Four years ago, in 2013, BusinessMirror—the broadsheet sister publication of the Philippines Graphic—started its Envoys & Expats section. It was designed to serve as a broader link between the reading public and the diplomatic community in the Philippines.
Envoys & Expats was the brainchild of the late media mogul-businessman-philanthropist and former Ambassador to Laos Antonio L. Cabangon Chua, whose other media companies include CNN Philippines, Aliw Broadcasting Corporation (DWIZ), Pilipino Mirror, and Cook magazine.
Cabangon Chua urged the members of the diplomatic community to make the Envoys & Expats section a platform for their ideas and aspirations.
Consistent with this call, Envoys & Expats strived to capture in features, profiles, news reports, and commentaries the activities of embassies, consulates, economic and cultural offices, as well as aid agencies, foreign chambers of commerce and their members.
More importantly, it reported on how the ideas and aspirations of the members of the diplomatic community translated to foreign-assisted programs and projects—the best of which created opportunities for the nation’s socio-economic growth, even as these programs and projects likewise pursued foreign interests.
Interviewed by BusinessMirror, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia announced that the year 2017 “has seen many new and renewed international partnerships. We have had fruitful bilateral talks with China, Korea, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Israel, on various development projects in line with our priorities.”
Also last year, during his opening remarks at the Economic Community Council meeting of the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN), Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez lauded the ASEAN’s commitment to inclusive growth.
“The theme ‘Inclusive, Innovation-led Growth’ acknowledges the socioeconomic dimension of regional economic integration and its contribution to poverty alleviation. This priority urges us to strengthen our commitment for more inclusive participation in the process of community-building, where we all are partners and everyone contributes. This will likewise ensure that the gains presented by economic integration are fully realized and shared by everyone in the region,” Lopez said.
For four years, the BusinessMirror, through its Envoys & Expats section, has forged a synergy of understanding between the diplomatic community and the general public.
It is a synergy that has augured well for the nurturing of a Filipino public mindset that appreciates the role of nations as partners in the development of a stable and progressive Philippines.
This year, these enduring partnerships will be celebrated through the Mission: PHL, the BusinessMirror’s Envoys & Expats awards.
Mission:PHL will give due recognition to embassies, consulates, and aid agencies, as well as economic and cultural offices—with programs and projects that have contributed to the country’s economic growth, social progress, security, and stability.
Conceptualized in 2017, Mission:PHL is a corporate social responsibility project of the BusinessMirror. It serves to engender genuine public understanding and appreciation for nations and aid agencies that have helped the Philippine government in improving the lives and future of the Filipino people.
BusinessMirror publisher T. Anthony C. Cabangon said that Mission:PHL will be an annual awards of recognition bestowed by the BusinessMirror in partnership with government agencies.
“We will be working closely with key Philippine government departments in recognizing embassies, consulates, economic and cultural offices, and their projects, as well as aid agencies, which have made meaningful endeavors that will benefit or are currently making the difference for Filipinos,” Cabangon said.
To date, BusinessMirror has active partnerships with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
It hopes to forge partnerships with other government agencies before the formal launch of Mission:PHL this March 22, 2018.
The BusinessMirror has likewise partnered with representatives of the private sector, the academe, and civil society for the Mission:PHL awards, which will be composed of individual category/government agency recognition awards, culminating in the top awards—Embassy of the Year, Aid Agency of the Year, and Project of the Year.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Assistant Secretary Jose Eduardo E. Malaya commended the BusinessMirror organization on the launch of Mission:PHL, adding that the recognition awards once again “affirms the vision of its founding publisher and diplomatic colleague, Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua.”
Malaya said that through the Mission: PHL awards, the BusinessMirror has come up with an innovative and timely way of acknowledging the exemplary deeds of foreign embassies, envoys, and aid agencies, as well as conveying the gratitude of the Filipino people.
“Beyond merely being engaged in a one-sided pursuit of their respective national interests and organizational mandates, certain individuals and entities have struck innovative and mutually beneficial approaches that have made significant beneficial impact on local communities and helped improve lives and welfare,” Malaya said.
He added that, “here in the Philippines, such deeply committed and creative individuals abound in the diplomatic and foreign aid communities that we host, and the products of their strivings can be seen across the country, including in far-flung areas in Luzon and Visayas, as well as conflict-affected areas in Mindanao. Particularly in the areas of education, agriculture, environment and local trade, they help build the capacities of our local communities and assist them as they confront challenges to growth and development, including material constraints or even geography.”
“Whether in the form of funding, infrastructure assistance, capacity building and exchange or even institution building, these initiatives help bridge gaps in governance and support the development of our civil society—elements which are crucial for sustainable and inclusive economic growth, peace and national stability and environmental resilience,” Malaya said.
Mission:PHL, the BusinessMirror’s Envoys & Expats Awards will have its formal launch on March 22 at the City Garden Grand Hotel Makati on 8008 Makati Avenue corner, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati.
Its final awarding ceremonies will be held in November of this year. For more information, email email@example.com addressed to the Project Director G