Arrival Statement by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. following his participation in the 40th and 41st Association of Southeast Asian nations (ASEAN) Summits and Related Summits in Cambodia
[Please take your seats.]
I will just make a short statement about the trip that I just came back from. But I’d like first to greet — pinuyat ko lahat ang ating mga kasama sa gobyerno.
Nandito si Vice President Inday Sara Duterte. And I’m going to put somebody on the spot here. Our Speaker, Speaker Martin Romualdez who is celebrating his birthday as of 12 midnight tonight. [applause]
The members of the Cabinet who are here… Well, you see Secretary Ricky is looking a little tired. He’s been working terribly hard. Wala nang tulugan.
The members of the Cabinet who are; well, of course Pasay District Representative Antonino Calixto and Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano [I saw you. Okay, all right.]; Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Bartolome Bacarro; the Philippine National [Police] Chief General Rodolfo Azurin Jr.; fellow workers in government; ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
I am pleased to report that my visit to Cambodia for the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit was successful.
Just tonight before we left Phnom Penh, we met with the members of the Filipino community in Cambodia as the last event of the visit there.
I was honored to meet them, and I thanked them for their efforts and contribution to our nation’s progress and development, as well as that of Cambodia’s because they have been lauded by even the Prime Minister Hun Sen as part of the reconstruction of Cambodia. The Filipinos played a very large part.
Of course, I updated them on what is happening in the country right now, the programs, the policies of our administration.
And before that, we — I actively participated in the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summits and the Related Summits.
For me it was a very interesting experience because it’s the first one that I’ve been to. I’ve been to ASEAN Summits before but certainly not as President.
And it was — I can see the value of having these summits because although there isn’t a chance to sort of exchange views like possibly like we do. There is a very, very clear way of putting that… It is an opportunity for all the Member States and our Dialogue Partners, mayroon tayong mga — sa ASEAN may kinukuhang iba na kausap din na ibang bansa kahit nasa labas ng Asya. At lahat ‘yan — and to give their positions, which gives you a very good idea of where things stand, what are the concerns, what is the situation in other places, and all that.
And you, tayo sa Pilipinas, we also got the opportunity to put forward our position, our plans, and to find ways where we can help each other, where we can coordinate, and all that.
I think it was quite gratifying to see that there was a very large area of consensus amongst the ASEAN Member States. At ganoon pare-pareho kasi sa atin, ‘yung food supply, presyo ng fertilizer, presyo ng langis, iyon ang inaalala supply-side problems. Parehong-pareho sa atin.
Kaya’t sa — at saka bukod pa doon ay mayroong — nagkakaunawaan lahat ng Member States na hindi kaya ng mag-isa. Kailangan magsama-sama, kailangan magtulungan.
And so that is a — that is I think the most important takeaway from this trip for the ASEAN Summit.
And then there were Related Summits where I met not only with my fellow ASEAN leaders — we discussed ASEAN community-building efforts, pressing regional concerns and issues. These included the situation in Myanmar, the developments in the South China Sea, the fighting in Ukraine, the application of Timor-Leste for ASEAN membership, amongst others.
We also held Summits with some of ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners. The Dialogue Partners are ASEAN’s partners who do not necessarily belong to Southeast Asia or even Asia, but we consult with them, like the United States, like Australia, like New Zealand, Canada even. So that — these are who the Dialogue Partners are.
And we had special sessions just for them and we reviewed the progress of our relations so far, in the initiatives and projects under ASEAN-led mechanisms.
There was an exploration of possible new areas of cooperation with our Dialogue Partners. We exchanged views on regional and international issues.
We participated in a global dialogue which happened this morning with regional and international organizations and discussed collaborative efforts on a comprehensive post-COVID-19 economic recovery.
Nandoon ‘yung IMF, Klaus Schwab was there, the Chinese professor who gave us a briefing on food supply. So it was really very, very instructive.
And I am happy to say that when I went up and spoke to this international — the World Bank was there and I spoke to them, and it would seem that we thought in the same way that this is the direction that needs to be trod because that’s the way that will bring us to a better economic condition.
And so in all these meetings, I articulated our national interests and our commitment to working with ASEAN [and] our Dialogue Partners to find common ground to address the issues affecting our region and to strengthen cooperation.
I had bilateral discussions with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. I congratulated him on Cambodia’s successful Chairmanship of ASEAN this year.
I also had bilateral meetings with His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei, the President of the Republic of Korea, the Prime Minister of Viet Nam, and earlier today, the Prime Minister of Canada.
In these meetings, we discussed how we can deepen cooperation in key areas and we exchanged views on important regional and global issues once again.
I also met — we also had a Roundtable Discussion — a very — that was the first event with — organized by the Department of Trade and Industry.
And we are nurturing relationships. We talked about all kinds of subjects with these business leader[s]. They can open doors for our SMEs so that they can participate — even SMEs can participate in the foreign market.
I invited the business leaders to visit and have a look at what the opportunities that they might find in the Philippines, arising from the process of transforming the economy, given that it seems our direction for post-pandemic recovery is bearing fruit. Now I jinxed it, haven’t I? [laughter]
Our discussions touched on collaboration on specific sectors such as food processing, energy, housing, medical care, the manufacture of garments [and] bags, education, [and] training.
We also — we constantly, constantly came back to the subject of food security to see where the private sector can contribute on ensuring that we have a sufficient food supply at prices that ordinary Filipinos can afford.
I wish to thank all our Cabinet Ministers. Kasama natin si Secretary Ricky, si Secretary Erwin, Secretary Naids. They were quite overworked throughout the whole time. But that’s what it takes to have a fruitful time in our Summit with the ASEAN.
Our Secretaries were ably represented their respective sectors during the Summits and the Philippine Embassy in Phnom Penh, I like to thank them as well, for all the work that they put in to lay the groundwork and to support us while we were there.
I thank also the Cambodian government because they extended a very warm welcome and exhibited some very fine hospitality to the Philippine delegation.
We look forward now to working with Indonesia, as they are the incoming Chair of ASEAN next year.
Maraming, maraming salamat po! Magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat at mabuhay po ang Pilipinas. [applause]
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