Press Briefing

Press Briefing of Ms. Daphne Oseña-Paez with Department of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Teresita C. Daza

Event PCO Press Briefing with DFA

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: [Coverage cut] … is scheduled to go to Malaysia next week. To give us more details on the President’s state visit to Malaysia, we are joined by the Department of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson, Ambassador Ma. Teresita Daza. Good morning, Ambassador Daza.

AMBASSADOR DAZA: Thank you, Daphne, and good morning to everybody. Thank you for this opportunity to brief you on the forthcoming trip/state visit of the President and the First Lady to Malaysia.

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. and First Lady Marie Louise Araneta-Marcos were invited by the King of Malaysia to undertake a state visit to the country on 25th to 27th July 2023. During the visit, the President will have an audience with the King of Malaysia and a meeting with the Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, to identify new areas of synergy between the two countries. During the visit, the Philippines will also meet with prominent Filipino and Malaysian business leaders to enhance bilateral trade and investment and to explore economic opportunities for the Filipino people.

While in Malaysia, the President will have the opportunity to meet with the Filipino community living there and to personally inform them of his administration’s plans and programs for overseas Filipinos. This reciprocal visit between the leaders of both countries in 2023 is a testament to the reintegrated relationship between the Philippines and Malaysia. It is also timely, as the Philippines and Malaysia will mark the 68th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

This ends the release that we are having now, and I am open for questions. Thank you.

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Maricel Halili, TV5.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Hi, ma’am. Good morning. Ma’am, do we expect any bilateral agreements that will be signed during the visit of President Marcos to Malaysia?

AMBASSADOR DAZA: I can talk about the significance of the visit. And I think, as I mentioned earlier, during this meeting, he will meet with both the Malaysian King – the 16th King of Malaysia – and the Prime Minister of Malaysia, and he will pursue bilateral cooperation in priority areas that are actually in support of the economic agenda of the country, and that will include agriculture, food security, tourism, digital economy, and will also focus on people to people exchanges. But there will be new areas that will be explored, and this would include the halal industry and Islamic Banking.

We’re also expecting that the meeting with key Malaysian businessmen and business leaders will hopefully generate investment pledges from Malaysian companies. As you all know, Malaysia is the top 10 trading partner of the Philippines and the top 22nd source of approved investments in the Philippines in 2022. Malaysia also ranks the top 20 in terms of source of tourist arrivals in 2023. As expected, the President will actively promote the Philippines as an attractive trade, investment, and tourist destination.

MARICEL HALILI/TV5: Ma’am, may we know who will be part of the delegation?

AMBASSADOR DAZA: Thank you. Clearly, he will be joined by the First Lady, Louise Araneta-Marcos, and key Cabinet officials which would include, of course, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Cabinet members and secretaries from his economic team largely because there is an activity in terms of meeting with the Malaysian businessmen and all.

He’s also expected to bring a business delegation to Malaysia as part of his trade and investment promotion during the state visit. The final detail in terms of the list will come closer to the date and most likely, PCO would be the one to release that. Thank you.

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Okay. Eden Santos?

EDEN SANTOS/NET25: Good morning po, Ambassador. Is there any possibility po na ma-tackle or i-promote or kung ano iyong puwedeng sabihin doon sa Maharlika Investment Fund sa Malaysia po, sa pagbisita ng Pangulo, kabilang na rin iyong mga binabanggit ninyo pong Filipino and Malaysian business leaders?

AMBASSADOR DAZA: Salamat sa tanong. Yes, it’s very safe to presume and assume, it’s very safe to assume that it will maybe be raised and promoted during this visit.

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Okay. Kristina Maralit, Manila Times.

KRISTINA MARALIT/MANILA TIMES: Good morning, ma’am. Ma’am, last March, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim and the President both agreed to have a more in-depth talk with regard to the Philippines’ claim on Sabah. Would this be possibly taken up during the President’s state visit?

AMBASSADOR DAZA: I don’t have a crystal ball in front of me, and it’s very difficult to preempt the discussion, so I have no comment on whether it will actually be discussed. I think PCO would be in the best position to report after the meeting. There will be a meeting with the Prime Minister, and they will do their updates on it.

KRISTINA MARALIT/MANILA TIMES: Thank you, ma’am.

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Okay. Hannah Jane Sancho, SMNI.

HANNAH JANE SANCHO/SMNI: Good morning, ma’am. Ma’am, mga ilan na po ang mga Pilipino ngayon sa Malaysia?

AMBASSADOR DAZA: It’s difficult to give official estimates, but I’ll share the following that I have with me right now: In terms of the verified number of contracts of OFWs that went through the Migrant Workers Office in 2022, they have identified household service workers almost about 14,488 or say, roughly 15,000. And then when you have professionals about 300; highly-skilled – 700; semi-skilled – 800; general labor, some 260 or so in 2022. This forms part of some hundred thousand of Filipinos that are in Malaysia. But in terms of the exact number, we don’t have it. It’s usually an estimate that is given relative to Malaysia.

HANNAH JANE SANCHO/SMNI: Makakasama po kaya sa agenda, ma’am, any topic or discussion para po sa welfare po ng mga OFWs in Malaysia?

AMBASSADOR DAZA: He will be meeting with the Filipino community; that is one of the official programs of the President. And it is safe to assume that the programs of the government relative to the welfare, the promotion of the welfare of our migrant workers will be raised.

HANNAH JANE SANCHO/SMNI: Last na lang po, ma’am. Mayroon po ba tayong inaasahan na mga agreements na pipirmahan between Malaysia and the Philippines?

AMBASSADOR DAZA: Right now, I don’t have information on specific agreement that will be signed. But clearly, in terms of what will be pursued is something that I already mentioned earlier.

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Any other questions? I think we’re good. Short and sweet—one more, pahabol.

Q: Ma’am, do we have details na po who will be in charge, the caretaker, once the President leaves for Malaysia?

AMBASSADOR DAZA: I think PCO would be in the best position to answer this. The caretaker of our government, you mean?

Q: Yes.

AMBASSADOR DAZA: They usually announce it. They usually announce it closer to the date of the departure, yeah.

MS. OSEÑA-PAEZ: Okay. Well, this ends our press briefing. Thank you very much Ambassador Teresita Daza of the DFA. And thank you, Malacañang Press Corps.

 

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News and Information Bureau – Transcription Section