15 September 2022, Singapore President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. received a warm welcome from Filipinos in Singapore during his meeting with them in the evening of 6 September 2022, the first day of his two-day State Visit to Singapore, from 6 to 7 September 2022. The much-anticipated meeting with the Filipino community was held at the University Cultural Center Ho Bee Auditorium at the National University of Singapore (NUS).
The gathering, which saw around 1,500 Filipinos trooping to the venue, despite its being held on Tuesday, a weekday, was conceptualized by the Presidential Broadcast Staff – Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM) with the support of the Philippine Embassy and volunteers from the Filipino community in Singapore.
To ensure the safety and security of everyone in attendance, the Embassy implemented an online pre-registration system to manage the number of attendees at the event. The President’s meeting with the Filipino community was streamed live through RTVM’s and the Embassy’s Facebook page for those unable to attend physically.
The Filcom Meeting program had two parts: the pre-program, where Singapore-based Filipino talents entertained the audience as early as 4:30 pm; and the main program that featured the President’s address to the Filipino community, running from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
In his welcome remarks, Charge d’ affaires a.i. Emmanuel R. Fernandez introduced the Filipinos in Singapore to the President. The huge crowd that filled the auditorium that evening, CDA Fernandez said, represented the 200,000 strong Filipino community in Singapore, 70% of whom voted for the President in the last elections. CDA Fernandez further attested that, “Our kababayans in Singapore are men and women that we can be truly proud of. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of them are engineers, architects, IT experts, doctors, nurses, lawyers, accountants, academicians, researchers and highly-skilled workers in various fields; while close to 42% work in Singaporean homes – caring for the sick and the elderly, looking after children, and assisting Singaporean families with their various needs.”
Secretary for Foreign Affairs Enrique A. Manalo introduced the President before the Filipino community in Singapore.
The President thanked the Filipino community in Singapore for their resounding support during the May 2022 Presidential elections held at Post. “You gave me more than 31 million votes. That’s why I owe much to you all. In exchange, I promise to work on giving you jobs and improving the Philippines,” President Marcos, Jr. remarked before a cheering crowd.
President Marcos Jr. added that Filipinos in Singapore are generally happy and content with their situation, and for this, he thanked the Singapore Government for being open and warm in its relations with the Philippines.
The President’s State Visit to Singapore, taking place early in his presidency, is a testament to the excellent and strong bilateral ties between the Philippines and Singapore. During his visit, President Marcos Jr. was able to discuss ways to further strengthen bilateral cooperation between the two countries with Singaporean leaders, including President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as well as key business executives, potential investors and the Filipino community. END