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

2023 QUARTERLY HIGHLIGHTS

A new decade of enriching PH and US ties
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2023: MILESTONES IN PH-US RELATIONS

Under the leadership of President Joe Biden and President Bongbong Marcos, the United States-Philippines alliance has strengthened as geopolitical risks, supply chain disruptions, and the Ukraine war threaten national security and economic stability. Following the resumption of Two-Plus-Two ministerial dialogue on April 11, both leaders met for the second time on May 1 during President Marcos Jr's official visit to the White House where President Biden reaffirmed the U.S. ironclad commitment to the defense of the Philippines under the Mutual Defense Treaty, America's longest standing defense treaty in the Indo-Pacific region. Driven by a shared vision of a free, open and prosperous Indo-Pacific region, common purpose for preserving a rules-based global order, and commitment to the socioeconomic wellbeing of Filipinos and Americans, they announced new initiatives and expanded cooperation covering a wide range of sectors encompassing defense modernization, interoperability, and capacity building, environment protection, critical minerals, civil nuclear agreement, water, high quality education, health, clean energy and digital connectivity. 


On May 3, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and President Marcos Jr. discussed planning, operational cooperation including modernization utilizing a Security Sector Assistance Roadmap, and accelerating combined maritime activities, such as joint patrols, to support the Philippines’ lawful exercise of its rights in the South China Sea. They also discussed close coordination with like-minded nations—including Australia and Japan—to strengthen shared principles. Earlier in April, the Philippines hosted the annual Balikatan exercises leveraging three EDCA sites with 17,600 combined U.S. and PH military troops and covering land, sea, air and cyber scenarios "enhancing capabilities in the areas of maritime security, amphibious operations, live-fire training, urban and aviation operations, cyber defense, counterterrorism, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness.


During his four-day visit, President Marcos Jr, and the Philippine delegation of business leaders engaged American businesses to expand operations in the Philippines citing legislative and major structural reforms undertaken to support an open economy and encourage more foreign direct investments into the Philippines in high-growth sectors such as agriculture, food security, clean energy, decarbonization of energy, transport, and industry, and digital infrastructure. The President's visit generated a reported combined investment pledges and USAID development initiatives worth over a billion dollars creating more than six thousands jobs. Business executives representing US global firms including Cerberus, Moderna, DuPont and Lockheed Martin visited the Philippines in May and will be followed by an agricultural sector business mission in September.


On the sidelines of a April 12 Philippine Economic Briefing in Washington DC, US-PH Society President Amb John F. Maisto noted the favorable sentiments toward the Marcos administration policies saying that "today’s reality is very positive for the Philippines in terms of attracting foreign investments. They laid out the policies, the geopolitical realities, the quality of the Philippine working population of young Filipinos who speak English and are educated well, are ready to be employed and trainable."

APRIL - JUNE 2023


2023 Milestones in PH-US Relations

Pres Marcos Jr.in Washington

US-PH Partnership and the Role of Private Sector

2023 Philippine Economic Outlook

PLDT Global and US-Philippines Society: Investing in the Philippines

Heritage Month: Philippine Historical Sites in Washington

125 Anniversary of Philippine Independence

Bangsamoro Families Celebrate Iftar

PH Clean Energy Transition




In the News


US-Philippines Society Vows Greater Cooperation in PH Economy and Development Initiatives


VIDEO: US-Philippines Society Meeting with President Marcos Jr


President Marcos: PH-US Ties Rising above "Turbulent Times"


US Global firms commit huge investments during back-to-back meetings with PBBM


Marcos: No sector that wasn't touched by PH-US partnership


Positively Pilipino | In Memoriam: Secretary Albert Del Rosario


PLDT Global and US-Philippines Society Foster PH Business Investments


US firms interested in PHL but want more conducive environment — Romualdez




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PRESIDENT MARCOS, JR. IN WASHINGTON DC

Photo: U.S. President Joe Biden welcomed President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to the White House, 1 May 2023.

