Raising Awareness of Today's Philippines in the U.S.



A new decade of enriching PH and US ties
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The Trilateral Leaders' Summit with President Joe Biden, President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and Prime Minister Kishida Fumio in Washington on April 11 stood as a historic event that followed a series of high-level engagements among the U.S., Philippines, and Japan over the past year. Trilateral cooperation rests on shared democratic values and a commitment to upholding the rule of law to promote peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. The trilateral arrangement also reinforces publicly the Biden administration's emphasis on alliance building and its commitment to treaty obligations with both Japan and the Philippines. The summit underscored strategic foresight, mutual trust and cooperation in meeting regional security challenges.

President Marcos carefully articulated his policy statements and shared his views of the April 11 White House meetings during his address the following day at a formal dinner hosted by the US-Philippines Society and the Philippine Embassy. He noted that the Summit builds on robust bilateral partnerships and collective commitment to tackle pressing issues and enhance the well-being of citizens. The Joint Vision Statement released will serve as guide for trilateral cooperation on strategies that aim to bolster maritime domain awareness and foster Coast Guard collaboration, ensure a sustainable critical infrastructure, secure semiconductor supply chain, drive digital transformation, and achieve energy security.

The President stated that in a digital era "working with our allies especially Japan and the United States is necessary to protect our interests."

"Lessons from the pandemic and recent geopolitical developments compel us to secure global supply chains especially in the semiconductor industry where the Philippines is ready to participate and absorb the additional capacity necessary to future proof the semiconductor value chain," President Marcos affirmed.

Three major areas of trilateral economic cooperation include the Luzon Economic Corridor, as part of the Partnership Global Infrastructure and Investment-IPEF Investment Accelerator. In its early stages, the Investment accelerator will "develop investment approaches targeting key sectors, and as a new one-stop-shop will increase project-specific financing, upstream project development, and robust private sector engagement." Specific to the Philippines, the Accelerator will focus on high-impact and high quality infrastructure in rail, port modernization, clean energy, semiconductor supply chains, and agribusiness connecting Subic Bay, Clark, Manila, and Batangas.

Initial discussions led by USAID in Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) technology leveraging field trials in Japan and the Asia Open RAN Academy based in Manila will ensure "an open, interoperable, secure, reliable, and trusted information communications technology ecosystem in the Philippines."

Developing infrastructure for a sustainable critical minerals supply chain is another strategic avenue of cooperation. The Philippines' large nickel production and Japan's nickel processing industry and technical expertise complement U.S. energy transition goals.

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Advancing USA-PHL-JPN Trilateral Cooperation

Pillars of US-PH Alliance: Security and Economic Prosperity

US-Philippine Society Board Program in Manila: Turnover of Co-Chairs

New Members

Philippine Foreign Policy, Transparency in the WPS and National Security

The Philippine Economy: Prospects for Increasing Foreign Investments

Strengthening the Philippine Healthcare System

Tribute to Rear Admiral Dan McKinnon

Mission Report: Medical Assistance in Southern Mindanao


Video: President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. April 12 Keynote Address

PH-US alliance stronger with increased security, economic engagements — PBBM

Marcos: PH cannot be complacent despite ‘intensified’ US ties

President Marcos urges United States Congress to reauthorize GSP

Arrival Statement from Official Visit to Washington, D.C., United States of America 04/14/2024

US-Philippines relationship ‘at its best right now’


Photo: President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. delivers remarks at the formal dinner hosted by the USPH Society in his honor at the Waldorf Astoria Washington DC, 12 April 2024. Screenshot from RTVM live stream.

Security and Defense

In his April 12 keynote address to guests representing members of the diplomatic corps, government officials, business executives, and Society directors, President Marcos Jr. laid out his views on the importance of the PH-US security alliance and responsiveness to security challenges and unfolding world events.

"We are in a good place as far as our alliance is concerned. For me, this means that our alliance matters because our increased and intensified defense and security engagement with the United States means that we are significantly contributing to our country's ability to defend our security and address the threats in at least three ways: through the US assistance to and support for our Armed Forces modernization program. Second, through frequent joint exercises training resulting in enhanced interoperability and honing the skills of our two militaries; and, third, through increased deterrence by highlighting the strength of that alliance."

He added that, "the nature, the intensity, and the potential disastrous consequences of the security threats facing us today necessitate that we work harder and continuously improve. I am reassured though by the groundwork laid by our officials for the future direction of our alliance including the development of the Security Sector Assistance Roadmap as well as a signing of the General Security of Military Information Agreement both of which I am told are very close to conclusion. I am further reassured by the commitments made to me by President Biden and his officials that the United States will stand by the Mutual Defense Treaty which has been described by the President as ironclad." 

