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Marcos says deals inked during foreign trips starting to materialize

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said Friday the deals signed during his foreign travels have started to materialize.

According to Marcos, his administration already began to go into the details of the foreign travels, which were intended to attract more investors for the Philippines.

He had a meeting with officials from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Investment and Economic Affairs (OPAIEA).

"The purpose of the meeting was to put together all of the different commitments that we're given to us in the different trips that we've had. We started with Indonesia and Singapore and then until finally Japan," Marcos said in a video message.

"It's time for us now to consolidate all of that, we put it together and see what is needed for those projects to go forward," he added, noting that some of the projects could already be launched in the coming weeks.

In a separate statement, Marcos said: "I can already report that some of the MOUs that we signed in Indonesia and in Singapore, mayroon ng resulta (already have results)."

According to the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual has told the Chief Executive that a total of 116 projects worth US$62.926 billion or P3.48 trillion were generated from his foreign trips since assuming the presidency.

Pascual said the total foreign investments include the following: Indonesia, US$8.48 billion; Singapore, US$6.54 billion; United States, US$3.847 billion; Thailand, US$4.62 billion; Belgium, US$2.20 billion; China, US$24.239 billion; and Japan, US$13 billion.

Of the total number of commitments, US$4.349 billion or P239 billion have already materialized with the companies in various stages of implementation of their projects in the country.

Meanwhile, projects worth US$29.712B or P1.7 trillion have existing Memorandum of Understanding or Letters of Intent while confirmed projects worth US$28.863 or P1.5 trillion are still on the planning stage.

Marcos said there were still things that should be resolved, including rules and regulations that are not "investor-friendly."

"'Yung ating rules and regulation kung minsan ay hindi masyadong sympathetic sa mga investor," he said.

(Some of our rules and regulations are not sympathetic to investors.)

In October of last year, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Arsenio Balisacan said investment pledges made during Marcos' state visits could take time to materialize.

He pointed out that investors usually "do their work" to guarantee the benefits they would get from making investments to a certain country.

There had been criticisms on the President's frequent foreign travels, but Marcos defended his trips, saying that his participation and attendance at the events abroad would help other countries to "think" about the Philippines.

Marcos also said the public should look at the return on investments of his previous trips.

Marcos has so far went on state visits to Indonesia, Singapore, and China; attended the United Nations General Assembly in New York; and participated in the ASEAN 2022 in Cambodia.

He was also in Thailand in November for the APEC 2022 and in Brussels, Belgium for the EU-ASEAN Summit.

He also traveled to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum and had an official visit to Tokyo, Japan this month. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News