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From left: Leading the 2017 Goodwill and Trade Mission to the Philippines is Hawaii Governor David Ige who will be joined by First Lady Mrs. Dawn Amano Ige. Also joining the delegation is Philippine Consul General to Honolulu Gina A. Jamoralin and Mr. Brandon T. Dela Cruz, President of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, which is organizing this annual activity.

Hawaii Governor David Ige, together with First Lady Dawn Amano Ige, will lead a delegation of nearly 50 participants for the 2017 Goodwill and Trade Mission to the Philippines from October 15 to 22, the first visit of a Hawaii Governor to the Philippines in 11 years.

Organized by the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii (FCCH), in coordination with the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu, the 2017 Goodwill and Trade Mission will take the delegation to Manila and to three of Hawaii’s sister provinces in the Philippines, namely, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and Cebu, for a weeklong visit to promote people-to-people ties, expand business networks, exchange best practices between Hawaii and the Philippines in the areas of urban management, disaster preparedness and explore further areas of cooperation.

In a statement, Governor Ige said: “This will be a very significant trip for the State of Hawaii as we look to strengthen the special relationship that we’ve shared with the Philippines and its people over the past 110 years. I am honored to be the first Hawaii Governor in more than a decade to be traveling to the Philippines on this important trade and aloha trade mission. We look forward to meeting with government, business and education officials and sharing a wide range of cultural experiences as we visit this beautiful country.”

Philippine Consul General Gina A. Jamoralin remarked, “The Governor’s visit to the Philippines, and his signing into law of HB 604, “Sakada Day” Bill in 2015, which commemorates the arrival of the first Filipino sakadas in Hawaii on 20 December 1906, is indicative of Hawaii’s recognition of the Filipinos’ significant contribution to the development of Hawaii, and the special kind of friendship that the Philippines and Hawaii share.”

The delegation is scheduled to pay courtesy calls on Philippine officials from both the executive and local government levels, and meet with their counterparts from the business, tourism and education sectors. Govenor Ige will meet with Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez as well as the officials of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) to share best practices on urban planning and management including disaster response plans.

A highlight of the Goodwill and Trade Mission is the signing of an agreement between the State of Hawaii and the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) to further strengthen the political, cultural, social and economic links between Hawaii and the Philippines.

Another future area of cooperation which is currently being explored by both the Philippine and Hawaii governments is facilitating the licensing requirements of Filipino medical technologists who are interested to work in Hawaii.

Hawaii is home to almost 369,000 Filipinos and Filipino Americans, accounting for 26% of the entire state population, which makes Filipinos the largest ethnic group in the State.

For more information, FCCH’s media contact is Ms. Bennette Misalucha who may be reached through mobile numbers +639278348877 (PH number) and 808-398-5988 (US number) and email address END