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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

21 November 2022 05:40:29 PM

Speaker Martin G. Romualdez on Monday welcomed the visit of US Vice President Kamala Harris to the country, saying it would serve to bolster the long-standing security alliance and economic relations between the United States (US) and the Philippines.

Harris, accompanied by her husband, lawyer Doug Emhoff, touched down at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport around 6:55 pm Sunday on board Air Force 2 aircraft.

“The visit of US Vice President Kamala Harris is a welcome development as it would serve to reinforce the enduring alliance, partnership, and friendship between the Philippines and the United States,” Romualdez said.

Romualdez was among the Philippine government officials who welcomed Harris when she arrived in Malacanang for her meeting with President Ferdinand "Bongbong" R. Marcos Jr. on Monday.

Among others, he said the meeting between Harris and President Marcos could enhance the PH-US bilateral alliance.

On Sunday, the White House issued a statement, reiterating that “the U.S. commitment to the defense of the Philippines is ironclad.”

“I am confident that President Marcos will assess any possible new security arrangements with Washington with our national interest as the paramount consideration and consistent with his foreign policy of being ‘friend to all and enemy to none,” Romualdez said.

“The discussions between President Marcos and Vice President Harris could also help advance our continuing efforts to modernize our Armed Forces,” Romualdez added.

Apart from defense and security cooperation, Romualdez said the visit of Harris augurs well for the economic and trade partnership between the two countries.

In the same statement from the White House, the US said it is committed to strengthening its economic and investment relationship with the Philippines.

Among others, the statement said that in her travels to the Philippines, Harris will launch initiatives in various areas, including climate action and energy security, food security, and digitalization, among others.

Romualdez noted that these initiatives touch on the same critical issues of global concern that President Marcos raised during his participation in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Bangkok, Thailand.

“The APEC leaders and President Marcos share the common view that they must put top priority in addressing these global problems. I believe it would not be difficult for the President and Vice President Harris to agree on areas of cooperation on these matters,” Romualdez said.

“The House of Representatives supports the implementation of these mutually-beneficial initiatives with the passage of appropriate legislations, should it be necessary,” he added.

President Marcos and Harris, who represented the US, met during the APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

Romualdez was part of the official delegation accompanying President Marcos to the APEC Summit.(END)