Marcos apologizes for voice during his closing keynote
MANILA (UPDATED) — President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. on Thursday said his trip to Brussels, Belgium to attend the ASEAN-European Union Commemorative Summit was successful, as he secured fresh partnerships and investment pledges.
During his arrival speech in Pasay City, Marcos described the summit as a "very significant development."
"This is not really surprising considering that in terms of geopolitical aggrupation, the EU and the ASEAN are two of the most active, best organized, and cohesive organizations in the world," said Marcos.
"To put them together is a very important partnership because it is servicing over billions and billions of people both in Europe and in the Asia-Pacific," he added.
He noted that European technology, coupled with Filipinos' talent, could help address key economic hurdles in the country.
Marcos also said he was glad that European ship operators committed to help seafarers' concerns with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) standards following the creation of an advisory body for this.
House Speaker Martin Romualdez earlier said that the government will sort out the issue within 3 months.
This affirms that the country is "considered as an investment" by the Europeans, Marcos said.
"We are considered by the Europeans as number two in terms of investor – the attractiveness next to Vietnam. So we are doing all right but of course, there’s room to grow," he said.
Video from RTVM
European companies involved in consumer goods, shipbuilding, and renewable energy have made a total of P9.8 billion investment pledges following his visit to Brussels. He added that firms there have expansion plans in the country.
"As a final note, I am delighted that my first visit to Europe, in Brussels in particular, which has the seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, and the European Council, is a successful one and I can see how the outcomes of my visit would generate opportunities for the benefit of the Filipino people," he said.
MARCOS QUIPS: MY VOICE WAS EMBARRASSING
During his return to the country, Marcos apologized for his voice during his closing keynote for the 10th ASEAN-EU Business Summit aired in the Philippines on Wednesday.
Marcos could be seen gasping for his breath and wiping his nose while delivering his speech. He earlier described his voice at that time as "strange and squeaky."
"Ang naging downside lang ay nakakahiya ‘yung Presidente niyo dahil noong nagsasalita ako papiyak-piyak ako na ano ganoon. Pero naintindihan naman daw nila," he joked.
"Sabi ko na lang sorry na lang dahil ‘yung mga winter ninyo hindi bagay sa Pilipino ‘yan kaya kako nagkaganito," he said.
Marcos was referring to his hoarse voice during a speech at the end of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and European Union (EU) business summit in Brussels, Belgium.
Romualdez confirmed the president had developed a cold amid the 0-degree weather in Belgium.
Marcos, who looked unwell during the remarks, was advised to rest.
At the sidelines of his arrival, Marcos said he is already feeling better after taking lozenges for his voice.
"Dati ang tibay ko sa ganyan, sa lamig. Pero ewan ko," he told reporters.
— With reports from Anjo Bagaoisan and Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News