Oliver Bugarin 1 0 0 5 min to read

PBBM leaves for state visits to Singapore and Indonesia.

First overseas journey since taking office, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. left Manila early on Sunday for state visits to Singapore and Indonesia.

At about 10:13 a.m., Marcos and his delegation boarded a chartered jet and departed from Pasay City’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.

Enrique Manalo, secretary of foreign affairs, Benjamin Diokno, secretary of finance, Alfredo Pascual, secretary of trade and industry, Amenah Pangandaman, secretary of budget, Arsenio Balisacan, and governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas are all members of his delegation.

The President was accompanied on his first international trip since taking office on June 30 by Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles, Migrant Workers Secretary Susan “Toots” Ople, First Lady Liza Marcos, and presidential son and Ilocos Norte’s 1st district Representative Sandro Marcos.

Indonesia will be Marcos’ first destination from September 4 to September 6 at the request of Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

In his remarks prior to leaving, he stated that he would be seeing Widodo for the first time to talk about the bilateral ties between the Philippines and Indonesia as well as the shifting geopolitical landscape globally.

According to him, he will be there when various agreements between the two nations are signed. These agreements will include crucial areas of cooperation like military and security, the creative economy, and culture.

The Philippines-Indonesia Plan of Action for the next five years commits our two countries to projects and activities covering the full range of our bilateral ties, he said in his speech. “Our foreign ministers look forward to signing the Philippines-Indonesia Plan of Action for the next five years.”

On the invitation of Singaporean President Halimah Yacob, Marcos announced that he would also be traveling to Singapore from September 6 to 7.

In order to reinforce their shared commitment to “deepen bilateral relations, explore alternatives for expanding our economic connections, and debate regional and global concerns,” he said he would be meeting with both Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Additionally, he will be present when various contracts are signed with Lee.

“Singapore was the top source of approved investments in 2021 and the top trading partner of the Philippines in Asean. Over the past 50 years, our economic cooperation with Singapore has advanced significantly, and there are still many untapped potentials on both sides, he said.

Marcos claimed he would find time to meet with “kababayans” in Indonesia and Singapore despite having a full schedule of engagements.

“I look forward to sharing with them our commitment and plans for strengthening the government’s efforts to protect the rights and ensure the welfare of our abroad Filipinos,” he continued.

According to Marcos, both state visits aim to maximize the Philippines’ potential for its thriving trade and investment partnerships.

He said that in order to increase investments and export customers and hasten the nation’s post-pandemic growth, meetings, business forums, and briefings on the economy will also be organized.

Speaking during a press conference on Friday, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ma. Teresita Daza stated that Marcos and his colleagues in Singapore and Indonesia would discuss the South China Sea and other important regional concerns.

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