Marcos vows ‘much better PH,’ urges Fil-Ams to come home

Mr. Marcos is warmly received by members of the Filipino community in Washington at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Washington — Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Tuesday (Philippine time) that his administration is working on measures that will ensure Filipinos who are working and staying abroad could return home and retire in the Philippines.

President Marcos made this announcement during his meet and greet with the Filipino community of Washington in The Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

The President is in the United States for a five-day official visit that aims to strengthen ties between the two countries.

“It’s my hope that some of you will come home for good and retire in a much better Philippines — a Philippines with better airports, a Philippines with better roads, better internet, better governance. That is my wish,” Mr. Marcos said in his speech. “And that’s why that is what my administration is working for.”

The President said protecting the welfare of the overseas Filipino workers is a priority of his administration.

“We are strongly committed to pursue the third pillar of our foreign policy, which is assistance to Filipino nationals,” Marcos said.

He also encouraged the children and grandchildren of Filipinos who are now residing in America to come home and visit the Philippines.

“Let them see for themselves what the Philippines is about, what is our culture, what is our history. I’m sure the first and second and third generation Filipino-Americans are more than happy to learn about their proud Philippine ancestry,” Marcos said.

“Sooner or later, we will be able to welcome you back home to the Philippines, especially those who have reacquired their Filipino citizenship,” he added.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday (Tuesday Philippine time) highlighted the importance of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in building the strong foundation of the United States.

In his speech during the dinner hosted by the Philippine Embassy for President Marcs, his official delegation, and US Cabinet officials at the Blair House, Blinken said: “Filipinos and Filipino-Americans are a fundamental part of the fabric of the United States.”

The US official also cited the role of Filipinos in international relations, citing one of his most senior officials in the State Department, Michele Sison, his assistant secretary for international organizations.

Blinken added that the Philippines and the United States forged a bond 70 years ago based on defense and security.

“And just last year, thanks to the leadership of President Biden and President Marcos, we have significantly strengthened our alliance. We’ve launched new initiatives together to create economic opportunities for Americans and Filipinos alike. Because last year, trade between our countries was worth more than $25 billion, a new record, and today President Biden announced that he will send the first ever presidential trade and investment mission to the Philippines,” Blinken said.

The US official also pointed out that the two countries have laid out plans to initiate new clean energy projects that will only increase power outputs “but also create good paying jobs for both our countries.”

Working with their Filipino counterparts, Blinken said they have taken steps to modernize security alliances “so that our forces can work even closer together despite natural disasters.”

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