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Message: Department of Foreign Affairs Foundation Day

June 18, 2018

Message of Senator Loren Legarda
June 18, 2018
Department of Foreign Affairs Foundation Day

 

Good afternoon and my warmest felicitations on your 120th anniversary. It is an honor and a privilege to be speaking before all of you.

Foremost, I wish to commend each and everyone present today, for in one way or another, you have so faithfully adhered to implementing the four pillars of Philippine foreign policy, namely, the preservation and enhancement of national security, the promotion and attainment of economic security, the protection of the rights and the promotion of the interest of all Filipinos overseas, and the promotion of cultural diplomacy.

As we live in this clime where norms and rules are challenged constantly, Philippine foreign policy must be flexible and has to ensure that the country’s interests are  upheld and protected.

Thus, it is important to foster and develop good bilateral relations with our neighbors, and with other countries, most especially in terms of political security issues and in terms of economic development. Our country cannot live on its own; in this age of globalization, the Philippines needs to cultivate and develop its relations and work closely with the community of nations on issues of mutual concern, such as climate change, human rights, health, among many others. Our diplomats, our comrades in the foreign service are our silent heroes, who work with much passion and dedication and who do not ask for fame or glory.

As Senator, I stand before you as an ally:  First as Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, ready and willing to sponsor international agreements and treaties submitted to the Senate for concurrence.  During my watch since 2015, we were able to take up 31 treaties. Second, as Chair of the Finance Committee for the past five years, I made sure that the Department’s needs and requirements have been met and provided.  For this year alone, your Department has received an increase in 783.4 Million Pesos in its budget, for the implementation of these pillars. In order to cater to the needs of our kababayan abroad, we have funded the opening and re-opening of new posts, and we will continue to fund such next year. We have additionally provided budget for the implementation of the fourth pillar of Philippine foreign policy, the promotion of our Filipino culture through the promotion of Philippine studies abroad.
The Philippines cannot strengthen its position in the international community if we all do not work together.

Together, we stand for what is Filipino. Let us strive and continue to work for progress, for freedom, for nation building, for greatness.
Happy Foundation Day! Mabuhay tayong lahat.