Noting the crucial role his father played in strengthening the relationship between the government and the Chinese community in the country, the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) feted vice presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr. during a forum in Manila late Tuesday.
The FFCCCII had invited Marcos to address the 160-member organization composed of renowned Filipino-Chinese businessmen and civic leaders all over the Philippines during its Leadership Forum in Binondo, the center of Filipino-Chinese trading in the country.
Those in attendance included Dr. Lucio Tan, FFCCCII Chairman Emeritus, and Honorary Presidents Alfonso Siy, Domingo Lee, Vicente Yu, Robin Sy, Francis Chua, Alfonso Cui and John Tan, among others.
The group noted that the late President Ferdinand Marcos has made it possible for many of their officers and members to stay in the country legally during his term when he issued several decrees on naturalization.
The group also stated that the elder Marcos further strengthened Filipino-Chinese relations when he supported export promotion, trade, agricultural exchange, education and other partnership programs during his term.
“The late President Marcos helped strengthen our ties with our neighbors in Southeast Asia and opened opportunities for many of us,” the group said.
On Marcos’ vice presidential bid, the FFCCCII it believed in his capabilities and wished him the best. “We wish you all the best in this coming elections,” the group said.
Also invited to address the forum was senatorial candidate Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez.
Marcos, for his part, thanked the group for the invitation and warm welcome saying the Filipino-Chinese community has been a cornerstone of the Philippine economy.
“We recognize the part you have played not only in the economic and cultural aspects but the whole Philippine society,” he said.
He added that if he gets elected to the vice presidency, he will bring back the concept of nation-building through infrastructure development not only to create jobs but spur business.
Marcos has been pushing for massive government investment in “business-driven” infrastructures or those that would provide a suitable environment to encourage expansion of private business enterprises.
“By infrastructure, I mean not only roads and bridges but also schools, power generation plants, water system and including our Internet service, which is the second slowest in the world,” Marcos said. He noted that government and business must forge better partnerships to carry out vital programs for the people.
While the government must provide the necessary atmosphere for private businesses to flourish, Marcos added it must also ensure adequate protection for our workers. In particular, Marcos said laws against contractualization must be enforced strictly.
“We need to unite once again for nation-building, a word I haven’t heard for a long time. With your support we can make our nation great once again,” he said.