Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. (center) with BusinessMirror president Benjamin Ramos and BusinessMirror publisher T. Anthony C. Cabangon lead the toast during the ‘‘Mission: PHL, the BusinessMirror Envoys and Expats Awards Ceremony’’ at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura Premier.
Photos By Alex Van Hagen Powered By Mac Center
Mission: PHL Awards at SM Aura Premier
MY LIPS ARE SEALED...SOMETIMES - Maurice Arcache (The Philippine Star) - May 15, 2019 - 12:00am

High-powered members of the diplomatic corps and development-aid agencies recently gathered at the “Mission: PHL, The BusinessMirror Envoys and Expats Awards Ceremony,” held at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura Premier.

During the event, palanggas, embassies, consulates, economic and cultural offices, and aid agencies were acknowledged for their support to the Philippines in the sectors of science and technology, infrastructure, tourism, environment, transportation, agriculture, education and trade.

EU Delegation Ambassador Franz Jessen, Australian Ambassador Steven James Robinson and Yoshio Wada, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The Embassy of Australia was named “Embassy of the Year” and also won the Education of the Nation Award.

Other awardees included the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island for Science, Technology and Innovation; the Embassy of the United States for Biodiversity; and the Embassy of Korea for Visit the Philippines.

From Left: Investment analyst John Mangun, Korean Ambassador Han Dong-Man and Honorary Consul of Portugal Antonio Rufino.

The Embassy of Japan had four grand category awards. The Delegation of the European Union, on the other hand, got the “Project of the Year Award” for the Establishment of Model Recovery Clinics (Voluntary Outpatient-based Medical Treatment Facilities for Drug Users).

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was named top “Aid Agency of the Year” and received four category awards.

Danish Ambassador Jan Top Christensen, Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña.

Other aid agencies were also given recognition during the event: the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for Biodiversity; World Bank for Agriculture and Fisheries; and the Government of Australia–Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (GOA–DFAT) for Education of the Nation Award.

“Mission: PHL” was made possible through eight government agencies: the Departments of Environment and Natural Resources, Agriculture, Trade and Industry, Science and Technology, Public Works and Highways, Transportation, Tourism and Education. It is one of many enriching events held at SM Aura Premier.

US envoys’ visits signal robust US-PH ties

Century Properties chairman and Presidential Special Envoy to the United States Jose Antonio with US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, SM’s Tessie Sy-Coson, Jose Victor Emmanuel “Jocot” de Dios of GE Philippines and Lawrence Anthony Estrada of Aviation of Bechtel Limited.

How are the relations these days between the United States and the Philippines?

If we were to ask the gentleman of all seasons Joey Antonio, the President’s Special Envoy to the United States, palanggas, the ties appear stronger than ever.

Former Ambassador to Spain Joseph “Lani” Bernardo, former Ambassador to the US Joey Cuisia, Philippine Veterans Bank chairman Roberto de Ocampo, Poongsan Group Chairman and CEO Jin Roy Ryu.

“The recent visits of two important American envoys, the US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and the former White House chief of staff Reince Preibus, are very good indications,” Antonio said.

The two envoys went to Manille in separate trips and met with diplomats and business leaders, as arranged by the US Embassy and led by the well-respected US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, dahlings. Present at those meetings, and trés visible, were Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, SM Investments’ Tessie Sy-Coson, Joey Antonio, who is also chairman and the genius behind the super successful Century Properties Group; former Philippine Ambassador to the Philippines Jose Cuisia Jr., Udenna Corporation’s Dennis Uy, Poongsan Group chairman Jin Roy Ryu, and Jaime Zobel de Ayala on the rare night out, among other namedroppables.

Yung Sung Industrial Philippines managing director Ki Suk Hahn, former DTI Secretary Gregory Domingo, HSBC’s Corrie Purisima.

Most Filipinos will remember the United States’ latest goodwill gesture of returning the Balangiga bells to the Philippines after more than 100 years. It was to mark a turnaround and signal a renewed cooperation between the US and the Philippines, a strong relationship founded on shared history and interests.

“Such ties run deep and are sealed not only by several defense treaties but also the presence of four-million-strong Filipinos in the United States and American companies that are contributing to foreign direct investments, taxes and employment here at home. So while our government is busy nurturing new ties with other nations, which it must do for economic reasons, it’s safe to say that America is here to stay,” explained Ambassador Antonio.

Former White House chief of staff Reince Preibus, Joey Antonio (standing), Finance Secretary Carlo Dominguez III.

MISSION: PHL THE BUSINESSMIRROR ENVOYS AND EXPATS AWARDS CEREMONY UNITED STATES AND THE PHILIPPINES
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