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Pinoy Abroad

Marcos meets Pinoy community in US, seeks their support for tourism

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) met with the Filipino community in New Jersey, USA, and urged them to support tourism and invest in the country.

Marcos addressed the crowd of Filipinos coming not only from New Jersey but also New York and Canada gathered at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, according to a report by Ivan Mayrina on GMA News' Unang Balita.


In his speech, Marcos acknowledged overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) for their sacrifices and contribution to economic recovery.

“Kahit nasa malayo kami ay pinapanood namin kayo, pumuputok po ang puso namin ‘pag nakita namin ang inyong ginagawa na itinataas at pinapatingkad ang pangalan ng Pilipinas sa buong mundo,” he said.

(We are watching all of you from afar and our hearts are overjoyed when we see what you do promote the Philippines to the whole world.)

Marcos also thanked Filipinos in the US as their remittances account for 40% of the more than $3.4 billion total remittances.

“‘Yung remittances na pinadala ninyo, alam ko ang iniisip ninyo ay tulungan ang mga pamilya ninyo. Pero kahit hindi niyo nararamdaman, malaking naitulong ninyo sa ekonomiya ng Pilipinas. At siguro hindi lang malaki ang naitulong, binuhay ninyo ang ekonomiya ng Pilipinas,” the President said.

(The remittances that you send, I know you're thinking about helping your family. But what you don't feel is that you are also helping the Philippine economy in a big way.)

"We have over 10 million kababayans all over the world, and as your President, I understand and know fully well the significant impact of the Philippine diaspora on our motherland, especially in terms of supporting our post-pandemic economic recovery.”

He also thanked medical frontliners for their heroism especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when they shone with their valuable contribution.

Marcos encouraged the audience to join hands in promoting tourism, invest in the Philippines, and visit back home to show the beauty of the country.

He said this would greatly help the economy recover, and this is one of the priorities of his administration.

Some 100,000 Filipinos are living in New Jersey, many of them health workers.

Working visit

The President, on a six-day working visit in the US, arrived in Newark, New Jersey on Sunday at 11:53 a.m. (New Jersey time).

The highlight of his trip is his participation in the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Marcos will be the first Southeast Asian leader to deliver a speech during the general debates at the UNGA on Tuesday, September 20, US time (early Wednesday, September 21, PHL time).

During his departure speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Sunday, Marcos said he will talk about his administration’s goal for economic recovery, food security, and agricultural productivity during the 77th session of the UNGA.

In the next few days, Marcos will also meet with various world leaders, business people, and potential investors and speak before economic briefings in New York.

"In the coming days, so besides the meetings with the political leadership, it will also be for potential investors, other business leaders dahil gusto natin para paahunin nga natin, para pasiglahin natin ang ekonomiya na makapag-invest at ‘pag nag-invest mayroong bagong negosyo. Kapag may bagong negosyo, may trabaho,” he said.

(In the coming days, so besides the meetings with the political leadership, it will also be for potential investors, other business leaders because we really want to revive our economy and court investors. Because investments mean new businesses, and if there are new businesses then there are jobs.)

“Para ipaliwanag sa kanila na ang Pilipinas, ganito na at marami kaming binago, marami kaming pinaganda para sa inyong pagpasok sa inyong investment sa Pilipinas at sa gayon ay baka masasabi natin na patuloy na papalapit na tayo doon sa ating pinapangarap na ang Pilipino ay hindi na kailangan umalis ng Pilipinas para maghanap ng trabaho,” he added.

(We have to explain to them that the Philippines has changed and we  improved many things to be ready for your investment in the Philippines, and so we can probably say that we are getting closer to our dream that Filipinos would no longer have to leave the Philippines to find a job.)

Marcos also expressed hope to meet US President Joe Biden and other heads of states in the UNGA.

“Our bilateral alliance with the United States is possibly as important and policy as there is in the Philippines. Our relations with the US remain strong, and I believe we will make them stronger in the coming years,” he added.

Among those who joined Marcos include First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos, Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez, Ambassador Antonio Manuel R. Lagdameo Sr., Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, and sons Ilocos Norte Representative Ferdinand Alexander A. Marcos III, and Joseph Simon A. Marcos.

The President was also joined by members of his Cabinet, including Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman, National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arce Balisacan, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Felipe Medalla, Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco, Public Works and Highways Secretary Manuel Bonoan, Transportation Secretary Jimmy Bautista, Department of Information and Communications Technology Secretary Ivan John Uy, Department of Migrant Workers Secretary Toots Ople, Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Presidential Management Staff Secretary Naida Angping, and Special Assistant to the President Antonio Lagdameo Jr.


Meanwhile, outside the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, some Filipinos staged a rally saying the human rights violations committed during the Martial Law years should not be forgotten.

On Monday, Marcos is set to have a business lunch with the US-Philippines Society, then give a statement at the New York Stock Exchange Economic Forum.

The President may also have bilateral meetings with other world leaders attending the UNGA.

Marcos will be back in the Philippines on September 24. —With a report from Giselle Ombay/KG/KBK, GMA News