Arrival Statement by President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. following his participation in the 77th Session of the UNGA and working visit to the USA

Location Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, Pasay City

Good morning everyone. Please be seated. It is good to be home, to see everyone all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed on this early Sunday morning. Nagising kayo nang maaga. Sorry na lang, but ganun ‘yung flight schedule namin.

Babatiin ko lang ang ating mga kasama, ‘yung ating mga Cabinet member na sumama sa Philippine delegation na nandito. Siyempre ang ating mga ibang Cabinet member na nagbantay habang kami ay nagba-biyahe.

Vice President Sara Duterte; [nandiyan ba si?] Pasay City lone district representative Antonino Calixto; the AFP Chief of Staff Lieutenant [General] Bacarro and major service commanders; at other distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen good morning.

I am pleased to report to you and the Filipino people the main outcomes and results of this working visit of ours to New York from 18 to 24 September.

My first activity upon arriving in the United States was to meet with the Filipino Community.  And their smiles, their songs, and their welcoming took away the weariness of a sixteen-hour flight from Manila.

And in our meeting, I thanked our kababayans who came, some came from Canada, some came all the way from Florida and I thanked them for the work that they do, and their contributions to the communities in the Philippines and in the United States.

I also, once again, expressed my respect and my admiration for their commitment to the future and welfare of their families, including those who are still back home here in the Philippines.

I also took the opportunity to share with them some of our priorities and plans under this administration and their important role in the work ahead. I also emphasized that by working together, we can build a better future for our country and our people.

At the main event of this visit to the United States, to New York specifically, was to deliver our national statement at the 77th session of the General Assembly on 20 September in the United Nations.

In my speech, I articulated the role we see for the Philippines’ working with the United Nations in building a brighter future for our people and a safer and more just world for us all. I addressed global issues that require a united global action, 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.

I also shared our experience in the BARMM peace process, boosting agricultural productivity, and promoting human rights through the UN Joint Program on Human Rights.  And 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.

I also met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, and we reaffirmed the necessary partnership between the Philippines and the United Nations. The Philippines is a founding member of the United Nations and I intend to strengthen this tradition of Philippine engagement with 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.

During the conference in the United Nations, I also held formal and informal bilateral meetings with leaders of our key partners, such as the US, such as Japan.  And I shared with them the priorities of the Philippines to work with them in addressing food and energy security, and climate change, amongst other many issues. Our discussions were very productive, and the members of the Cabinet will now work to operationalize the many areas of cooperation that we identified.

I met also with a number of business leaders from different US companies during the week. And all of them committed to be a part of our 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. Our discussion with the US business community affirms the optimism with which international investors view the Philippines today.

I also delivered a keynote address at the New York Stock Exchange and at the Philippine Economic Briefing, which 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.

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. It was thus an honor to ring the closing bell on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange at exactly 4:00 pm in the afternoon of September 19th.

Our delegation also hosted four CEO roundtable discussions that dealt with key economic sectors, such as IT-BPM,digital infrastructure, global brands particularly in garments and apparel, and of course, industry and infrastructure.

I was joined by the economic managers and other Cabinet members in brainstorming with these US companies, some already present and others intending to be in the Philippines.

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.

My final stop before returning home last night was with the Asia Society, where I had a roundtable discussion with a select group of leaders of the US business community on the state of the global and regional economy today.  After the discussion, I delivered a public lecture, where I shared my views on the opportunities, the threats, and challenges facing Asia and the United States, Asia Pacific Region and all our neighboring countries today.

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.

We in the Philippine delegation are one in our assessment that the work done in this trip serves as a good start for opportunities identified to be made into programs and projects to benefit the Philippines and our countrymen.

And so, the work continues but I am happy to report that we have had a very good and strong start to our efforts. Thank you and good morning. [applause]


— END —