The leaders announced new opportunities to deepen economic cooperation, invest in the clean energy transition, fight against climate change, uphold peace and stability, and ensure respect for human rights and the rule of law. The White House laid out new initiatives including the adoption of Bilateral Defense Guidelines, President Biden’s dispatching of a Presidential Trade and Investment Mission to the Philippines, the launch of an Open RAN 5G interoperability lab in Manila, and the establishment of a bilateral Labor Working Group pursuant to the U.S.-Philippines Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, and implementation of internationally recognized labor rights.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III escorts President of the Republic of the Philippines Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. during an Armed Forces Full Honor Cordon at the River Entrance of the Pentagon, in Arlington, Virginia, May 3, 2023. (U.S. Army photo by Henry Villarama)

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff welcomed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and First Lady Araneta-Marcos at the Number One Observatory Circle, U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C., 2 May 2023.

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee with President Marcos, Jr, U.S. Capitol, 3 May 2023.

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee led by Chairman Robert Menendez and House Foreign Affairs Committee led by Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) in a statement, welcomed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to the U.S. Capitol and thanked President Marcos, Jr. for the additional defense sites enabling opportunities to deepen military cooperation and capacity. U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) noted common interests including critical minerals agreements, nuclear energy technology, and agriculture that merit further engagements.

US-PH STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR

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. The Society cited positive reports of President Marcos’ meeting with President Joseph Biden and expressed support of the US-PH bilateral agenda. Initiatives were announced to expand and extend for 10 more years USPHS Director Henry B. Howard's ongoing four-year undergraduate educational scholarships to the poorest youth in Mindanao, technical assistance and exchanges in agriculture, investing in digitization of government services, and growing of Philippine talent pool.


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US-Philippines Society welcomed President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Philippine delegation to Washington DC., 2 May 2023. Photo by Presidential Communications Office

In his speech to American investors at the May 3 business forum, President Marcos, Jr. cited his administration’s trade and investment priority areas including the advancement of digital transformation of businesses in the Philippines to “foster competitiveness of the semi-conductor and electronics sector,” noting the vulnerability of the sector to disruptive technologies and the need for research and development. He also stressed the importance to develop sustainable critical minerals supply chain from the extraction phase of critical minerals and into vertical integration that would involve all activities related to battery production.


The President and his Philippine delegation met with various business groups including the US-Philippines Society and U.S. firms namely, NuScale (small modular reactors), Zero Motorcycles (electric bicycle, Carnival Corporation (cruise) and other cargo shipping companies, Moderna (health), Ultra Safe Nuclear Corporation (nuclear technology), Atento (Global BPO), Maxeon (solar technology), Analog Devices General Trias (analog, digital and software technologies), and Optum (medical).


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US-Philippines Society President Amb John F. Maisto, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and Amb Jose Manuel G. Romualdez, Blair House, 3 May, 2023.

PHILIPPINE ECONOMIC OUTLOOK: RESILIENT AND SUSTAINABLE GROWTH IN 2023

On the sidelines of the World Bank-International Monetary Fund Meetings and amid sentiments of moderate global growth, a April 12 Philippine Economic Briefing presented a resilient Philippines as a more attractive investment destination. Secretary of Finance Benjamin Diokno, BSP Governor Felipe Medalla, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, and Socioeconomic Secretary Arsenio Balisacan stressed the country’s rapid and sustained economic expansion at 6 – 7 percent, growing working-age population, and recent structural and regulatory reforms aimed at boosting business climate for international investors. Under the government spending priorities agenda and the public private partnership mechanism, opportunities in energy, logistics, telecommunication and water infrastructure were highlighted. They assured American investors of the country’s commitment to infrastructure development citing 3,770 infrastructure priority programs and projects in the medium term worth $317.49 billion including 194 Infrastructure Flagship Projects, approximately $165 billion in investments. 


US-Philippines Society Directors participated in the Philippine Economic Briefing in Washington D.C., with DTI Philippines Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo. World Bank Country Director for PH Ndiame Diope and IMF Deputy Director for Asia and Pacific Sandaya expressed optimism in the Philippine successful economic story and great potential, and encouraged by commitments to low inflation, fiscal discipline, macroeconomic stability, to continue structural and liberalization reforms, and opening to international trade to meet its ambitious agenda.

