Marcos-Biden meeting to bring ‘huge dividends’ for PH – Romualdez

Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Thursday expressed optimism that the forthcoming meeting between President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and United States President Joe Biden will ultimately pay huge dividends for the Philippines in terms of more investment opportunities and jobs for Filipinos. 

“The meeting between President Marcos and US President Biden will further reinforce the robust long-term bilateral relations between the Philippines and the United States, and I am confident it would redound to huge dividends for our country in terms of security and increased economic cooperation, among others,” Romualdez said in a press statement.

The Speaker, who is in the US, has waged a diplomatic blitz to help lay the groundwork for the visit of Marcos by meeting with American lawmakers to discuss ways of further strengthening defense and security cooperation and economic partnership between the Philippines and the United States.

Marcos is set to hold a bilateral meeting with Biden in Washington DC on May 1.

The two leaders first met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Sept. 22, 2022.

An official US State Department statement said during Marcos’ upcoming visit, “President Biden will reaffirm the United States’ ironclad commitment to the defense of the Philippines,” and the leaders will discuss efforts to strengthen the longstanding US-Philippines alliance.

For his part, Marcos said he would seek a review and assessment of the commitments under the 70-year Mutual Defense Treaty between the two countries, stressing that the alliance must “evolve” to address the emerging geopolitical realities, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region.

In addition to security matters, Marcos and Biden are also expected to “review opportunities to deepen economic cooperation and promote inclusive prosperity, expand our nations’ special people-to-people ties, invest in the clean energy transition and the fight against climate change, and ensure respect for human rights.”

“Security and stability are indispensable ingredients for continued economic growth and prosperity. An improved iron-clad alliance between the two countries would greatly contribute to the realization of President Marcos’ vision for sustained economic growth that would provide jobs and livelihood for the Filipinos,” Romualdez said.

As part of the defense pact between the two countries, the Philippines has been receiving substantial defense assistance from the US in terms of training and defense items and equipment.

From 2002 to 2021, the country received roughly USD1.8 billion for defense modernization, maritime security, counter-terrorism, anti-narcotics, anti-human trafficking, humanitarian assistance and disaster response and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear preparedness.

Romualdez likewise noted that Washington remains an important and strategic trading and investment partner of Manila.

In 2021, the US was the Philippines' third largest trading partner, top export market and fifth major import source, whereas the Philippines ranked 30th among the US's top trade partners.

The US was also the Philippines' fifth largest source of foreign investments in 2021, notably in the IT-BPM (Information Technology and Business Process Management), electronics, real estate, construction and transportation and storage sectors.

Romualdez also pointed out that the Philippine economy would profit from the expected assistance the US can provide the Philippines in combatting the effects of climate change.

Marcos earlier said his meeting with top US officials will also include discussions on “green bonds,” or financial instruments linked to climate change solutions and specific projects to help reduce carbon emissions.

“This would help in our efforts not only to improve food security but also in mitigating the effects of global warming,” Romualdez said.

Marcos will be in the US from April 30 to May 4 on an official working visit where he will also meet with members of the Filipino community, US legislators, major US corporations and business organizations.

His bilateral talks with Biden will be followed by an expanded meeting with key Cabinet officials.




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