Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the Ceremonial Turnover of the Fertilizer Donation from the People’s Republic of China
Thank you, Secretary Anton Lagdameo [Please take your seats] for your introduction. Of course, we like to greet our benefactor and representing the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency, Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian, who is here representing the People’s Republic, on this very generous donation that they have given us; the DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian; Senator Sherwin Gatchalian; and of course, our host for today’s festivities, the Mayor of Valenzuela. Parang Ilocos Norte ito, pare-pareho ang pangalan. Mayor Wes Gatchalian; Congressman, 2nd district Representative Eric Martinez; fellow workers in government, nandito lahat, nakakumpleto. We are complete, the Department of Agriculture, because we are all very grateful for this very munificent donation that we are receiving today from the People’s Republic. Of course, our very important partners in the private sector; other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
I was looking at the sign and it said it’s the ceremonial turnover. But actually it’s not a ceremonial turnover, it is the actual turnover dahil nakapaligid sa atin, we are surrounded by bags and bags [applause] of the 20,000 metric tons of Urea which has been donated to us by the Chinese government and is now being formally accepted by the Philippines.
So, on behalf of the Filipino people, let me extend our deepest gratitude and appreciation to the Chinese Government and its people for this donation—a solid gesture of friendship and goodwill that is in keeping with our long and storied history of trade and cultural exchange.
It is worth highlighting that this act of magnanimity comes during the commemoration this month of the 48th year of our formal diplomatic relations with China. And I cannot think of a more appropriate gesture to symbolize the strengthening ties between China and the Philippines.
This donation that came from China was a product of our request from all our friends around the world during the crisis when fertilizer — well, what we are still feeling now when fertilizer prices went up and the availability was also because of the supply chain problems that we are experiencing with our usual suppliers and China did not think twice and immediately came up.
And I remember that it was a very good conversation that we had with your President, President Xi, in which he said that agriculture as well is a foundation of the Chinese economy and a necessity for the Chinese government to attend to because at the very basic level, government’s main responsibility is to take care of its people and a large part of that is to provide a good food supply for their people.
And that is where we had this meeting of the minds and that is why I am not surprised that immediately upon our request for any assistance in terms of fertilizer supply China immediately understood the predicament that we were in and thus we have today the turnover of these 20,000 metric tons of Urea fertilizer from China to the Philippines.
It will tremendously aid our efforts to boost agricultural production, our nation’s pursuit of food security.
Indeed, it is through these kind deeds, especially those that can be felt by our people, that we reinforce the foundations of our bilateral ties— that of trust and of mutual benefit.
Soon, these donated goods will find their way to our Filipino farmers. They will be able to spend the savings gained from production costs [for] other things that matter to them and their families.
We will make sure that the message of goodwill from our highly cherished donors will cascade to them and to the rest of our citizenry.
I would like just to add that in keeping with this generosity that we, today are the beneficiaries from the People’s Republic of China that also as we, Secretary Rex has just informed me yesterday that China has also provided four million pesos worth of rice for relief goods for those evacuees in the Mayon Volcano area. [applause]
So, these generous acts symbolize the value of the relationship between our two countries. We must continue to nurture. We must continue to care for that, through acts of mutual assistance and of constant and amicable dialogue.
I assure the Chinese Government that the Philippines will always work for the strengthening of our ties and the advancement of our mutual interests, and there are many.
As we walk to the next half-century of our diplomatic ties, let this day be a celebration of many things for us: the diligence and hard work of our farmers; our realizable goal of food self sufficiency; and the lasting, beneficial impact of the longstanding friendly ties between our two nations.
Mabuhay ang ugnayan ng Pilipinas at ng Tsina!
Mabuhay ang agrikultura ng Pilipinas at ang mga magsasakang Pilipino!
Maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat at magandang umaga po!
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SOURCE: PCO-PND (Presidential News Desk)