The Chinese government, through its Embassy and Consulate in the Philippines, has donated 20,000 packs of “Friendship Rice” to several provinces and cities in Northern Luzon as part of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic relief and in conjunction with the 45th anniversary of the Philippines-China diplomatic relations.
In honor of the 45th Anniversary of China-Philippines Diplomatic Relations, the Chinese Consulate in Laoag, with support from the Chinese Embassy in Manila, donated 20,000 packs of 'Friendship Rice' to provinces and cities in North Luzon for COVID-19 pandemic relief. pic.twitter.com/67kok5w6Oe— ChineseEmbassyManila (@Chinaembmanila) June 9, 2020
Led by Chinese Consul General to Laoag Zhou Youbin, the rice packs were distributed to the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Benguet, Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino and the cities of Baguio and Santiago.
In a statement, the Chinese diplomat recalled the historical state visit of former President Ferdinand Marcos and First Lady Imelda Marcos to China 45 years ago, that opened the door for exchanges between the two countries.
“The people in the North Luzon have always been friendly to China. During China’s fight against the coronavirus outbreak, we received full support from officials as well as local people. With that, we will always be thankful. When the situation of the pandemic worsened in the Philippines, the Chinese government, enterprises, and Chinese community also donated a lot of anti-pandemic materials in North Luzon to support their fight against the pandemic,” he said.
Officials of the recipient provinces and cities in Northern Luzon thanked the Chinese government and the different Chinese associations who collaborated to extend help during the pandemic.
Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc thanked China for spreading goodwill by helping other nations and other provinces and for its willingness to collaborate with and assist the Filipino people.
“This expression of solidarity during this difficult time is a significant source of hope and strength. The 45th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between our countries is an important milestone in our relationship forged through cooperation and strong ties,” Quirino Governor Dakila Carlo Cua said.
Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino III lauded the Chinese initiative as a “glorious manifestation of the true and lasting partnership of our two nations.”
Isabela Governor Rodolfo Albano III said the rice packs will be distributed to local stranded individuals (LSI) brought home to the province as well as to returning OFWs.
Other officials who sent their appreciation messages to the Chinese Embassy and Consulate were Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba, Benguet Governor Melchor Dicias, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, and La Union Governor Francisco Emmanuel R. Ortega, III.
“Our fight against CoViD-19 in the Province of La Union has been fruitful because of your relentless commitment and support. We know that with sustained solidarity and compassion, we will inch our way to recovery,” Ortega said.