PBBM sees US trip as beneficial, productive

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. left Manila on Sunday for New York, where he will highlight the country’s thrust for economic recovery at a speech before the 77th United Nations General Assembly and seek more private-public partnership (PPP) agreements in a number of business meetings.

BOUND FOR THE BIG APPLE. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., escorted by AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Bartolome Bacarro, troops the line during his departure at the NAIA Terminal 2 on Sunday morning to attend the UN General Assembly in New York. Revoli Cortez

In his departure message, Marcos said his address covers the Philippines’ vision of people-centered development, and highlights his administration’s thrust for economic recovery, food security and agricultural productivity.

“We affirm the country’s commitment to the ideals of the UN, citing its contributions to peaceful settlement of disputes and of international law and highlighting the importance of the UN in fostering international dialogue and cooperation,” Marcos said.

Marcos’ speech will also outline the country’s expectations of the UN and the work ahead, as well as “the role our country will play and our contributions to strengthening the international system.”

“The UN is where the countries of the world congregate to discuss the most pressing challenges facing our people. Thus, it is important for us to participate in the General Assembly and to make certain that our voice is heard,” Marcos said.

During his visit, the President will meet UN Secretary-General António Guterres and vital partners of the Philippines.

Marcos said he would discuss with them the opportunities for more robust cooperation in food security, agriculture, renewable energy and climate change, which are among his administration’s key priorities.

He is also set to participate in business activities to seal more partnerships to promote the country’s economic and sustainable development.

“I will be joined in these meetings by key private sector representatives who have been and will continue to be our partners in this endeavor. More vibrant PPPs will allow us to achieve the better normal that we all aspire for,” Marcos said.

The President is also scheduled to meet with the Filipino community at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Sunday.

The 77th UNGA carries the theme, “A watershed moment: Transformative solutions to interlocking challenges,” which seeks to address unprecedented global trends, such as the pandemic and climate change.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez, who is part of the President’s contingent, said he has high hopes for the success of the visit, coming as it does after the President’s recent successful trip to Indonesia and Singapore that resulted in over $14 billion in supply and investment pledges from Indonesian and Singaporean businesses.

“I expect the US visit to reap a lot of benefits for our country and the more than 4 million Filipinos and Filipino-Americans living or working in America,” he said.

He said the US is also a significant source of investments.

“After all, the US is the Philippines’ major trading and economic cooperation partner and ally,” he said.

The US is also the biggest source of remittances from overseas Filipino workers and Filipino-Americans, he added.

“They contribute a significant part to the amount of foreign exchange our country and economy need each year, and especially this year when we are recovering from the crippling COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

According to the latest Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas report, remittances from Filipinos working abroad increased by 2.3 percent year-on-year to reach $3.24 billion in July from $3.17 billion in the same month of 2021.

The United States remained the biggest source of cash remittances, followed by Singapore and Saudi Arabia.

Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio has been named as the country’s caretaker during the President’s trip.

She was also designated the officer-in-charge when Mr. Marcos visited Indonesia and Singapore earlier this month.

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