corporation; fellow workers in government; partners from the private sector; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant afternoon to you all. [applause]

The Philippines’ history and its economy are built upon the foundations of diversity, diligence, and cooperation.

Indeed, our nation has been shaped by various cultures throughout the centuries, each contributing to the collective identity and culture that we have today.

Thus, it is only fitting that we acknowledge one of our long-standing partners, the Filipino-Chinese communities, in the steadfast development of the Philippine economy.

I recognize the officers and members of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry for their continued and active participation in various government efforts
to promote business growth and the social welfare of our people.

This comes at a crucial time when the Philippines is set to propel its economic growth in the post-pandemic world.

Since your inception in 1954, the federation has become certainly a catalyst for growth.

And that is why we have very early on in this administration identified the private sector and the different communities within the private sector as our partners in our transformation of our economy and of our society.

I will embarrass her now and I will just greet the entrance of the First Lady, First Lady Liza Araneta- Marcos. [applause]

You have also not failed to reach out to many communities with your initiatives particularly the Operation: Barrio Schools [and] Operation Bakuna. We deeply appreciate your assistance
in conducting medical missions and typhoon and earthquake relief operations.

As you conduct your biennial convention today, may you reaffirm your commitment to support the government in accelerating the country’s development efforts.

It is a joy to know that your theme coincides with my call for unity, which is in my view an essential part of our journey towards development and prosperity that will be enjoyed by all.

Your participation during my recent Presidential Visit to China was most useful and highly appreciated.

I am happy to report that that trip paved the way for the signing of various agreements to improve bilateral trade and investment cooperation between our two countries.

These include, amongst others, the Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China on electronic commerce cooperation.

Also worth mentioning is the Protocol of Phytosanitary Requirements for Export of [Fresh] Durians from the Philippines to China signed between the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture and the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China.

I am pleased to share that as of February 2023, the BOI, the Board of Investments is monitoring 90 active investment leads from Chinese companies engaged in manufacturing, information technology, business process management, and renewable energy.

May you all take hold of and maximize these prospects as you venture into your next endeavors for the benefit of our people and for our communities.

Rest assured that the issues raised by the Federation during your courtesy call with me last September are being actively addressed by government.

To promote more investments in the energy sector, as well as to ensure that there is sufficient power supply and to lower electricity costs, we have amended the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Renewable Energy Act, which removed foreign ownership restrictions for certain Renewable Energy generation projects in the Philippines.

Also, as part of the efforts to further streamline the business permit and licensing processes, we issued an Executive Order constituting green lanes for strategic investments.

The green lanes are to assign a specific desk in every department so that they will attend to the documentary, legal, bureaucratic requirements of any potential investor, without themselves having to go to every office to gain the signatures of however many are necessary for the project that they are doing.

We turned it around and we will assign for every particular project, there will be assigned to that project someone from the attendant department, be it DICT, be it [Department] of Transport, be it Department of Finance. Whatever it is that they will attend to the needs of that potential investor.

So para ganoon, ‘yung mga investor natin imbes na hinahabol ang mga signature at katagal-tagal ay isa na lang ang kausap nila at kapag may problema sila, sila ang mamamahala para mabilis ang takbo ng pag-process ng mga application, mga mga lisensya, ng mga accreditation ng ating potential investors. [applause]

Ladies and gentlemen, these are just some of the exciting opportunities that prove that our relationship remains enduring and thriving in this highly globalized world.

As President, it is my duty to create an enabling environment for businesses and make the Philippines a preferred investment destination for everyone.

In return, I only ask that you continue to do what you do best: to remain industrious, innovative, and compassionate in improving the lives of our people through your business initiatives.

Thus, I have every confidence that, once again, we will bounce back stronger than ever.

I am very sure that we will smoothly ride the changing tides of the global economy that we are presently in. I need to look no further than the determined and diligent individuals of the Filipino-Chinese community who are with us today.

Let us come together with one goal in mind, nothing will keep us from rising to the very top.

Thank you very much. Mabuhay kayong lahat at magandang tanghali po sa inyong lahat. [applause]

— END —