Reinforcing the defense and security alliance are this year's exercise Balikatan, April 22 - May 10, with participation of 16,000 troops, a combined exercise with Japan and Australia in the South China Sea, and monthly bilateral maritime cooperative activities. At the 11th Bilateral Strategic Dialogue held in Washington, April 22-23, both sides commit to establish the U.S.-Philippines Science and Technology Agreement; Roles, Missions, and Capabilities Working Group, dialogue on cyber-digital, space, and democracy, and countering foreign information manipulation.

Economic Security is National Security for the Philippines

President Marcos expressed interest in critical minerals as the Philippines aims to move up to midstream in the battery production ensuring sustainable extraction and reliable supply of critical minerals. Advanced nuclear energy in the U.S. as an important source of safe and reliable power can help the Philippines decarbonize and power industrial growth.

Following a successful presidential trade mission to the Philippines, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo commended President Marcos Jr. and his administration for good stewardship, commitment to economic prosperity and regulatory reforms to open key priority sectors including renewable energy, railways, airports, expressways, and telecommunications to 100 percent foreign ownership. The first trade mission generated over "$1 billion American Investments and concrete projects in the Philippines creating educational and career opportunities for an estimated 30 million Filipinos." Secretary Raimondo also held roundtable discussions with Filipino women business leaders and labor organization representatives.

"Our intentions and our interests are aligned and now it's time to execute. On behalf of the United States, I can tell you we will absolutely do our part and I have no doubt that under your leadership, Mr. President, the Philippines will do more," Secretary Raimondo said at the April 12 formal dinner.

US-PH Society Co-Chair Mr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala invited American business executives participating in business forums to "explore opportunities and solutions to support infrastructure in the Indo-Pacific Region's emerging economies," and the U.S. interest in partnership for prosperity "as a platform for equitable progress." Working in tandem with the US Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Embassy in Manila and the Philippine Embassy in Washington, Mr. Zobel offered assistance to American companies interested in exploring opportunities in the Philippines.

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Photo: The US-Philippines Society Board of Directors led by Co-Chairs Ambassador John D. Negroponte and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala with U.S. Ambassador MaryKay Carlson and Philippine Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez, February 27, 2024, Makati City.

A US-Philippines Society visiting delegation to the Philippines led by Ambassador John Negroponte completed a highly productive four-day mission to the Philippines, February 25-28, highlighted by a meeting with President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., and exchanges with key members of the administration, business and civic leaders. Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez graciously hosted the President and Society members at a working Welcome Reception February 25, and incoming Society Co-chair Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala presided over the 2024 board of directors business meeting on February 27, providing guidance for plans and programs in the year ahead.


Co-chair Ambassador John D. Negroponte (right) thanked outgoing Co-chair Manuel V. Pangilinan (left) for a decade of service and continued support as member of the Board.

Co-Chair Manuel V. Pangilinan (right) expressed support for incoming Co-Chair Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (left) at the Welcome Reception hosted by Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez.

Founding Co-Chair Manuel V. Pangilinan since 2012

Photo: On behalf of the Board of Directors, Co-chair John D. Negroponte extended heartfelt gratitude to President Emeritus and 2024 Carlos P. Romulo Award recipient John F. Maisto whose leadership style reflected a deep understanding of cultural sensitivities and insights into political, economic and social realities in both countries. He skillfully implements the vision and character of a bi-national organization.


The US-Philippines Society welcomes new Board members Marianne Hontiveros (CEO Advisory LLC), Sheila Tan Pascual (Philippine National Bank), George Drysdale (Drysdale Family Foundation), S&C Electric as a corporate member, individual supporters Stephen Bonner (Texas Instruments), and Mehul Shah (CollaberaDigital), along with support from Versar Global Solutions, I Squared Capital, and Strategic Staffing Solutions.

Philippine Foreign Policy, Transparency in the WPS and National Security

Feb 26 panelists, DFA Secretary Enrique A. Manalo and former Ambassador to the Philippines Thomas Hubbard provided insights into the Philippine foreign policy, developments in Northeast Asia and the South China Sea and update on the negotiations on code of conduct by ASEAN and China.

The Marcos administration's National Security Policy recognizes the Philippines as a maritime Archipelagic State. Maritime experts presented up-to-date depictions of maritime engagements and positioning of assets in the West Philippine Sea.

The Peace, Reconciliation and Unity Agenda focused on strategies to ending internal armed conflicts by delivering interventions to address the root causes and drivers of conflict. Significant peace dividends achieved and dismantling of militant groups are conditions that allow the AFP's shifting of priorities to meet external defense threats.

Senator Risa Hontiveros led a binational panel discussion of women leaders and drew on lessons-learned for women competing in legislative halls of government and global business environments.

Environment Secretary Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga provided an overview of the Marcos administration policies to mitigate impact of climate change and underscored the effectiveness of mobilizing the private sector for disaster response and resilience-building. 

