On his First Official Visit, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. Promotes the Philippines and Multi-faceted PH-US Relations
New York City – On behalf of the US-Philippines Society, co-host and former Ambassador to the Philippines Frank G. Wisner (1991-1992) warmly welcomed in New York Philippine President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr. and a distinguished delegation representing the Philippine government and major businesses at a September 19 luncheon in his honor held at The Brook Club. Representing Co-chair Manuel V. Pangilinan, Mr. Sabin Aboitiz shared a hopeful message for more business engagement and profound friendship between the two nations. Co-chair Ambassador John D. Negroponte, former U. S. Ambassador to the Philippines and to the United Nations, highlighted the importance of the President’s visit and participation at the UN General Assembly on September 20 and to continue a dialogue initiated on June 21 in Manila at a reception hosted by Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez.
President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. began his luncheon remarks recognizing “all the members of the US-Philippines Society, who have formed this great alliance system not only at the national level, but also at the personal and the commercial, the financial, the diplomatic levels through the time that the society has existed.”
The President who arrived on September 18 to address the United Nations General Assembly gave a preview of his speech at the UN emphasizing his visit’s “central purpose to attend the the 77th United Nations General Assembly where we hope to reintroduce the Philippines to the world, introduce exactly what is needed now, not only for the Philippines, but for the rest of the world, as we slowly emerge from the last 2 1/2 years and the crisis with the situation in Ukraine.” This will be the first in-person UNGA since the pandemic of 2020. Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez, the Philippine Mission to the UN and the Department of Foreign Affairs have planned a full week of meetings and events while the President is in New York City.
President Marcos Jr. continued to describe the Marcos administration’s policy undertaken during “emergencies” to address economic challenges by moving toward “a more open economy.” With the President were House Speaker F. Martin Romualdez along with Senator Mark Villar and top economic managers, including Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, NEDA Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, DICT Secretary Ivan John Uy, and Central Bank Governor Felipe Medalla.
US-Philippines Society directors from the Philippines: Ambassador at Large Jose E. B. Antonio (Century Properties), Enrique Razon (ICTSI), Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (Ayala Corporation), Doris Magsaysay-Ho (Magsaysay Shipping), Carlos Mendoza (JPMorgan Chase), and Gerardo Borromeo (Philippine Transmarine Carriers) representing Philippine businesses took part in the luncheon program to promote business engagements. Key sectors of the economy including finance, technology, energy, communications, insurance and more were represented by U.S.-based Society directors and guests, including notably former Ambassadors to the Philippines Thomas Hubbard and Harry Thomas and Society President Ambassador John F. Maisto. Honorary Chair Maurice Greenberg was represented by Richard Shaak, CEO of Starr Insurance Holdings, Inc.
The Philippines is America’s oldest security ally and partner in Southeast Asia. The President reiterated his position stating, “I do not see a future for the Philippines that does not include an even stronger partnership with the United States. Our formal partnership of 70 plus years in terms of the defense treaties will continue, must continue to evolve as the geopolitical situation changes.”
“In the same manner, our business partnerships must also evolve to take into account new technologies,” the President stated.
Looking to participation by U.S. partners to help accelerate economic growth in the Philippines, the President invited “our friends and allies in the United States to be a balancing and stabilizing force for rapid growth that we are hoping to see in the Philippines.”
In closing, President Marcos Jr. thanked guests and stressed the importance of strengthening business partnerships in pursuit of shared policy goals.