President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. (Screenshot from RTVM)

MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday (Manila time) expressed confidence that the Philippines would become a “moderately prosperous” country by 2040.

Speaking before the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Marcos said the Philippines remains “on track” to reach upper middle-income status by next year despite challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic and global economic upheavals.

He noted how the country has achieved significant strides in its path to sustainable development in the past three decades.

“With steady investment in food [security], public health, education, and other social services, we expect to become a moderately prosperous country by 2040. I am confident that we will achieve this vision,” he added.

However, he said the Philippines would also need UN’s assistance to achieve bigger goals.

“No nation stands alone. The achievement of our national ambition requires a global environment that creates conditions that allow all nations, including ours, to thrive in peace. We need the United Nations to continue to work. And we, the Philippines, are determined to be part of that solution,” he said.

Likewise, he underscored how multilateralism and international cooperation “make a difference” by citing how the Philippines donated to the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) Facility.

Marcos also noted how Filipino health workers were at the frontlines in many countries to curb the spread of Covid-19, risking and oftentimes sacrificing their own lives to save those of others.

Marcos said the nations’ leaders have the responsibility to “move” and “shape” global transformation.

“The future beckons and we can embark upon that journey as single nations or as a world in harmony. I say let the challenges of one people be the challenges for all nations. And in that way the success of one will be a success for us all,” he said.

He renewed his pitch for unity, this time, among nations.

“The peoples of the world look to their leaders, to us, to make into reality these aspirations for our future. We must not fail them. And if we stand together, we will not fail them. If we stand together, we can only succeed. Let us dream, let us work for those successes for all our nations, united,” he added.

Last month, Marcos said his administration's proposed national budget for 2023 worth PHP5.3 trillion is anchored on what he called the "Agenda for Prosperity" that aims to achieve medium-term macroeconomic and fiscal objectives.

Under the proposed budget, the Education sector received the largest allocation with PHP852.8 billion followed by Public Works (PHP718.4 billion), Health (PHP296.3 billion), Social Welfare and Development (PHP197 billion), and Agriculture (PHP184.1 billion).

Marcos' working visit to the US will be from Sept. 18 to 24.

On Monday (Manila time), he met with the Filipino community in New Jersey, and on Tuesday (Manila time) attended the New York Stock Exchange Business Forum. (PNA)