Executive Director Hank Hendrickson, DTI Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo, Director Earl Gast and Amb Thomas Hubbard, Washington, DC, April 12, 2023.

PLDT GLOBAL SEEKS INVESTORS

PLDT Global and US-Philippines Society commits to work on summing up the investment process in the Philippines to help potential investors set up shop in the Philippines. PLDT, for its part, hopes to become the business partner of American investors when they decide to locate an expansion in the country. The telecommunication giant would pitch its portfolio of telco assets, such as its data centers, network infrastructure and subsea cables.


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Charisma Torres-Eleazar (PLDT Enterprise Business), Amb John F. Maisto, Roselle G. Dela Cruz ( PLDTUS Enterprise), and Hank Hendrickson, Washington DC, 17 May 2023

HERITAGE MONTH: PHILIPPINE HISTORICAL SITES IN WASHINGTON

Celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) Heritage in the United States, the US-Philippines Society and the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC hosted a May 18 book event “Walking Through Philippine History in Washington DC,” . Read more

Amb John F. Maisto, Professor Erwin Tiongson, DCM Jaime Ascalon, Executive Director Hank Hendrickson and Vice Consul Mark Lim. Washington DC. 18 May 2023.

125TH ANNIVERSARY OF PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE

Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez and White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan led a ceremonial toast to celebrate 125 years of Philippine independence and more than a 100 years of friendship with the United States. In his remarks, Ambassador Romualdez who hosted the event, stated that “since the signing of the Mutual Defense treaty 72 years ago, the alliance has remained strong with both sides working together, addressing security challenges of today.” 


In response, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan who was Guest of Honor, relived the moment US President Truman pledged to Philippine President Elpidio Quirino at the signing of the Mutual Defense Treaty, August 30, 1951, saying that “125 years today is an important day for the alliance and friendship between the United States and the Philippines. 


Representing the US-Philippines Society, Co-Chair Ambassador John D. Negroponte participated in the ceremony. Read more

US-Philippines Society Co-Chair Amb John D. Negroponte, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez, and Hank Hendrickson, Washington DC, 9 June 2023

BANGSAMORO FAMILIES CELEBRATE IFTAR

In observance of the Holy Month of Ramadhan, more than five hundred Iftar meals and close to four hundred food packets were delivered to disadvantaged Bangsamoro families and fasting individuals in Zamboanga City and Basilan province, March 28 to April 8, 2023. The Bangsamoro community of predominantly Muslim-Filipinos remain optimistic despite hardships and challenges.


Funding of the program was through the generous response by US-Philippines Society donors including Henry B. Howard, Earl Gast, Leuterio Thomas Architects, and Philippine International Aid. Thank you! Read more

Volunteers distribute Iftar meals in Zamboanga, south Mindanao, Philippines

Families receive food packs and meals

THE PHILIPPINE CLEAN ENERGY TRANSITION UPDATE

Executive Director Hank hendrickson, Dr. Majah Ravago and WB Chief Economist Maria Vagliasindi, East West Center in Washington DC, 15 June 2023

Executive Director Hank Hendrickson moderated a June 15 forum organized by the East West Center featuring Visiting Fellow Dr. Majah Ravago's research on Energy Transition from a Developing Country Perspective. Dr. Ravago described a dynamic, efficient and least cost transition process from fossil fuel to renewable energy taking into account the social costs of pollution from coal generation. Citing related research, she projects the decline in costs of wind and solar power and costs to manage intermittency by addressing daily storage needs given seasonal and emergency demand for power.


In the case of the Philippines, Dr. Ravago discussed the unique challenges within the transmission grid systems in the three main islands, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The Philippines has enacted reforms including the opening of the renewable energy sector to foreign investors. Adequate financing and Investments on climate change innovations, development in transmission capacity and reduction of permit burden are necessary steps to attain the government's goal to provide affordable, reliable and accessible energy to consumers. World Bank Acting Chief Economist Maria Vagliasindi shared her views based on international experience and recommended differing policy mix depending on the state of development of a country.

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