Senator Cynthia Villar, French Ambassador to the Philippines Michele Boccoz, and Senator Samantha Cazebone of the Parliament of France recently celebrated the 75th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations at the Las Pinas-Paranaque Wetland Park (LPPWP).
The women leaders led the unveiling of a sculpture named “Intertwined” to symbolize the inauguration of the Philippines-France Friendship Day.
Villar stressed she was happy the events were held at LPPWP, which was declared as “Ramsar Wetland of International Importance.” It is also a wetland protected area under the 2018 E-NIPAS Law.
“It gives me an opportunity to once again thank the French community here in the Philippines, particularly the ‘Together Ensemble Foundation’ which partnered with us last year to further maintain and preserve this wetland, which as most of you know is listed in the Ramsar Convention as Wetland of International Importance, “ said Villar.
“So, truly, this is a joyous day. The relations between France and the Philippines have always been strong. I believe, the French joie de vivre (enjoyment of life) and the Filipinos’ hospitable nature have a lot to do with our flourishing relations over the centuries,” said Villar.
Ambassador Baccoz said: “This is all the most valid as France and the Philippines share the importance they attach to protecting the environment and biodiversity.”
The diplomatic ties between the Philippines and France were established on June 26, 1947, after the signing of a Treaty of Amity in Paris by then Philippine Vice President Elpidio Quirino, who was also foreign affairs secretary, and then French foreign minister= Georges Bidault.
“France remains one of our country’s largest trading partners and investors from the European Union (EU) with most of the investments going into private services, electricity, gas, water, and manufacturing industries,” Villar added.
France is the Philippines’ 14th largest supplier and 18th most important client based on the base Global Trade Atlas- Global Trade Information Services.
As she braces for stronger ties between the two countries, Villar emphasized that the relations between our two countries and our people cover such diverse scope, and the mutual interest and benefits of our people remain at the heart of it all.
“We also have our mutual concern regarding overseas Filipinos in France, particularly our OFWs, who are part of my main advocacies, too,” related Villar.
The event was organized by Together-Ensemble Foundation Inc. in partnership with the DENR-NCR, Las Piñas–LPPWP, and Protected Area Management Office (PAMO).
It was also attended by OIC Assistant Secretary for Field Operations Gilbert Gonzales who represented DENR-OIC Mr. Joselin Marcus Fragada Jr. and DENR-NCR Regional Executive Director Ms. Jacqueline A. Caancan, among others.