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US-PH Society vows greater cooperation in PH economy, dev’t initiatives following PBBM visit

USPS

An organization of prominent Filipino and American civic and business leaders on Tuesday vowed for greater cooperation and partnership in the development and economy of the Philippines.

The United States-Philippines Society, co chaired by US Ambassador John D. Negropotente, made the commitment following the group’s meeting with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. in Washington.

Negroponte said the Philippine leader’s visit to Washington last Monday laid the framework for the commitment of the group to support Manila.

“(The) President’s visit… sets the table for our work, of US-Philippine Society in the months and years ahead, thank you for that,” Negroponte told President Marcos.

Also known as The Society, the USPS is a non-profit, bi-national organization of prominent civic and business leaders of the US and the Philippines.

Former ambassador Negroponte co chairs The Society with prominent Filipino businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan.

The Society was organized in May 2012 with aim of enhancing and awareness of the profile of the Philippines in the United States in the areas of security, trade, investments, tourism, the environment, history, education and culture.

The group is a strong partner of the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. in organizing events that highlight the robust relations between the Philippines and the United States in promoting security, economic, cultural and social interests.

Negroponte noted the positive developments of President Marcos’ meeting with US President Joseph Biden last Monday.

Marcos, for his part, talked about his meeting with Biden, particularly on how Manila and Washington could work together to further expand and deepen cooperation in various areas that would be mutually beneficial to the Filipino and American people.

“The strengthening and deepening of relations between the US and Philippines has certainly [been] a big step forward with all the developments that have been happening,” Marcos said.

“It has been terribly useful for us to talk about redefining our mutual defense treaty and this I think has given us the opportunity to layout as you say that roadmap for the economy and for another big issue in the Philippines – climate change and all the other big issues,” he added.

‘Touched’

Marcos said he was also pleased with the significant progress that both countries have made towards strengthening and further enhancing their security alliance.

“Yes now, prominent are the security defense issues, but if you look at what do we do in partnership, in coordination with the United States and there’s no part of — there’s no sector that isn’t touched by that partnership,” he said.

Marcos also noted the role the private sector plays in economic development and hopes to see more engagements involving both the government and the private sector, especially in mobilizing financial resources for investments in key areas.

Marcos and Biden’s meeting capped the series of engagements taking place in both countries, including the 2+2 Ministerial Meeting that was held in Washington about two weeks ago.

Bullish on economy

As this developed, a top IBM executive Michael DiPaula Coyle said they are “very, very bullish” on the Philippine economy and looks forward to working with the government to invest in digitalization.

“We’re also very heavily invested in helping grow your talent pool through skills development programs, we’ve had a number of partnerships with the US government with your government to improve skills development particularly in areas like… AI and cybersecurity where I think the Philippines has an enormous opportunity to position yourselves as very competitive economy particularly in the IT services sector,” said Coyle, head of IBM’s International Trade Policy Government and Regulatory Affairs.

The USPS was represented by Negroponte, with Ambassador John Maisto as President of the group; Ambassador Thomas Hubbard as Board Member; and Hank Hendrickson as Executive Director.

Joining the President were Speaker Martin Romualdez, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual, Special Assistant to the President Secretary Antonio Ernesto Lagdameo, Jr., Communications Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel G. Romualdez, and Department of National Defense Officer-in-Charge Senior Undersecretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. | PND

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