Martin Philippine Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez and Speaker Kevin McCarthy of the United States (US) House of Representatives share a historic milestone during a meeting at the latter’s U.S. Capitol office in Washington D.C. late Wednesday night (Philippine time). Photo by RYAN PONCE PACPACO

ROMUALDEZ, MCCARTHY MAKE HISTORY

April 20, 2023 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 313 views

PH, US Speakers agree on better PH-US linkages, synergy, coordination, sharing of best practices at historic, fruitful meeting

WASHINGTON, D.C. – SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Thursday reported on the historic and fruitful meeting he had with his United States (US) counterpart, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Republican, California).

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Philippine Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez and Speaker Kevin McCarthy of the United States (US) House of Representatives agree on better linkages, synergy, coordination and sharing of best practices in legislation as the PH-U.S. partnership on military and economic security is expected to remain strong to further maintain peace and stability and promote prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. The meeting at McCarthy’s U.S. Capitol office in Washington D.C.was also attended by House Majority Leader Manuel Jose “Mannix” M. Dalipe of Zamboanga’s 2nd District, Deputy Speaker Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. of Pampanga’s 3rd District, and Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel “Babe” del Gallego Romualdez. Other members of the Philippine delegation include Navotas City Rep. Tobias “Toby” Tiangco, Agusan del Norte 1st District Rep. Jose “Joboy” S. Aquino II, House Secretary General Reginald “Reggie” Velasco, and House Sergeant-at-Arms PMGEN Napoleon Taas. Photo by RYAN PACPACO

“Our meeting proved fruitful as the Philippine delegation managed to impress on Speaker McCarthy the need for the legislative representatives of the two countries to ramp up discussions on how to further boost US-Philippine relations. Philippine-US relations remain strong. Our security alliance under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty is ironclad. Our economic partnership is robust. And the friendship between our two peoples is solid,” Speaker Romualdez said.

It was the first interaction between the Philippine and United States House Speakers in recent years.

He said they agreed on improving linkages and communication, synergy, coordination, and sharing of best practices between their institutions.

“We were thankful that the Speaker shared our ideals and agreed to continue similar discussions in the future,” he said.

The House leader invited his counterpart and the third highest-ranking US official to visit the Philippines soon and attend the country’s hosting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF).

The two leaders met at the US Capitol on late Wednesday night (Manila time), shortly before Speaker Romualdez flew to Boston to honor an invitation to Speaker before Harvard University officials, faculty members and students on Philippine-US security cooperation, and regional and domestic peace, stability and economic issues.

“Our message to the US legislators was clear. The US-Philippine relation is strong, and is reaching new heights and levels of understanding under the administrations of President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. and US President Joe Biden. Our defense and security arrangements are solid, and our bilateral strategic partnership is working. However, we also pointed out the need to step up bilateral discussions on economic issues to make the benefits of this dynamic relationship more tangible tenfold for our people. We need to strengthen not only our defense cooperation, but also our economic partnership,” Speaker Romualdez said.

Speaker Romualdez added that the Philippines under President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. “has reintegrated relations with the United States not only to provide peace and stability in our region, but also prosperity for our people.”

The Philippine Speaker was joined in the meeting with Speaker McCarthy by Deputy Speaker and Pampanga 3rd District Rep. Aurelio Gonzales Jr. and Majority Leader Jose Manuel Dalipe and Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez.

The other members of Speaker Romualdez’s delegation include Navotas City Rep. Tobias “Toby” Tiangco, Agusan del Norte 1st District Rep.
Jose “Joboy” S. Aquino II, House Secretary General Reginald “Reggie” Velasco, and House Sergeant-at-Arms PMGEN Napoleon Taas.

Speaker Romualdez reported that his group also had meetings at the US Capital with key leaders of the US Congress, including Majority Leader Steve Scalise, and Representatives Young Kim, Mike Rogers, Darrell Issa, Ami Bera, and Chris Stewart.

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