PH welcomes deeper relations with US

November 21, 2022 Cristina Lee-Pisco 234 views

THE Philippines welcomed the White House announcement on new initiatives to strengthen the PH-US alliance that will be discussed during the official visit of United States (US) Vice President Kamala Harris to Manila.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said, “the initiatives, which cover the core and cross-cutting issues of climate change, food security, energy security, digital economy, as well as the overall promotion of regional peace and stability, represent concrete deliverables following the bilateral meeting of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and President Joseph R. Biden on the sidelines of the 77th UN General Assembly last September.”

DFA said that the Philippines and the United States agree on the importance of strengthening the economic security of the Philippines so “that we might have the capacity to meet both our individual and collective challenges.”

“We hope to continue the extensive bilateral engagements between our two countries with a view to achieving tangible, relevant and substantial outcomes in support of the economic development objectives of the Philippines,” Foreign Affairs spokesperson Assistant Secretary Ma. Teresita Daza said.

She added, “It is important that our two countries work together to advance our shared objectives in the bilateral, regional and global spheres. The visit of Vice President Harris shall further strengthen our partnership, alliance and friendship.”

A senior US administration official said the US and the Philippines are initiating negotiations on a “123 agreement” to allow civil nuclear cooperation and to support expanded cooperation on zero-emission energy and nonproliferation priorities.

“Once in force, this agreement will allow US companies to export nuclear equipment, creating significant new commercial opportunities for our private sector, and of course, this will also help the Philippines develop its energy security and transition to clean energy,” the official said adding the agreement will help the US ensure that civil nuclear cooperation is protected against the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The US is committed to working with the Philippines “to increase energy security and deploying advanced nuclear reactor technology as quickly as safety and security conditions permit to meet the Philippines’ dire baseload power needs.”

“Such a deployment would support both energy security and climate goals, as well support workers and businesses in both countries,” a fact sheet from the office of Harris read.

Harris arrived in Manila Sunday night for a series of engagements, including meeting President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte. She is also set to visit Palawan.