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Philippines' 120th Independence Day Celebrated
Filipino Envoy Stresses Growing Ties with S. Korea
Mr. Raul S. Hernandez (2nd from left), Ambassador of the Philippines to South Korea, and his spouse Mrs. Hernandez cut the cake at the ceremony held at Lotte Hotel in Seoul on June 14, 2018 on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine Independence.

On June 12, 2018, the 120th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine Independence celebrated in a number of places in the world as well as in the Philippines.

On this day 120 years back Filipinos proclaimed the independence of the Philippines at the height of the Spanish-American War. By mid-August assisted by US troops the Filipinos ousted the Spanish who ruled the archipelago over 300 years.

Seoul was no exception. Mr. Raul S. Hernandez, Ambassador of the Philippines to South Korea, threw a reception in a Seoul hotel on June 14, 2018 on the occasion of the 120 anniversary of the Filipino's independence from the Spanish colonial rule.

The diner party, held at Lotte Hotel in downtown Seoul at 6 p.m. on the day, drew a large crowd of guests from all walks of life in South Korea as well as Korean government officials. Scores of other foreign envoys and their spouses also took part in the reception.

Mr. Raul S. Hernandez (7nd from right in the first row), Ambassador of the Philippines to South Korea, and his spouse Mrs. Hernandez, pose with other foreign envoys at the ceremony held at Lotte Hotel in Seoul on June 14, 2018 on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine Independence.

Representing South Korean government came two high-profile officials: deputy ministers, Yoon Soon-Gu and Suh Jeong-In, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They made congratulatory speech each.

Following the congratulatory speeches by the prominent guests, the Filipino envoy left a lengthy but impressive speech in front of the large gathering.

In his speech the Filipino envoy emphasized the rapidly expanding economy of his country. he quoted World Bank for revealing that the Philippine economy registered an impressive GDP growth rate of 6.7 percent last year in the middle of global uncertainty. He also said that now the Philippines is the world's 10th fastest growing economy.

He went on to say that Its GDP growth rate will be 7 percent next year and it will be the second fastest growing economy in the world by 2019 according to IMF (International Monetary Fund).

Madam Hernandez, spouse of
Filipino Ambassador to Seoul Raul S. Hernandez, poses with other spouses of top foreign envoys at the ceremony held at Lotte Hotel in Seoul on June 14, 2018 on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine Independence.


He also revealed the Philippines' ambitious infrastructure program "Build Build Build" for which an investment of some 170 billion US dollars will be made over the next five years.

Under this program a total of 75 projects will be executed to boost its overall economy. The projects will be back up by the growing market of its 100 million people and particularly by its young and talented workforce.

Ambassador Raul S. Hernandez also stressed the fast developing bilateral ties between the Philippines and South Korea.

"Next year as we mark the 70th anniversary of establishment of Philippine-ROK bilateral relations," he said in his speech. The envoy expressed his wish for thriving ties for the benefits of the Korean and Filipino peoples.

Myanmar Ambassador to S. Korea Thura Thet Oo Maung (right) poses with world-famous fashion designer Lie Sang-Bong (2nd from left) and Madam Joo Hhy-Ran, a respected medical doctor in the reception held at Lotte Hotel in Seoul on June 14, 2018 on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of declaration of the Philippines' Independence. At left is Rev. Song Seong-Hyun, an advisor of The Seoul Times.

He mentioned that a very strong partnership was forged in the fields of politics, defense and security, trade and investment, development, education, tourism and people to people exchange.

The envoy also said that Korea is playing an important role in the Philippines' economic emergence.

"It is our 5th major trading partner, with a total trade of more than 10 billion US dollars," he emphasized ties with South Korea. "Also Korea is the 6th largest source of official development assistance to the Philippines"

He said that South Korea is No. One source of tourists visiting the island nation for the past three consecutive years.

"In 2017 1.6 million Korean visitors came to the Philippines facilitated by 27 flights from Korea to the Philippines and back per day," he said.

Filipino Ambassador to Seoul Raul S. Hernandez (3rd from right), poses with his guests at the ceremony held at Lotte Hotel in Seoul on June 14, 2018 on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine Independence.

Currently, there are move than 68,000 Filipino migrants living here in South Korea and nearly 100,000 Koreans are residing in the Philippines.

The following is the full text of Ambassador Raul S. Hernandez's speech made by the envoy at its diplomatic reception held on June 14, 2018 at the Lotte Hotel Seoul on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the Declaration of Philippine Independence.

