PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. boldly declared that the Philippines will soon become a leading investment hub in Asia, given its solid reform agenda and consistent growth amid challenges that may hinder the country’s march to progress.
“A wealth of opportunity awaits you in the Philippines and we are ready to explore new horizons with your investments in the coming years,” the Chief Executive told business leaders, bankers, and investors during the Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) in San Francisco, California, one of his stops in his working visit to Los Angeles and Hawaii in the United States.
Sustainable growth, economic resilience
The President also had a meeting with Ambassador Ted Osius, President and CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council, where he pointed to the country’s vulnerability to the effects of climate change as one of the challenges facing the administration in its quest for economic transformation.
“It is the basis on which we have to act for the future, on which we have to design our systems. We have to keep climate change in mind,” he added.
During the panel discussion on “The Philippine Economic Development: Charting the Course to the Future,” Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah Pangandaman zeroed in on the Climate Change Expenditure Tagging (CCET)—the mechanism that monitors the scope and distribution of the country’s climate action by identifying adaptation and mitigation programs within the national budget.
“In furtherance of our goals for sustainability, we have allocated US$9.78 billion for climate change adaptation and mitigation, higher by 17.0 percent compared to this year’s allocation which was already higher by 60 percent than in 2022,” the Budget Chief said in her opening statement.
She added that the 2024 allotment is equivalent to 9.4 percent of the proposed budget, exceeding the country’s commitment of 8.0 percent share under the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.
American banks and companies likewise recognized the Philippines as one of the most attractive destinations for international investments given its sustainable growth and economic resilience.
In his welcome message, incoming CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Philippines Mike Samson shared how the Philippines’ unique story on sustainability is “a fitting backdrop” to the theme of the 2023 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Summit: “Creating a resilient and sustainable future for all.”
Stronger PH-US ties
Ambassador Osius also highlighted the multiple diplomatic engagements between the US and the Philippines in this year alone which “serve as powerful indicators that US-Philippine ties will continue to advance under the Marcos administration.”
“Speaking on behalf of American companies, we welcome this clear direction, this clear intention to deepen and broaden our alliance,” Osius said.
He also announced that the US and the Philippines are set to co-host the 6th Annual Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Manila, as well as the Presidential Trade and Investment Mission to the Philippines in 2024 that is meant to enhance US investments in the country.
Also present at the PEB were Department of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Eli Remolona Jr., National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan, and other Cabinet secretaries who joined the panel discussion on “Transformation of the Philippine Landscape through the Build-Better-More Program” and “Advancing the Future with lndustry, Technology, and lnnovation.”
The discussions were moderated by DBM Undersecretary Margaux Salcedo and Michael Paulus, Managing Director in Asia of Citigroup.
(PHOTO CREDIT: DBM Facebook page)