Students here to boost their English, says Chinese-Filipino group

Students here to boost English proficiency, says Chinese-Filipino trade group

Students here to boost English proficiency, says Chinese-Filipino trade group

Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) president Cecilio K. Pedro (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — The largest Filipino-Chinese business group on Wednesday decried government officials who questioned the growing numbers of Chinese nationals in Cagayan province and the possible risks they posed to national security, saying these statements were “inflammatory” and detrimental to attracting investments from China.

The Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) expressed its “profound concern” over statements made by politicians over what the business group described as a “small” presence of Chinese students in the northern Luzon province.


READ: Most Chinese student visa holders in Metro Manila, not Cagayan—BI


“These unfair and negative statements contradict our nation’s efforts to attract Chinese tourists and investors, thus jeopardizing our international reputation as a premier destination for tourism and investment, especially in the flourishing market of education tourism across Asia,” FFCCCII president Cecilio K. Pedro said in a statement.

“We unequivocally denounce the unjust criticism directed toward Chinese students who have come to the Philippines to enhance their English proficiency,” he added.

Pedro said it was disheartening to witness such “unwarranted” attacks, pointing out that other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) countries were hosting larger numbers of Chinese students.

He added that such remarks not only undermine the Philippines’ hospitality, but also impede efforts to foster stronger ties with Beijing and de-escalate tensions.

READ: Gov’t panel to meet amid alleged influx of Chinese students in Cagayan

Cultural exchange

Pedro pointed out that they themselves have facilitated the education of talented Filipino students in China, who return home to share their knowledge of the Mandarin language as part of their commitment to promoting cultural exchange and mutual understanding.


“This initiative aims to promote cross-cultural dialogue and cooperation, ultimately enhancing tourism, economic collaboration and better public diplomacy between our countries,” he said.

Pedro called for a more constructive discourse on the issue, one that respects diversity and promotes harmony.

Last week, two Cagayan Valley lawmakers said they filed separate resolutions asking the appropriate committee in the House of Representatives to look into the reported surge of Chinese students in the province amid growing tension between Manila and Beijing in the West Philippine Sea.

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One of them, Cagayan Rep. Joseph “Jojo” Lara, had expressed concern that the students’ presence could pose a threat to national security. He also denied that the proposed inquiry was racist and could fan Sinophobia.


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