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Romualdez: House with PBBM on peace in Indo-Pacific region

May 1, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 196 views

THE House of Representatives, led by Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez, is fully supportive of the initiative of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. to push for the preservation of peace in the Indo-Pacific region.

The issue is one of the key discussion points in the meeting of Marcos and United States President Joe Biden.

“The House of Representatives stands solidly behind President Marcos in his effort to further bolster the long-standing relationship between the Philippines and the United States with the end in view of ensuring peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” Romualdez said in a statement.

The Speaker, who is still in US, was was among the Filipino officials who welcomed President Marcos on his arrival at Joint Base Andrews airport in Maryland.

In an interview with members of the Philippine media during his flight to the US, President Marcos said that in calling for the “evolution” of PH-US relations he seeks to clarify the role the US intends to play amid the escalating tension in the Indo-Pacific region.

The President added that in his meeting with Biden, he will explain that the principal interest of the Philippines is to preserve regional peace.

“Geopolitical tensions and apprehensions of possible hostilities in the region will have an adverse effect on our aspirations for sustained economic growth and prosperity. It is to everyone’s benefit to ensure that conflicts are resolved through diplomatic and peaceful means,” Speaker Romualdez added.

The Speaker flew to the US in mid-April to lay the groundwork for the visit of President Marcos by meeting with key US lawmakers to discuss further strengthening the security alliance and economic partnership between the two countries.

China has been flexing its military might in the region and expressed alarm over the Philippine government’s grant of US access to four additional military bases under the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

However, President Marcos assured Beijing that the additional EDCA sites do not constitute a threat to China, which has a territorial dispute with the Philippines and other countries in the region over maritime claims.

Marcos also bared that the Philippines has taken the first steps to establish a high-level communication line with China to prevent a repetition of incidents, such as the recent near collision between coast guard vessels of the Philippines and China in Ayungin Shoal.

Earlier, Romualdez also expressed confidence that the meeting between President Marcos and President Biden will deepen the economic and trade partnership between the two countries resulting in increased US investments in the country, as well as more jobs and business opportunities for our people.

In 2021, the US was the Philippines’ 3rd largest trading partner, top export market, and 5th major import source, whereas the Philippines ranked 30th among the US’ top trade partners.

The US was also the Philippines’ 5th largest source of foreign investments in 2021, notably in the IT-BPM, electronics, real estate, construction, and transportation and storage sectors.