US-Philippines Society welcomes President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and supports the US-PH Alliance Agenda
US-Philippines Society Meeting with President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. in Washington DC
2 May 2023
The US-Philippines Society led by Co-Chair Ambassador John D. Negroponte welcomed President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr and the Philippine delegation to Washington during a substantive meeting on May 2. He opened the meeting citing positive reports of President Marcos’ meeting with U.S. President Joseph Biden the previous day.
President Marcos responded by describing the highlights of his White House meeting, noting areas of agreement providing a roadmap on which Manila and Washington can work together to further expand and deepen cooperation in a wide variety of areas.
“The strengthening and deepening of relations between the US and Philippines has certainly [been] a big step forward with all the developments that have been happening,” Marcos said.
“It has been terribly useful for us to talk about redefining our mutual defense treaty and this I think has given us the opportunity to layout as you say that roadmap for the economy and for another big issue in the Philippines – climate change and all the other big issues,” he added.
President Marcos said he was also pleased with the significant progress that both countries have made towards strengthening and further enhancing their security alliance.
“Yes now, prominent are the security defense issues, but if you look at what do we do in partnership, in coordination with the United States and there’s no part of — there’s no sector that isn’t touched by that partnership,” emphasizing the depth and extent of broad-based, modern bilateral ties.
President Marcos also noted the role the private sector plays in economic development and hopes to see more engagement involving both the government and the private sector, especially in mobilizing financial resources for investments in key areas.
The US-Philippines Society directors expressed optimism about the Marcos administration’s policies on opening the economy to foreign investors, measures to digitize government processes, and push for public-private partnerships.
IBM which is a longstanding investment partner of the Philippines was represented by Trade Policy Head of IBM, Michael DiPaula-Coyle. He stated, “Philippines is a major services hub for our global operations, so we support clients all over the world based on talent in the Philippines and we’re very, very bullish on your country and we are looking forward to working with your Government to invest in digitization. We think there’s a lot of opportunity and using digital tools to Improve government services for the population.”
“We’re also very heavily invested in helping grow your talent pool through skilled development programs. We’ve had a number of partnerships with the US government with your government to improve skills development, particularly in areas like cloud, AI and cybersecurity, where I think the Philippines has an enormous opportunity to position yourselves as a very competitive economy, particularly in the IT services sector. We’ve been a proud member and board member of US-Philippines Society for about 10 years now. We’re very excited to be here and really appreciate the support of your government in bringing more investment to your country,” DiPaula-Coyle added.
USPHS directors announced new initiatives on education and agriculture. Director Henry Howard pledged to extend a scholarship program targeting the poorest of the poor in Mindanao/Sulu by offering $1 million over ten years to provide a four-year undergraduate education at Xavier University in Cagayan de Oro, in addition to the $2 million already provided that educated 200 undergraduates over the last 20 years, he will provide another $1 million to educate an additional 100 undergraduates.
On agriculture, the Society will support implementation of Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Maryland and the University of the Philippines Los Baños to strengthen agricultural practices in the Philippines, through exchange of academic experts and the development of training programs, workshops, and conferences.
President Marcos thanked the US-Philippines Society for its advocacy in promoting broad-based engagement encompassing diplomacy, security, business and development, to strengthen the PH-U.S. alliance.
“Thank you all for the efforts you are making to promote US Philippines relations in all the different sectors. And this is precisely what we have been trying to endorse and promote since I came into office. I think that’s why we looked to the Society, to continue to play the role as being the foundation beyond the diplomatic side, beyond the government side, all the other sectors covered by the Society. And then, as I said, your advocacy will continue to bear fruit. I believe that this visit by the Philippine Government has made to the US government including the meeting with President Biden is a symbol of the strengthening and the entering into this cycle where the Philippines and the United States once again are working in close coordination with a very clear understanding of what we are trying to achieve together. And again, thank you all very much for what I can only describe as your love for the Philippines and your continuing, untiring work for the betterment of Philippines-US relations.”
In response, US-Philippines Society President Amb John F. Maisto thanked the President and cited the progress in the PH-US alliance, noting that “your visit, the joint statement, the fact sheet and what you have just said sets the table for the work of the US Philippine Society in the months and years ahead. Thank you.”
Joining President Marcos were key members of his cabinet, House Speaker Martin Romualdez, former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Amb Jose Manuel G. Romualdez. Private sector delegation members included Society Directors Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Enrique K. Razon. Amb MaryKay Carlson joined US-based Society members.