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The PH Economy: Prospects for Increasing Foreign Investments

At the February 27 US-Philippines Society-led 2024 Business and Economic Forum held in Makati, experts discussed the challenges and opportunities in attracting foreign investments in the Philippines, that are critical to sustaining the growth momentum and attaining the status of an upper middle income economy by 2025. Professor Karl Jandoc, Head of the U.P. School of Economics discussed areas of improvement to enhance competitiveness. Former NEDA Director Karl Chua and AmCham’ Executive Director Ebb Hinchliffe offered their views on “what investors need to know,” with updates on government measures to cut red tape and streamline pathways for investors. In a keynote address, DTI Under Secretary Ceferino Rodolfo provided a briefing that spotlight strategic industries including renewable energy, green metals, electric vehicles including e-motorcycles.

Dr. Majah Leah Ravago presented a comprehensive overview of the energy industry and consumption patterns, with projections of future needs, especially for a growing middle class, and prospects for tapping alternative energy sources. Jason Lander, VP of S&C Electric Company briefed on latest innovations for upgrading and protecting electrical grids and restoring power distribution following natural disasters.

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Photo: USAID AA Dr. Atul Gawande (center) seated with moderators (to his left)URC President Earl Gast, and (right) USPHS Executive Director Hank Hendrickson, and Philippine Embassy DCM Jaime Ascalon who welcomed the roundtable participants to the Philippine Embassy Washington DC, February 12, 2024.

At the Feb 12 roundtable titled, “Strengthening the PH Health System,” renowned surgeon and USAID Assistant Administrator for Global Health Dr. Atul Gawande discussed key takeaways from his visit to the Philippines, Jan 29-Feb 1. He affirmed USAID’s support of the Marcos administration’s major policy and financing commitment to radically strengthen primary health system, capacity building and infrastructure at the community "barangay" level—the key scaffolding to enable longer life and better health for all Filipinos. Citing the Magna Carta of Barangay Healthcare Workers that is being pushed in the Philippine House of Representatives, Dr. Gawande described the bill as “a major step toward professionalizing, guaranteeing minimum payment levels, transportation and health benefits, providing access to internet and data when using electronic health records on the phone.”

Confronted with high cases of tuberculosis, HIV, and malaria, and other infectious disease outbreaks, USAID and local partners embarked on innovative approaches to case-finding strategies, expanding preventative therapies, and ensuring access to the care and treatment. Dr. Gawande witnessed frontline rural health workers in Bataan deliver services utilizing innovative technology that enable real-time encoding of patient records.

USAID has also deployed AI-based chest X-ray to detect and treat TB on the same day, a program implemented by URC in the Philippines. Between 2021 and 2023, URC screened 36,010 people and detected 396 TB cases using ultraportable X-ray coupled with AI-driven computer-aided detection that increased TB screening and reduced turnaround time in remote and disadvantaged communities.

The Philippines is one of seven countries in USAID’s global initiative “Primary Impact,” an effort to enhance the delivery of primary health care which aligns with the Philippine Development Roadmap’s core mission to provide comfortable and secure life to all Filipinos.  View photos


The US-Philippines Society hosted an April 4 luncheon tribute at the Army Navy Club honoring USPH Society member Rear Admiral Dan McKinnon who participated via zoom. The tribute was highlighted by the presentation of a Certificate of Recognition from the Philippine Embassy, a Carlos P. Romulo Award from the US-Philippines Society, and the naming of the McKinnon Ayta Training Center in Subic from SIPAG President Betty Fielder. Professor Erwin Tiongson provided historical context, including linkages to the ANC. Luncheon co-hosts Roberto Llames and Chris Decker led friends and family in offering tributes for Admiral McKinnon's remarkable efforts to enhance U.S.-Philippines relations, foster understanding of Philippine history, support for resiliency-building programs, displaced families, and indigenous communities. His legacy also includes meticulous research on the Bells of Balangiga that supported the repatriation of the three historic Philippine church bells by the United States. His many contributions during military service and non-profit leadership serves as an inspiration for positive change.

Photo: On behalf of his father who appears on screen, Dan McKinnon III accepts a Carlos P. Romulo Award presented by Executive Director Hank Hendrickson, April 4, the Army Navy Club in Washington DC.


A team of volunteer doctors provide treatment and care for children with cleft lip and cleft palate. Photo courtesy of Medical Mission of Mercy USA.

Over three thousand patients received free medical treatment and dental care provided by volunteers of the Medical Mission of Mercy USA during its 22nd annual medical mission in early February of this year. In hospitals and site facilities located in General Santos City and Lake Sebu, doctors and dentists performed surgeries involving cleft lip and cleft palate repair, hernia repair, hysterectomy, and also tooth extraction and filling, and medical consultation. We thank Mona Lisa Yuchengco of Philippine International Aid, RADM Dan McKinnon, Earl Gast, and other donors who supported the medical mission.

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