|20,000 Packs of 'Friendship Rice' Distributed in North Luzon|
In honor of the 45th Anniversary of China-Philippines Diplomatic Relations, with the aim to support the Philippines' efforts in tackling the challenge of COVID-19, 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. The goods were distributed to Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Benguet, Baguio City, Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino, and Santiago City.
Consul and Head of Post Zhou Youbin noted that 45 years ago, Former President Ferdinand Marcos and First Lady Imelda Marcos from the Province of Ilocos Norte paid a successful state visit to China, opening the door for exchanges between China and the Philippines.
He warmly expressed that "the people in the North Luzon have always been friendly to China. During China's fight against the corona virus 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."
The consul also emphasized that in this common fight against the pandemic that the two countries witnessed the strength and warmth of friendship. He hopes that the donations will be able to help local people saying "affected by the pandemic, many local families are facing difficulties in their lives. This batch of China-aid friendship rice bags will benefit about 20,000 families in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Benguet, Baguio City, Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino, Santiago City. I do humbly hope to help the local people overcome the crisis."
Meanwhile, Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc said"on behalf of the entire province, I extend my gratitude to all citizens of the People's Republic of China for spreading goodwill through aiding other nations and other provinces. To the officials of the different Chinese associations, the Chinese Embassy and Consulate, and government, I extend my best regards for your continuous willingness to collaborate with and assist the Filipino people."
On the other hand, Governors and Mayors of other provinces and cities expressed their gratitude and support for the bilateral cooperation.
Quirino Governor Dakila Carlo Cua said that "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".
Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino III said "this is a glorious manifestation of the true and lasting partnership of our two nations."
Isabela Governor Rodolfo T. Albano III said "we will be distributing the donated rice to our local stranded individuals (LSI) brought home to the province and to our returning OFWs."
Cagayan Governor Manuel N. Mamba said "your contribution is an answered prayer and a blessing that we shall forever be grateful."
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said "thank you for your continued support in our endeavors. Let the special relations we have as long-time friends, borne on the shoulders of shared challenges, be made stronger and more enduring each passing year."
Benguet Governor Melchor D. Dicias said "we can overcome it by staying united and by working with strong partnerships in serving the public. We are looking forward to healthier and sustained partnership in future endeavors."
La Union Governor Francisco Emmanuel R. Ortega, III said "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."