Marcos touts P804 billion in investment pledges from state visits

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 08 2022 12:11 AM | Updated as of Sep 08 2022 04:35 PM

A handout photo made available by Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs shows Philippine President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. (R) waving beside Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan at Changi International Airport in Singapore, 07 September 2022. EPA-EFE/MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES
A handout photo made available by Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs shows Philippine President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. (R) waving beside Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan at Changi International Airport in Singapore, 07 September 2022. EPA-EFE/MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

MANILA (UPDATE)— President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on Wednesday announced that P804 billion worth of investments were pledged during his state visits in Indonesia and Singapore. 

Speaking upon his arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Marcos said the Philippines signed a total of 10 letters of intent and 12 memoranda of understanding in key sectors such as energy, e-commerce, technology, and agriculture. 

He said he also witnessed the signing of several letters of intent and memoranda of understanding from 22 Indonesian and Singaporean investors. 

"These investments if we put it all together value 14.36 billion US dollars or P804.78 billion Philippine pesos. This will support our country’s economic recovery efforts and create more jobs for Filipinos here in our country," Marcos said. 

"I actually have a more detailed breakdown of those numbers which we will include in the final report of the delegation to the country," he added. 

He also emphasized the importance of improving bilateral relations amid a time of "geopolitical turmoil and uncertainty." 

Leaders, he said, should put a premium on the principles of "unity, mutual respect, and sovereign equality" to "uphold peace and stability and an environment conducive to our continued national development."

"Ito po ang isa sa mga ipinangako ko nung nakaraang SONA [State of the Nation Address] at naisusulong natin ang foreign investment upang lumakas ang ating ekonomiya. Ang lahat ng ito ay para sa ating mga kababayan dito man sa Pilipinas o sa ibang bansa," he said.

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SINGAPORE

The government was able to get some $6.54 billion or P374.57 billion worth of foreign direct investments pledged during Marcos' trip to Singapore, a press release from the Office of the Press Secretary showed.

The breakdown of the pledged investments are the following: 

  • $5 billion - electronic tricycles 
  • $1.2 billion - floating solar to boost renewable energy resources
  • $200 million - in-country data center that aims to employ Pinoys in the information technology and creative sectors 
  • $10 million to $100 million - possible investments for marine renewable energy, water production, desalination, electric boats, and aquaculture.
  • $20 million - innovation platform for start-ups 
  • $20 million - investments for "women in technology"

The Philippines and the Southeast Asian city-state were also able to sign the following: 

  • MOU on digital cooperation 
  • Joint Communiqué on the Singaporean government's intent to hire more Pinoy health workers
  • MOU on data protection between the National Privacy Commission of the Philippines and the Personal Data Protection Commission of Singapore
  • MOU between the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and Enterprise Singapore to boost collaboration, business opportunities in New Clark City
  • MOU on water collaboration 
  • Arrangements between the two countries' armed forces on assigning a team to Singapore's Regional Counterterrorism Information Facility. 

These investments may bring at least 15,000 jobs to Filipinos, Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles said. Thousands of job orders are also waiting Filipinos in Singapore, Migrant Workers Secretary Toots Ople said. 

"Even prior to the President's visit, our Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) in Singapore had already approved close to 10,000 job orders with 5,000 jobs awaiting aircraft technicians in the aviation industry," she said. 

The job orders, as submitted supposedly by Singaporean employers, were broken down as follows: 

-Aviation industry - 5,000 aircraft technicians
- Medical industry - 3,000 healthcare workers
- Engineering industry - 1,000 skilled workers
- Education industry - 500 workers
- IT sector - 300 workers

INDONESIA

The Palace earlier said $8.48-billion or some P484 billion worth of pledged investments after his 3-day state visit to Indonesia alone. 

These are as follows: 

  • $7 billion in infrastructure for unsolicited private-public partnerships such as a C-5 4-level elevated expressway
  • $822 million in investments to textiles, garments, renewable energy, satellite gateway, wire global technology, and agrifood
  • $662 million trade value for supply of coal and fertilizer.

Philippines and Indonesia were able to sign $662 million worth of trade value for coal and fertilizer supply. 

Cruz-Angeles earlier said the investment pledges in Jakarta will provide at least 7,000 new jobs to Filipinos.

AGRICULTURE 

In recent statements, Marcos, who temporarily heads the Department of Agriculture, emphasized during his state visits the importance of the agriculture sector for Philippines' pre-pandemic recovery. 

He announced on Tuesday that Indonesia was willing to supply the country its fertilizer needs, some months after he said he would write to governments to secure the country its fertilizer supply. 

During his trip to Singapore, the Chief Executive said an "efficient and modern agriculture sector will ensure food security for all and reduce poverty incidence."

"As a critical driver of the economy, we will focus on agriculture as a strong driver for growth," he said. 

"We will also reinvigorate the tourism sector through massive investments in travel infrastructure and the promotion of the Filipino brand around the world," he added.

Marcos will embark on another trip to the United States in the middle of this month to make his international debut at the United Nations General Assembly, where he is set to address world leaders on Sept. 20. 

The President will "present the country's vision for the UN and our role in fostering international cooperation to address pressing global challenges," the Department of Foreign Affairs earlier said.