ALBERT F. DEL ROSARIO
SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
Republic of the Philippines
The Honorable Albert F. del Rosario was born in Manila on November 14, 1939 and has worked for both the private sector and government. He attended Xavier High School in New York City and subsequently graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics.
Secretary Del Rosario's business career spanned a vast field which included insurance, banking, real estate, shipping, telecommunications, consumer products, retail, pharmaceutical, and food industries, among others. He was member of the Board and director of various firms prior to entering public service as Philippine Ambassador to the United States in Washington D.C.
The Secretary's experience in the private sector included positions as chair of Philippine Stratbase Consultancy, Inc. and Makati Foundation for Education; president of Gotuaco, Del Rosario Insurance Brokers, Inc. and Philippine Telecommunications Investment Corporation (PTIC); director in various companies and non-profit organizations, including the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), BusinessWorld Publishing Corporation, First Pacific Company (Hong Kong), PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk (Indonesia), Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), Philex Mining Corporation, Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), Metro Pacific Tollways Development Corporation (MPTDC), Manila North Tollways Corporation (MNTC), ABC Development Corporation (ABC 5), Asia Insurance (Philippines) Corporation, Philippine Cancer Society, Cultural Center of the Philippines Foundation, Incorporated (CCPFI); trustee of PinoyME Foundation, Inc.; member of the Asia Society's International Council and of the Board of Governors of International Graduate University (Washington, DC). In addition, the Secretary headed the development of Pacific Plaza Towers, Metro Pacific Corporation's signature project at Fort Bonifacio, Global City.
As Philippine Ambassador to the United States, he was instrumental in securing US$1.2 Billion U.S. funding assistance for the Philippines, bilateral cooperation in counterterrorism and peace and development in Mindanao, investments in the country's Business Process Outsourcing industry, and greater access for Philippine exports. His enduring legacy which continues to benefit the Philippines includes the formation of the Philippines-US Congressional Friendship composed of over 80 legislators from the US House of Representatives, retaining the Philippines in the list of approved investment locations in the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), development of the Reform Program for the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and pioneering the Ambassadors/Consuls General Tour of the Philippines, and Bayan Ko-Bahay Ko Program.
In September of 2004, he was conferred the Order of Sikatuna, Rank of Datu by H.E. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for his outstanding efforts in promoting foreign relations. In early 2001, he received the EDSA II Heroes Award from President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in recognition of his efforts in promoting Philippine democracy. He also received the Philippine Army Award from President Corazon Aquino for his initiatives as Chairman of the Makati Foundation for Education in 1991. He was elevated to the Xavier Hall of Fame in New York City in 2006.
Secretary del Rosario is married to Gretchen de Venecia. They have five children and six grandchildren.
Intro will follow
Daylight in the Philippines
The Philippine Economic Team conducted on 02 February 2011 its Year-end Briefing. Below are the highlights:
- A Resilient and Fast-growing Economy
- The Philippines, one of the few countries that avoided a recession in 2009, staged a strong recovery in 2010 as the economy grew 7.3% - its highest in more than 20 years;
- Healthy economic growth is expected to be sustained in the medium term with better conditions in the global economy and economic outperformance in the Philippines’ key export markets.
- The structure of the Philippine economy is similar to those of advanced economies, with consumption accounting for more than 70% of GDP.
- A Clear Political Commitment to Fiscal Sustainability
- The administration has made fiscal sustainability the cornerstone of its effective governance agenda;
- Intense focus has been placed on improving tax collection as evidenced by the removal of the Philippines from the OECD “grey list”, a recognition that it is now compliant with accepted tax standards;
- Proactive debt management has reduced rollover risk and increased debt carrying capacity while minimizing foreign exchange risk and increasing self-sufficiency of funding.
- A Fortified External Position and a Sound Banking System
- Over the last decade, the Philippines has transformed itself into a country with sustained structural current account surpluses and rapid reserve accumulation;
- Gross international reserve expanded to a record US$62.4 billion at end-December 2010. This large stockpile of international reserves provides a healthy buffer against external shocks – reserve holdings can cover close to 11 times the country’s short-term external debt on original maturity;
- The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), industry which is growing at an average of 20% annually, is one of the driving factors behind the improvement of net services trade balance annually.
- A More Stable Political and Institutional Environment
The uncontested outcome of the last elections was widely regarded as a positive development for the Philippines and could signal a structural change in political dynamics ushering in more stable political transitions.
Introduction on the Filipino Culture
The Filipino culture is an exuberant story that tells of the nation's journey through the centuries. Customs reflect the people's faith, their oneness with others, their affinity with nature, and their celebration of life.
The Filipino's charm lies in their smiles, in the numerous religious festivals that venerate nature, the Divine and the cycles of life and in the virtue of pakikipag-kapwa tao that treasures relationships, with friends and strangers alike. The concept of kapwa (others) is at the core of the Filipino soul. A Filipino scholar says of the Filipino: the joy of his being is in being with others.
The nation's charm is in the diversity in ways of life across the archipelago, the resplendent colors of its folk arts and the cacophony of foreign influences that have found roots in the Filipino languages, customs and traditions.
And so there are the bright Santacruzan festivals in May, with pagan origins but portraying strong Christian symbols, and an extended romance with Christmas in December. There are the passionate Hispanic tempos in the dances of the plains of Luzon, the elegant Muslim dances for wars and weddings from Mindanao, and the ancient strains of indigenous music in the highlands. The country has quaint town squares that remind the spectator of its colonial past, light breezy huts with fences decked with bougainvillas along the country lanes, sprawling malls, high-rises and frantic city avenues, houses made of stones in typhoon-strewn islands in the North and houses on stilts in the South.
Another writer observes that the Filipinos tendency towards passionate profusion and unrestrained exuberance in his art stems from his exposure to nature's lush, magnificent landscapes around him the whole year through. Thus the richly embroidered Barong Tagalog (national dress), baroque architecture in the 19th century and the flaming spectrum of colors in jeepney passenger cars, ice cream carts, Christmas lanterns, kalesa (horse carriages), fiestas and religious processions.
Filipinos worship devoutly in their cathedrals and mosques (the busy urban dwellers attend religious services inside shopping malls and al fresco, in parks and plazas). They can sing and recognize good singing when they hear it. They smile at strangers and babies, and through queues, rainshowers and traffic. They socialize in parties and discotheques, as well as in markets and community dances. They make and keep friendships over food, over lambanog (coconut wine), over mobile phone text messaging. They are sentimental and devoted to their families. They have profound respect for elders and show self-effacing hospitality for guests. They speak over 100 local languages and dialects, of which the Tagalog-based Filipino is the lingua franca, as well English, with an accent. They are basketball fans. They love Hollywood films and television dramas. They are pedestrians who chat while walking and they are the passengers in the ubiquitous jeepneys. They love laughing, at themselves, their politics, their game shows. They are cosmopolitan in their views but their values are rooted in their faith, their family and their community.
The Filipinos' temperament is as warm and constant as their sunshine. Their way of life is rich, diverse and rooted. They are in harmony with others and face the world with an engagingly courageous spirit. They are the 73 million Filipinos.