Marcos invited in Egypt climate change conference

BBM mulls attending UN General Assembly; cites importance of meeting other world leaders

13 Jun 2022

INCOMING President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. is seriously considering an invitation to attend the UN Climate Change Conference’s 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 27) which will be held in Egypt this November.

Ambassador Ahmed Shehabeldin Ibrahim of Egypt invited Marcos during his courtesy call Monday.

“Today I had the pleasure to meet his Excellency, President-Elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and I submitted to him an official congratulations from the Egyptian President, his Excellency Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil El – Sisi… I also took this opportunity to extend the invitation of his Excellency…to take part in November COP27,” he said in a press briefing.

If his schedule would allow it, Marcos, a staunch advocate of protecting and preserving the environment, could attend the conference.

The meeting  could be the most significant as delegates are expected to tackle subjects designed to most effectively respond to the climate change crisis.

The meet will also primarily focus on implementation, with nations expected to show how they will, through legislation, policies, and programs, begin putting the Paris Agreement into practice, at home.

The ambassador further said that Egypt is also keen on strengthening relations with the Philippines by developing other areas of cooperation between the two countries, such as agriculture and tourism, as well as climate change response.

Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador Marat Pavlov, in a separate courtesy call on Monday, assured Marcos that Russia is willing to extend assistance to the Philippines with its energy resources amid the spike in oil prices due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“It is a sovereign period, we are ready to cooperate with the Filipino side, and to extend our helping hands, to satisfy the needs in the sources of energy,” he said.

Oil and gas prices have surged over Russian energy supplies and soaring inflation brought by the Russian-Ukraine war that started in February of this year.

Pavlov also conveyed Russia’s willingness to expand areas of cooperation with the Philippines.

For his part, the President-elect also said the Philippines will cooperate with the Russian Federation but he will maintain his independent policy in connection with the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

In a related development, Asian Development Bank President Masatsugu Asakawa also paid a courtesy call to Marcos and assured him of the ADB’s strong commitment to supporting his incoming administration’s development priorities.

Asakawa added that just as the ADB supports infrastructure investment, including projects under the Duterte administration’s Build, Build, Build program, supports agricultural development and food security, and invests in Filipinos’ welfare, the ADB will explore opportunities with the Marcos administration’s priorities on climate change action to support a resilient and green economic recovery, climate smart transportation, and continuing investments in education, vocational skills training, employment programs, health promotion, and social protection.

He also invited Marcos to be the guest of honor at the ADB’s 55th Annual Meeting in September.

Aside from the envoys from Russia and Egypt, Ambassadors Grete Sillasen, of Denmark, and Ilan Fluss, of Israel, also held separate courtesy calls on the same day.

Refer to: PCOO Secretary-designate, Atty. Trixie Cruz-Angeles (+63 992 275 8511)



6 Jun 2022

INCOMING President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos on Monday (June 6) met separately with ambassadors from Italy and different ASEAN countries during which they discussed expanded cooperation between the Philippines and their respective countries.

The ambassadors relayed congratulatory messages of their heads of state on his victory and affirmed their interest in improving bilateral and diplomatic relations between the Philippines and their countries.

Her Excellency (H. E.) Johairah Wahab and His Excellency (H. E.) Marco Clemente, Ambassadors of Brunei Darussalam and Italy, respectively, started the round of official visits for the day.

Afterward, Wahab, who is the Dean of ASEAN Ambassadors, led Thawat Sumitmo,  Charge D’ Affaires of Thailand; and Ambassadors H.E. Songkane Luangmuninthone, Lao People’s Democratic Republic; and H.E. Agus Widjojo, Indonesia; H.E. Phan Peuv, Cambodia; H.E. Hoang Huy Chung, Vietnam; and H.E. Gerard Ho, Singapore to a meeting with Marcos.

One of the areas for cooperation discussed was the Covid19 response, including an exchange of strategies in the economic and health sectors geared towards post-pandemic recovery, which had been one of the priorities Marcos mentioned in his campaign.

Marcos also mentioned the possibility of strengthened collaboration in infrastructure-building, citing the current cooperation of countries like China in the Build, Build, Build program of the outgoing administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

For his part, the Italian ambassador shared his plan on improving people-to-people cooperation by bringing the Inter-Milan football club to the Philippines through its inter-campus project in the hope of helping children in need through sports and promoting football in the Philippines, at the same time.

Marcos and the ambassadors also agreed to expand diplomatic relations, not only government to government, but also through corporate and the private sector.

Refer to: PCOO Secretary-designate, Atty. Trixie Cruz-Angeles (+63 992 275 8511)



4 Jun 2022

INCOMING President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. wants an assessment of the country’s competitiveness first before pursuing the ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement.

“Sa aking pananaw, let’s have another look at it… Anyway, sa RCEP, tingnan natin ulit what will be the effect, pag-aralan natin ng mabuti – if we ratify it now, what will be the effect on our farming community, our farmers especially?” he said.

Following the Senate’s failure to ratify the trade agreement before Congress went on sine die adjournment,  RCEP’s ratification or rejection now falls under the 19th Congress during Marcos’ incoming administration.

Marcos said RCEP is good as it aims to encourage trade and all great economies engage in the same.

He, however, pointed out that the state of the country’s competitiveness could be a stumbling block to the effectiveness of RCEP.

He explained that the agricultural sector should be sufficiently robust to take on the competition that will ensue with the opening of the markets.

“Ako, I’m a great proponent, a believer in trade. Walang yumaman na bansa na hindi maganda ang kanilang trade, meron silang manufacturing, meron silang ine-export , ” he continued.

” They (progressive countries) are very involved in trade. All the great economies in the past, 200 to 300 years, really became rich because of trade and commerce,” the incoming Chief Executive said.

But he reiterated that the country must first ensure that it is ready to compete with fellow member nations before entering in the pact.

He was especially concerned about the competitiveness of the agricultural sector and the local farmers.

“So, let’s have a look at it again and make sure na hindi naman malulugi ang ating agri-sector. Pagka niratify na natin ‘yan, dapat handa na ‘yung sistema natin na makipag-compete. Dahil kung hindi talaga makapag-compete, masasapawan sila, mawawala ‘yung ang ating mga local, ” he explained.

“Panay na naman ang import natin and we don’t want that. We want to beef up the agricultural sector. We want to have sufficient food supply for the Philippines in case of any crisis,” he continued.

The RCEP Agreement, which was signed by the Philippines together with ASEAN Member States, Australia, China, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand on 15 November 2020 during the 4th RCEP Leaders’ Summit, is the world’s largest free trade area in terms of global trade, GDP, FDIs, and market.

The Department of Trade and Industry highlighted the critical role of RCEP in boosting equitable economic growth especially for MSMEs, through the expansion of regional trade, services, and investment linkages.

The agency also presented the 4Cs in which the key benefits of RCEP for the Philippines can be summarized, namely: a) cheaper costs for sourcing key inputs of the manufacturing sector; b) convenience for businesses in trading with key FTA partners; c) competitiveness for Philippine industries; and d) complementation of existing government support programs.

During the campaign, Marcos proposed to revisit the country’s existing foreign trade agreements, especially those affecting agriculture, to assess if they are working out for the country’s benefit.

In the late ’80s, the Philippines implemented trade reforms that substantially opened up the economy.

Later on, the proliferation of regional trading arrangements worldwide and the rise of Asian bilateralism have prompted the Philippines to begin thinking about jumping on the FTA bandwagon.

But data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the country’s agriculture trade has been declining on an annual basis for the last decades.

Refer to: PCOO Secretary-designate, Atty. Trixie Cruz-Angeles (+63 992 275 8511)