SUCCESSFUL TRIP. President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. receives arrival honors at the NAIA Terminal 2 on Wednesday night (Sept. 8, 2022) after his successful state visits to Indonesia and Singapore. Marcos brought home around USD14.36 billion (PHP804.78 billion) worth of investment pledges for the Philippines. (Photo courtesy of Office of the President FB page)

MANILA – Speaker Martin Romualdez on Thursday lauded President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.'s back-to-back state visits to Indonesia and Singapore as "highly successful" and "very productive", bringing home around USD14.36 billion (PHP804.78 billion) worth of investment pledges for the Philippines.

Romualdez said the President has secured USD6.54 billion (PHP374.57 billion) worth of foreign direct investments from local business leaders in Singapore and some USD8.48 billion (PHP466.6 billion) worth of investment pledges and coal and fertilizer supply commitments from Indonesia.

“I congratulate the President and all Cabinet Members who joined his official delegation for a job well done. The four-day trip turned out to be highly successful and very productive not only in strengthening our bilateral ties with our neighbor-countries but also in attracting much-needed investments for our people,” Romualdez said in a statement.

He noted that the Singaporean business leaders who signed Letters of Intent to invest in the Philippines during the Singapore Business Round Table Meeting last Sept. 7 expressed interest in the following areas: renewable energy (floating solar) amounting to USD1.2 billion; blue economy (marine renewable energy, water production, desalination, electric boats, aquaculture) at around USD10 million to 100 million; innovation platform for startups at USD20 million; women in tech at USD20 million; data center at USD200 million; transportation (electric tricycles) at USD5 billion.

Romualdez said the investments from Singapore are expected to generate jobs for an estimated 15,000 Filipino workers.

“These investments mean thousands of new jobs for Filipinos here. Singapore officials also assured the Filipino delegation that their country is ready to roll out close to 10,000 new job orders for Filipino workers in Singapore,” Romualdez said.

Meanwhile, he said the memorandums of understanding and letters of intent signed at the Jakarta Business Roundtable Meeting on Sept. 5, 2022, include the following: around USD822 million in investments in textiles, garments, renewable energy, satellite gateway, wire global technology, and agri-food; USD7 billion in infrastructure for unsolicited private-public partnerships such as a C-5 4-level elevated expressway; and USD662 million in trade value for a supply of coal and fertilizer.

The investments from Indonesia are expected to generate at least 7,000 new jobs in the Philippines, he noted.

“Overall, it’s been a highly successful, very fruitful trip. Aside from the investment pledges, there have been several mutually beneficial agreements on bilateral economic, defense, cultural, and labor and employment cooperation with the host countries,” Romualdez said. “Thanks to the President, the Philippines is back on the map for investments and may soon fulfill its goal as Asia’s fastest rising star."

Upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 in Pasay City on Wednesday night, Marcos thanked the governments of both Indonesia and Singapore for the opportunity to reaffirm their friendship and explore avenues of cooperation that will benefit their respective countries.

“Indeed, my back-to-back visits to Indonesia and Singapore I think have been thoroughly worthwhile,” he said.

Although these investment deals were just the “beginning” of foreign investors’ interest to invest in the Philippines, he said his administration would work hard to bring the agreements to fruition.

He also said the government would "not stop" until the ordinary Filipino can feel these economic gains. (PNA)