PH won't surrender territory for investments — BBM

BAGUIO CITY: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Saturday promised that the Philippines will not lose one inch of its territory even as the government “cemented” bilateral relations with its allies, and worked on securing investments for the country.

In a speech during the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Homecoming 2023 here, Marcos said that while the administration has been busy building ties with other nations, it has not forgotten the safety and security of the Philippines.

The President noted that the current operating environment is “uncertain and grows increasingly complex” and his administration has been working hard to steer the country to a high-growth trajectory in the past seven months.

“As we continue to develop our internal resources, we must pursue a path of prosperity that contributes to goals shared with the international community,” Marcos said.

“We have cemented our bilateral relations with our allies, with our partners, with our friends. And as we work on translating these investments into material benefits for our people, we must ensure that we continue to preserve the security and the safety of our nation,” he added.

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The President said the country has seen heightened geopolitical tensions that go against its ideals of peace and threaten the security and stability of the Philippines, the region, and the world.

Despite this, Marcos said that he would not give a single inch of Philippine territory to anybody — a similar declaration he made during his first State of the Nation Address in July last year.

“This country will not lose one inch of its territory. We will continue to uphold our territorial integrity and sovereignty in accordance with our Constitution and with international law,” he said.

“We will work with our neighbors to secure the safety and security of our people,” the President added.

On Friday, Marcos claimed that the memoranda of understanding signed during his 10 trips abroad have started to bear fruit, noting that his foreign trips have generated P3.48 trillion in investments thus far.

In a video message, the President said the administration has started to go into the details of his foreign travels intended to attract more investors.

Marcos met with officials of the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Investment and Economic Affairs, led by Frederick Go, which serves as a presidential delivery unit pursuing the President’s priority investment and economic agenda, as well as ensuring timely delivery of investment projects, trade agreements, and pledges.

During the meeting, Trade secretary Alfredo Pascual informed Marcos that his foreign travels resulted in 116 projects worth $62.926 billion (P3.484 trillion).

Total foreign investments committed during his official visits include Indonesia, $8.48 billion; Singapore, $6.54 billion; United States, $3.847 billion; Thailand, $4.62 billion; Belgium, $2.20 billion; China, $24.239 billion; and Japan, $13 billion.

Of the commitments, $4.349 billion or P239 billion have materialized, with the companies in various stages of implementation of their projects in the country.

Projects worth $29.712 billion or P1.7 trillion have an existing memorandum of understanding or letters of intent, while confirmed projects worth $28.863 or P1.5 trillion are at the planning stage.

The President said it is now time to consolidate all the investment pledges and determine what needs to be done so those projects can move forward.

“We’re moving very quickly to, as I say, make sure that while the Philippines is still top of mind of these investors that we immediately explore those opportunities and take advantage of the contacts we made during these trips,” Marcos said.