Philippine-British Friendship Day is celebrated annually on the 20th day of October to acknowledge the people and organizations that have helped begin, cultivate, and strengthen the close ties and friendship between two countries. Prior to the moving of the date of this occasion date by Proclamation 1592 in 2008 at the request of United Kingdom (UK) Ambassador to Philippines Peter Beckingham, it was being celebrated every December 7 in pursuant to the Presidential Proclamation No. 381 issued in 2000.
The Philippines has an embassy in London which leads the Filipino communities in the UK in observing Philippine-British Friendship Day. The British have an embassy in Taguig City. In 2016, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond visited the Philippines on the 70th anniversary of Philippines-United Kingdom diplomatic relations. The United Kingdom is the largest European investor in the Philippines today. About 90,000 from the UK visit the country yearly.
Economic ties between the two countries started in the early 16th century. The British occupied the city of Manila and the nearby port of Cavite from 1762 to 1764 but the occupation was ended as part of the peace settlement of the Seven Years’ War. Official ambassadorial relations between the Philippines and the UK started in 1946.
There was only a small population or around 18,000 Filipinos in the United Kingdom in 1896, increasing to about 250,000 in 2010. They work in a variety of sectors, such as information technology, engineering, aviation, education, hospitality, and healthcare. A significant number of Filipino scholars, many leaders in their respective fields, have attended postgraduate programs in British universities. About 10,000 Britons reside in the Philippines.
We greet the people and government of the United Kingdom, represented in the Philippines by Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Daniel Robert Pruce, on the occasion of Philippine-British Friendship Day 2018.