Speech of H. E. Raul S. Hernandez, Philippine Ambassador to South Korea

Honorable Deputy Minister Yoon Soon-Gu of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
Honorable Deputy Minister Suh Jeong-In of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
Distinguished senior officials of the Korean government;
Fellow ambassadors and dolleagues in the Diplomatic Corps;
Officers and staff of the Philippine Embassy;
Respectable business leaders; Mga kababayan;
Friends;
Ladies and gentlemen;

Mr. Raul S. Hernandez, Ambassador of the Philippines to South Korea

Annyeong hasimnikka. It is my pleasure and privilege to welcome all of you here at Lotte Hotel on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine Independence.

Today, we celebrate the courage of our Filipino forefathers whose heroic deeds led to the Philippines' independence in 1898.

This year's theme, "change we fought for, an offering to an abundant future," pays homage to the pains of the past that paved the way to the gains the country has achieved in recent years.

The Philippines is enjoying not only freedom but also prosperity. Last year, amid global uncertainty, the Philippine economy registered an impressive GDP growth rate of 6.7 percent and the world's 10th fastest growing economy, according to the World Bank.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has further forecast that the Philippines' GDP growth rate would increase to 7 percent next year and will be the second fastest growing economy in the world by 2019.

We see this as possible because of our ambitious infrastructure program know as "Build Build Build" in which we expect to invest about 170 billion US dollars over the next five years, supported by a comprehensive tax reform program. The 75 projects under this infrastructure program are designated to increase the productive capacity of our economy, create jobs, increase incomes and make the economy more attractive to investment flows.

Governor Jang Song-Hyon (3rd from right) poses with Myanmar Ambassador to S. Korea Thura Thet Oo Maung (to his right) and with other guests. To his right is Rev. Song Seong-Hyun.

The higher value of foreign direct investment supports efforts to shift our economy to investment-led growth, backed up by a growing market of more than 100 million people and a very young talented workforce. Given these prospects, the future of the Philippines has indeed never been brighter.

These accomplishments can be attributed to the vision of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to effect transformative change in the Philippine society and economy. Duterte's efforts to form a more law-abiding society, his constant focus on fighting corruption and criminality as well as the contributions and support of our international partners and indispensable to achieving inclusive economic growth and prosperity.

Today, apart from commemorating our nation's independence, we also celebrate the bilateral relationship between the Philippines and South Korea that has grown and flourished through the years, blossoming to become a very strong partnership in the fields of politics, defense and security, trade and investment, development, education, tourism and people to people exchange.

Rev. Song Seong-Hyun (2nd from left) poses with othe guests. To his left is Myanmar Ambassador to S. Korea Thura Thet Oo Maung.


Korea is playing an important role in the Philippines' economic emergence. It is our 5th major trading partner, with a total trade of more than 10 billion US dollars.

Korea is the 6th largest source of official development assistance, and the number one source of tourists for the past three years with 1.6 million Korean visitors in 2017, facilitated by 27 flights from Korea to the Philippines and back per day.

Currently, we have over 68,000 Filipino migrants living here in South Korea and nearly 100,000 Koreans residing in the Philippines.

Indeed, the interaction between our peoples continues to grow on an upward trajectory. This demonstrates that up to this day, our two nations continue to stand sid-by-side not only as staunch defenders of freedom and democracy, but as steadfast partners in development and prosperity.

Myanmar Ambassador to South Korea Thura Thet Oo Maung (3rd from right) poses with Managing Editor Joseph Joh (right) of The Seoul Times and Deputy Managing Editor Park Sang-Moon (2nd from right) of the Korea Joonang Daily. At third from left is Rev. Song Seong-Hyun.

Next year as we mark the 70th anniversary of establishment of Philippine-ROK bilateral relations it remains our fervent hope that the cooperation between our two countries in all fields will continue to thrive as both South Korea and the Philippines strive to further strengthen relations for the benefits of the Korean and Filipino peoples.

I would like to take this opportunity to recognize and to than our special guests, deputy ministers, Yoon Soon-Gu and Suh Jeong-In, of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for joining our celebration.

Let me also convey our gratitude to the support of our major sponsors: Hyundai Motors, Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd, and KIA Motors Corporation, and Landbank Philippines for their contributions.

These companies, with the active role they play in expanding Philippine-Korea economic relations, help ensure that the business partnership between our two countries remain strong and flourishing.

In closing, I would like to thank all of you for coming tonight to celebrate the founding of our young nation, as we continue our journey with our dear friends and partners with whom we share common values and aspirations.

Mabuhay and I hope you enjoy the evening. Kamsahamnida!




 

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