President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. arrived in the Philippines on Sunday morning after a six-day working visit to the US.
Marcos arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 at around 6:30 a.m.
He was welcomed at NAIA 2 by Vice President Sara Duterte who was the country's caretaker while the President was away, Armed Forces chief Lieutenant General Bartolome Vicente Bacarro, Philippine Army Commanding General Lieutenant General Romeo Brawner Jr., Philippine Air Force Vice Commanding General Major General Arthur Cordura, Philippine Navy Vice Commander Rear Admiral Caesar Bernard Valencia; Cabinet members; Pasay City Representative Antonino Calixto; and Pasay City Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano.
In his arrival statement, Marcos cited the achievements and activities during his trip to the US from September 18 to 24.
Marcos said he first met with the Filipino community in New Jersey and "their smiles, songs, welcoming took away the weariness of the 16-hour flight from Manila."
"I thanked them for the work that they do and their contributions to the Philippines, the community, and the United States," he said.
The main event of his trip, he said, is his delivery of the national statement during the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
"I addressed global issues such as climate change, rising food prices, rapid technological change, the peaceful resolution of international disputes, the need to protect the vulnerable sectors of our society such as migrants, and ending all forms of prejudice," he said.
Marcos said he also shared the Philippines’ experience in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao peace process, agricultural productivity, and human rights through the UN Joint Program on Human Rights.
“I reiterated the Philippines’ belief in the primacy of the rule of law, as embodied by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS,” he added.
The chief executive also recalled meeting with UN Secretary General António Guterres, on the sidelines of UNGA, where he stressed the necessary partnership between the Philippines and the UN.
“I expressed interest in enhancing our role in UN peacekeeping operations, especially in the areas such as the Middle East where we have a large concentration of OFWs. I also extended an invitation to the Secretary-General to visit the Philippines in the near future,” he said.
He also looked back at his bilateral meetings with several key leaders such as US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, where he disclosed his administration’s plan to address food and energy security, and climate change, among others.
He said the discussions were “very productive,” and his Cabinet members are now set to work to operationalize the areas of cooperation that they identified.
Marcos said he also met with several business leaders from various US companies during the trip, and they all committed to be a part of the country’s development and economic growth.
“Together, we will be working on addressing some of our key economic challenges, particularly once again climate change, food security, energy security, to name but a few. There will be, I believe, good news to share in the next few months, particularly in terms of their plans to expand and further broaden their investment footprint in our country,” he said.
“Our discussion with the US business community affirms the optimism with which international investors view the Philippines today.”
Marcos furthered that his keynote address at the New York Stock Exchange and at the Philippine Economic Briefing drew institutional investors, senior corporate executives, fund managers, and entrepreneurs.
“At these meetings, I shared with them our vision for the future and how important it was to address the key challenges that continue to constrain the development of our economy. I also informed them about how we intend to deal with some of the fundamental problems in our food, energy, and broader economic security,” he said.
“I also emphasized the importance of peace and stability in the region, and the important role of great powers like the United States, so that developing countries like the Philippines can have the space to achieve growth potentials,” he continued.
Marcos shared that ringing the closing bell on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange at 4 p.m. on September 19 was an honor for him.
He added that his delegation also hosted four roundtable discussions that dealt with key economic sectors like IT-BPM, digital infrastructure, global brands, industry, and infrastructure.
“We identified the opportunities and challenges to our achieving our common objectives of growth and development in various areas. I thanked them for their candid and constructive comments, and I look forward to working with them on the issues and agreements that we identified,” he said.
Marcos’ final activity before returning back to the Philippines was with the Asia Society wherein he had discussions with several leaders of the US business community on the state of the global and regional economy today.
He said he also delivered a public lecture, where he shared his views on the opportunities, threats, and challenges facing Asia and the United States, Asia Pacific Region, and the Philippines’ neighboring countries.
“I also spoke about my administration’s priorities and plans for the next six years. And the engagement with the Asia Society was a fitting end to a week in the UN and the United States that had one singular message: the time to invest in the Philippines is no longer just sometime in the future, it is now,” he said. —KG, GMA News