Ambassador Francisco L. Benedicto

Renowned and esteemed public figure in the Philippines, Ambassador Francisco L. Benedicto is a multi-awarded individual celebrated not only for his accomplishments in Government Service but likewise in his academic and entrepreneurial endeavors. Born and raised in the province of Cebu, he came from a family of business magnates devoted to philanthropy and the promotion of the rich Filipino culture through advocacies in education and business enterprise. To date, he is the Founding Chairman of the Benedicto College, Inc., and Chairman of the FLB Prime Holdings, Inc. Before his debut in government and consular services, he was the Former Chairman and General Manager of the Benedicto Development Corporation and Former President of the B. Benedicto & Sons Co., Inc.

His active involvement in public sector activities began in the ’70s when he was elected President of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which he held for three terms from 1971 thru 1974. Concurrent with said position, he also served as President of the Cebu Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Inc. for seven terms, from 1972 thru 1986; as the Regional Governor for the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with its central office in Manila, from 1977 thru 1983; and as President of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. for six terms, from 1980 thru 1986.

Other distinct positions held by the good Ambassador Benedicto in the government sector include his membership in the Cebu City Planning and Development Board in the City Government of Cebu from 1974 thru 1978; and as Co-Chair for the Cebu Host Council, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), specifically for the Senior Officials and Ministerial Meetings in 1986.

His rich experience in government service may also be gleaned from the various key positions he held under different Leadership and Administrations over the last decades. He has accompanied various State Officials in their Official Visits to the Philippines, among others, the late Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in his Official Visit to the Philippines in July 1986; the former Singapore Prime Minister H.E. Goh Chok Tong during his Official Visit to the Philippines in April 1991; and Republic of Korea President Kim Young-Sam during his State Visit to the Philippines in 1994. Conversely, he has handled various preparations for State Visits of former Presidents like the late President Corazon C. Aquino during her visit to Singapore in August 1986; former President Fidel V. Ramos during his visit to Singapore in February 1993; and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during her visit to Canada in January 2002 to name a few.

His Consular mission began around the mid-80s when he was appointed as Honorary Consul of Belgium, a position in which he served from 1982 thru 1986. Concurrent with this appointment, he also served as Dean of the Diplomatic & Consular Corps of the Republic of Singapore from July 1989 thru June 1993. This was followed through by a series of appointments as Chief of Mission & Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Singapore from 1986 thru 1993; as Chief of Mission & Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Korea from 1993 thru 1995; as Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Korea from 1995 thru 1996; as Chief of Mission & Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary to the Federative Republic of Brazil, concurrently accredited to Republic of Venezuela, Republic of Colombia and to the Republic of Suriname from 1996 thru 1998; as Chief of Mission Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary to Canada from 1998 thru October 2005; as Undersecretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs from December 2005 thru 2008; as Chief of Mission & Ambassador Extraordinary Plenipotentiary to Republic of India concurrently accredited to the Federal Democratic of Nepal from 2008 thru January 2010; and as Chief of Mission and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the People’s Republic of China concurrently accredited to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Mongolia from February 2010 thru April 2011.

Over the years, Amb. Benedicto has received several recognitions for his exemplary works as a public figure and a public intellectual. Among the recent accolades include the Most Outstanding Individual Award by the Cebu City Government given on February 24, 2010, for exemplary services as the country’s top diplomat earning the distinction as the longest-serving politically appointed Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of the Philippines covering Four Presidencies; the Grand Chamber Award of Distinction for his commendable leadership, integrity and service as a respectable diplomat in National & International Affairs by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry given on June 27, 2007; the Cebu City Council Resolution No. 05-1465 which recognizes his excellent record in diplomatic service and giving much pride to Cebuanos, enacted on November 23, 2006; the Outstanding Cebuano Award by the Province of Cebu, particularly in the field of Foreign Service, given in August 2000; and the Kwangwhajang Award, A Diplomatic Service Medal awarded by H.E. President King Young-Sam of the Republic of Korea given in 1995.

At present, Ambassador Francisco Benedicto is recognized by the Award for Promoting Philippines-China Understanding (APPCU) for his relevant contributions in opening and promoting amity and harmonious channels for trade and cultural exchanges between the Philippines and China. His vast experience in the fields of education, business and trade, and positions held in Government and Diplomatic Services undoubtedly enabled him to observe the needs of his own country keenly and to identify the opportunities available for its economy to thrive in the years to come through the support and cooperative ties with China.