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119th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence

12 June 2017

Ambassador Joseph Gerard B. Angeles of the Philippines in South Africa hosted a reception to celebrate the 119th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence. 

Photo: Ambassador Angeles and Mr Gert Oosthuizen, Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation of SA

In his remarks Ambassador Angeles said that on the economic front, the Philippines has been a top performer in the Asian region for a number of years already, attracting significant foreign investments due to sound macroeconomic policies of government. The World Bank expects a 6.9% steady economic growth for the Philippines for the next two years, driven by public and private investment. Expansionary fiscal policy has also boosted capital formation in the country, and remittances, credit growth and low inflation have bolstered private consumption.

 

Message of Ambassador Joseph Gerard B. Angeles on the occasion of the Celebration of the 119th Anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence

12 June 2017
Pretoria, South Africa

The Honorable GERT OOSTHUIZEN, Deputy Minister of Sport and Recreation; His Excellency BENE MPOKO, Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps.

Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commissioners, colleagues in the diplomatic corps, friends in DIRCO and the South African government, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

On behalf of my wife Cecilia and my colleagues at the Philippine Embassy, I welcome all of you to our celebration of the 119th Anniversary of the Declaration of
Philippine Independence. It is a lovely afternoon in Pretoria and I am honored to have all of you, as our guests to our residence.

Throughout the history of our country, Filipinos have valued the sacrifice for freedom, self-determination and democracy. That sacrifice is incessant, and continues up to this day, when the Filipino people continue to fight for independence; albeit a different kind of independence: one that seeks freedom from poverty, freedom from crime and terrorism, freedom from the scourge of illegal drugs, and freedom from corruption.

On the economic front, the Philippines has been a top performer in the Asian region for a number of years already, attracting significant foreign investments due to sound macroeconomic policies of government. The World Bank expects a 6.9% steady economic growth for the Philippines for the next two years, driven by public and private investment. Expansionary fiscal policy has also boosted capital formation in the country, and remittances, credit growth and low inflation have bolstered private consumption.

Strong economic performance has propelled the Philippines a notch higher in this year’s World Competitiveness Yearbook, which ranked economies based on economic performance, government efficiency, business efficiency and infrastructure. The Philippines scored high points in economic performance, thanks to robust GDP growth and employment, placing the country third in both real GDP growth and resilience of economy.

In South Africa, the Philippines is strongly making a push to make Philippine-made products gain a foothold in the South African market place. On top of the current marketability of Philippine-made automotive components, furniture, and coconut water in South Africa, Philippine company Liwayway Foods now has a factory in Centurion, expecting to produce snack food for the South African market, and hopefully further into the southern African region. The Liwayway brand of snacks is one of the biggest in the Philippines, and their current expansion into South Africa bodes well for economic relations between our two countries.

We have also seen a steady exchange of businessmen between the Philippines and South Africa in the past year or two, including the visit of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the visit of a 15-man business delegation from my city  of Davao, and the upcoming visit at the end of this month to Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town by a 35-man delegation headed by the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry. These exchanges are proof for our stakeholders that there is much to gain, especially from an economic standpoint, for having robust relations between the Philippines and South Africa. Of course, we thank our partners in South Africa, both in government and non-government, for working hand-in-hand with the Philippine Embassy in pursuing fruitful endeavors for both our countries.

On the domestic front, President Rodrigo Duterte has made headlines for his strong position against lawless violence, criminality and illegal drugs.

The scourge of illegal drugs in the Philippines is of high concern, as drug addiction continues to endanger the lives of ordinary Filipinos, mainly the youth who are the future of our society. The conduct of the war against illegal drugs, however, is being employed with a human approach to development and governance, and is based on a firm adherence to established human rights principles and the rule of law.

The Philippines stands united with the international community in the fight against terrorism. We have not been spared by the attacks, as our people in Marawi City have similarly fallen victim to senseless terror, just as the innocents of London, Manchester, Paris and other cities have suffered. But we know, as our brave history will show, that the resolve of the Filipino people, and that of the international community, shall overcome and prevail.

On the diplomatic front, a key highlight for the Philippines this year is its Chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. On the 29th of April, the leaders of ASEAN, and other partner countries, converged in Manila for the 30th ASEAN Summit which coincides with the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the founding of ASEAN.

With the theme of: Partnering for Change, Engaging the World, President Rodrigo Duterte led ASEAN to unite under the vision of an integrated, peaceful, stable, and resilient ASEAN Community that actively takes a leading role in the region and the world, advancing political-security cooperation, sustainable economic growth and socio-cultural development.

Let me end with a few words to express the strong and excellent bilateral relationship of the Philippines with South Africa – a friendship that started with the support of the Philippines for the liberation movement that ripened to formal diplomatic relations with the end of apartheid in 1993-1994.  Since then, the relationship has grown from strength-to-strength, and this year we are looking forward to having our fourth bilateral consultations in Manila with the goal to further cultivate our interactions in the fields of agriculture, science and other mutually beneficial interests.

On this note, again I thank you all for being with us today as we celebrate 119 years of Philippine Independence. We look forward to more fruitful years of collaboration with South Africa, our other partner countries in Africa, our ASEAN family, and the larger diplomatic community in Pretoria.

Embassy of Philippines in South Africa

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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