April Marie C. Dayap

A civil servant by heart, April Marie Dayap, has been actively engaged in various community works and advocacies to extend aid and support to fellow Filipinos. Born and raised in Davao, she completed her secondary education at the Assumption College of Davao. She has an undergraduate degree in Economics obtained from the Holy Cross of Davao College and a Master’s in Business Administration degree obtained from the Ateneo de Davao University.

She is a former city councilor who served for three terms and is now the Davao City Investment and Promotion Center (DCIPC) chief. DCIPC is the first investment promotion unit operating in the country, created through City Ordinance No. 2017 or the Davao City Investment Incentive Code of 1994. The Center is mandated to assist in the growth and development of the city’s economy.

As DCIP’s Head, April Dayap, who officially took over the office on July 1, 2019, plans to come up with a strategic plan to bring more investors to the city. She also vowed to develop a more aggressive investment promotion program for the city to become a foreign and local investment destination.

April Dayap served the City Council for 14 years. During her 14 years in public service, she was an ex-officio member, the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Federation president for five years, and a nine-year second district councilor. Since 2010, she has served as the City Councilor of the 2nd Congressional District of the City Government of Davao and the Chairperson of the Committee on Cooperatives and Peoples Participation. In 2012, she served as the Member Champion of the Kaya Natin Movement. During her term as councilor from 2013 to 2016, she served as the National Assistant Secretary-General of the National Movement for Young Legislators; and from 2016 to 2019, she became the Executive Vice President of the National Movement for Young Legislator until the end of her term.

Perhaps far from the knowledge of many Filipinos outside of Davao, China and Davao City established a partnership fifteen years ago. The partnership, referred to as the sisterhood cities agreement/pact, aimed at making Davao a chief trading partner of China mainly to boost its already thriving local economy. Among the first sister cities to partner with Davao was the city of Nanning in Guangxi, China, which was signed in 2007 by then-Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte. Later, Mayor Sarah Duterte-Carpio formally established another sisterhood agreement with Jinjian, Fujian, in 2018 to foster bilateral cultural and economic exchange and promote tourism between the two cities.

As Chief of the Davao City Investment and Promotion Center (DCIPC), April Dayap continues to forge closer ties with China through a new sisterhood agreement between the City of Davao and Chongqing City in China. Through her efforts and excellent performance and with the support and hard work of the city’s public officials, some Chinese Officials tagged Davao City as the best partner for trade, investment, and people-to-people exchanges. Davao and Chinese officials are also hoping to establish another sisterhood agreement between Sanya of Hainan and Davao City.

It is also worthy to mention that April Marie Dayap, in the performance of her duties as then-City Councilor and currently as Head of the Davao City Investment and Promotion Center (DCIP), has contributed much to the advancement of Davao’s and China’s bilateral relations, commerce and trade, friendship and mutual understanding. These efforts, which she earnestly began even when she was still in the legislature, have resulted in major partnerships and collaborations between China and Davao City.

She believes in the vision of her former Local Chief Executives, former Mayor and current Philippine President, Rodrigo R. Duterte, and current Mayor Sara Z. Duterte, in that she sees the relationship of Davao City with other sister cities in China as quite beneficial, not only during the economic boom but more so, in the time of health crisis like the pandemic. The sister cities supported the local government in its coronavirus (COVID-19) response, pointing out that the Chinese sister cities were very prompt in sending the needed medical and personal protective equipment.

This year, the Awards for Promoting Philippines-China Understanding (APPCU) recognizes all efforts made by April Marie Dayap, not only in serving as an instrument for the strengthening of the sisterhood cities pact between China and Davao but, more importantly, in facilitating a renewed view and appreciation of the Chinese people among fellow Filipinos. Like her former Local Executive Chiefs, April shares this same view that such openness to work in partnership with the Chinese is a key to the progress and development of Davao City and the Philippines in its entirety.