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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Philippines now open for business, Speaker Romualdez tells envoys
21 March 2023 10:01:47 PM

THE country is now ready to receive foreign visitors, prospective
investors, and parliamentarians, Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez
said Tuesday.

He made the statement during a luncheon meeting with ambassadors of
Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF)-member-countries at Shangri-La
The Fort as part of the preparations for the APPF’s 31st annual
conference the Philippines will host in November this year.

“Our dear Ambassadors, please extend our warmest invitation to our
peers in your countries and let them know that the Philippines is very
much open for business, and we have a lot to offer,” Speaker Romualdez

“This year, 2023, in Manila, your parliamentarians will rediscover
another unique and rich culture, reflecting all three of our heritage
- our island nation ancestry, our deep Southeast Asian roots as well
as our Latin American kinship,” he said.

Speaker Romualdez also said that the House of Representatives approved
the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) and the proposals amending the
restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution to further
stimulate economic activities, create job opportunities, and provide
better health care services for Filipinos

“Two of our more promising initiatives is the Maharlika Investment
Fund (MIF) proposal and the efforts to amend the economic provisions
of our existing Constitution through a Constitutional Convention.
These measures, we at the House of Representatives believe, will help
create a more vibrant economy not only for the Philippines but also
for the countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, by reducing, if not,
totally eliminating economic barriers to investments. Indeed, there
are so much more to look forward to,” Speaker Romualdez said.

Speaker Romualdez cited the foreign policy declaration of President
Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that the Philippines “is a friend to all, enemy
to none.”

“Our country extends the open hand of friendship to our neighbors as
we host the Asia Pacific Parliamentarians Forum this year. We are
excited to have your legislators here. I am sure that the Senate
President shares this sentiment,” he said, referring to Senate
President Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri. The Senate President chairs the
31st APPF, with Speaker Romualdez as co-chair.

The House leader told the ambassadors that he is looking forward to
receiving and interacting with APPF lawmakers.

“Personally, I am eager to meet our counterparts from our neighboring
countries. I am quite partial to face-to-face meetings. I find it
easier to communicate, coordinate and provide support to each other
when we are all physically present,” he said.

He cited APPF’s important role in “serving as a platform where
parliamentarians from the Asia-Pacific can come
together to promote regional peace and security, sustainable
development and regional cooperation.”

“The recent pandemic has once again shown us how deeply
inter-connected we all are. It is certain that the pandemic is not the
last challenge that we will face as a region. Rather than build walls
that isolate, it is wiser to continue building bridges that foster understanding
and cooperation. In unity there is strength,”
he said.

He said that through APPF, representatives of peoples from the Asia
Pacific region could “engage with each other on equal footing,
bringing large and small nations, from four continents to a common

He thanked Zubiri and the Senate for leading the organization of this
year’s APPF annual conference.

“I look forward to seeing everyone at the Forum later this year and
working together to build a closer community of nations that advances
sustainable regional prosperity,” Speaker Romualdez said.

Among the ambassadors who attended the luncheon meeting
were those from Australia, Cambodia, Canada, China. Colombia,
Indonesia, Laos, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Singapore,
Thailand, United States of America and Vietnam; the Deputy Chiefs
of Mission from Japan and Korea; the Charge d’ Affaires from
Malaysia and Mexico; and the Honorary Consuls from Fiji,
Marshall Islands and Mongolia. (END)