MANILA – The Philippine government on Monday welcomed the new initiatives announced by the United States to strengthen its partnership and alliance with Manila.
The initiatives, announced through a White House factsheet on the day Vice President Kamala Harris flew to Manila, cover climate change, energy security, food security, digital economy, the overall promotion of regional peace and stability.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said these initiatives represent concrete deliverables following the bilateral meeting of President Ferdinand R. Marcos and President Joseph Biden on the sidelines of the 77th UN General Assembly last September.
"The Philippines and United States agree on the importance of strengthening the economic security of the Philippines so that we might have the capacity to meet both our individual and collective challenges," the DFA said in a statement.
"We hope to continue the extensive bilateral engagements between our two countries with a view to achieving tangible, relevant and substantial outcomes in support of the economic development objectives of the Philippines," it added.
Harris is set to launch the following initiatives throughout her Manila and Palawan trip:
-- Energy policy dialogue, a high-level platform for the two nations to develop new forms of energy cooperation, including on short and long-term energy planning, offshore wind development, and grid stability and power transmission
-- 123 Agreement Negotiations for Civil Nuclear Energy Cooperation
-- Project to support critical mineral supply chains
-- Construction of a geothermal power in Mindanao
-- Opening of a US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) office to help US companies and financiers invest and support the energy and infrastructure needs of the Philippines
-- Indo-Pacific Smart and Secure Ports Development
-- Food security dialogue between the US Department of Agriculture, with participation from USAID and the US Department of State
-- Issuance of a USD20 million US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) loan to enable Agri Exim Global Philippines Inc., a local processor of organic coconuts into derivative products, to grow its processing facilities in the Philippines
-- Expansion of access to reliable and secure 5G networks
-- USAID support on the launch of the first Low Earth Orbit Satellite Broadband Service in Southeast Asia, in partnership with SpaceX Starlink
-- Providing digital opportunities to small businesses, empowering highly skilled workers, and investing in women entrepreneurs
Human rights, health security
-- US' plan to support the Philippines-UN Joint Programme for Human Rights
-- Elevation of the US-Philippines health security partnership, building on its more than USD46 million in assistance for the Philippines
-- Healthcare for Veterans
-- Program to combat the online sexual exploitation of children (OSEC) and support OSEC survivors in the Philippines
Harris arrived in Manila from Thailand on Sunday night.
On Nov. 21, the US vice president is scheduled to meet President Marcos and Vice President Sara Duterte. She will then meet communities and representatives of the Philippine Coast Guard in Palawan on the next day. (PNA)