BBM1 US President Joe Biden and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Photo from PBBM’s official Facebook page

PBBM to Biden: PH remains US ally, friend

September 23, 2022 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 92 views
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Speaker Martin G. Romualdez, and senior Deputy Majority Leader Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” A. Marcos III leave a hotel in New York City for the bilateral meeting with United States President Joe Biden this Thursday morning (US time). Photo by RYAN PONCE PACPACO

Marcos thanks US for ‘massive’ COVID aid; bares 8-point socio-economic agenda

NEW YORK CITY – PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday expressed commitment to improving ties with its longstanding ally, the United States, in a historic meeting with US President Joe Biden here.

“We are your partners, we are your allies, we are your friends. And in like fashion, we have always considered the United States our partner, our ally and our friend,” Marcos told Biden in a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Marcos noted the Philippines and the United States’ “very strong foundation of a very long relationship and strong relationships on various facets.”

He also expressed hope that the two countries can further strengthen their bid to maintain peace despite all the complexities that have arisen in the past few months.

“And I hope that we will be able to discuss further the roles that our two countries will play together and individually as we continue down that road,” Marcos said.

Biden, for his part, sought strengthened ties with the Philippines after what he described as “rocky times” in the past.

“The relationship between the United States and the Philippines, to state the obvious, has very deep roots. We’ve had some rocky times but the fact is it’s a critical, critical relationship from our perspective,” he told the Philippine leader.

Biden also noted that the Philippines was one of the United States’ allies to quickly condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“And we also thank you for your position on the war against Ukraine and — by Russia. And how it’s impacting energy prices and food prices. And we are working very hard to be able to do something about that,” said Biden.

Marcos thanks US for ‘massive’ COVID aid

Marcos Jr. on Thursday thanked the United States for its “massive” assistance at the height of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19 pandemic).

Marcos made the remark in his first face-to-face meeting with Biden in New York City, where the two talked about strengthening Manila and Washington’s longstanding alliance.

“Again, we would like to thank the United States for the massive help that we received during the pandemic. We had the provision of up to 35 – almost 36 million doses of vaccines very early on, ahead of some of the other countries. And for that, we are very, very grateful,” Marcos told Biden.

Marcos, who hailed the 100-plus-year-old relationship between the Philippines and the US, also noted the role of the United States in maintaining peace in the region.

“But the role of the United States in maintaining the peace in our region is something that is much appreciated by all the countries in the regions and the Philippines especially,” said Marcos. “We continue to look to the United States for that continuing partnership and the maintenance of peace in our region.”

Biden, meanwhile, said the foundations are strong in the US-Philippine alliance, “which is of critical importance.”

“And we have strong ties, including millions of Filipino Americans who are very proud of their ancestry and desperately want us to continue to have a strong relationship,” said Biden. “For decades, the alliance has strengthened both of us, I believe.”

Marcos met Biden on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, where the Philippine leader took note of the rich-poor divide and called for action on inequality and climate change.

PBBM bares eight-point socio-economic agenda

Marcos Jr. also on Thursday presented his administration’s eight-point socio-economic agenda aimed at dramatically cutting poverty incidence and elevating the country to upper-middle-income status.

“Our socio-economic agenda charts out the government’s policy and its different directions that will be used to tackle both near- and medium-term priorities,” said Marcos at the Philippine Economic Briefing here.

The President said his administration is ramping up efforts to address the impact of inflation.

“In the near term, we will address the impact of growing inflationary pressures due to rising global prices of key commodities such as food and fuel. We will ensure domestic food security by boosting local food production and continue the provision of targeted support for sectors most affected by the rise in fuel prices,” said Marcos.

Marcos also expressed confidence that the Philippine economy is on track to outperform its Asian neighbors.

“I thank you for your continuing interest in the Philippines, which we are touting as with great confidence as Asia’s fastest rising economic star,” he told American business leaders and investors.

In his six-day working visit to the United States, Marcos also met with members of the Filipino community to thank them for their support and contribution to the Philippine economy.

He also delivered a historic speech at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, where he raised urgent action on climate change and food security.