PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will bring home $672.3 million worth of investment pledges from his participation in the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting and related activities in San Francisco, California last week.
In a statement, the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) said Marcos secured P400 million worth of investment pledges for the telecommunications sector; $250 million for semiconductor and electronics; $20 million in pharmaceutical and healthcare; $2 million for artificial intelligence (AI) for weather forecasting; and $0.3 million in renewable energy.
Marcos witnessed the signing of deals between various Philippine- and US- based companies in the sidelines of his attendance to the APEC forum.
Atmo Inc., the leading AI meteorology company in the US, signed a memorandum of agreement with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for the establishment of a high-resolution weather forecasting system for the Philippines using AI technology.
The Philippines also partnered with Astranis and Orbits for the establishment of internet satellites dedicated solely for the country. It is expected to boost connectivity in far-flung areas covering up to P10 million users in around 30,000 barangays.
The chief executive also announced that they are looking into forging an alliance with US technology giant Starlink to improve internet connectivity in the Philippines, following his tour to the SpaceX facility.
The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and the Ultra Safe Nuclear Cooperation (USNC) also signed a pact for the conduct of pre-feasibility study on Micro-Modular Reactors (MMRs) to explore clean and sustainable energy options in the Philippines, aligned with the administration’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase resilience to climate change.
The Philippines is also seen to have improved access to quality cancer care following an agreement signed between ACH Health and Varian Medical Systems for the establishment of first dedicated specialty oncology hospital in the country.
Marcos also witnessed the signing of a joint venture agreement between Lloyd Laboratories and US-based DifGen Pharmaceutic worth $20 million to boost the local production of medicines in the country.
Earlier, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said around $88 million worth of investment pledges from Marcos’ foreign trips are seen to materialize within 2023.
As of February, the Malacañang said Marcos secured a total of P3.45 trillion in investment pledges during his visit in Indonesia, Singapore, US, Thailand, Belgium, China and Japan since he took office in July 2022.
Marcos is currently in Hawaii for the last leg of his week-long official work visit in the US.
In his speech before the Filipino community in Hawaii, Marcos said he feels nostalgic.
He said he opted to drop by Honolulu before heading back to the Philippines to say hello to some friends and acquaintances there.
“So I said, we have to go down -- we have to land in Hawaii. I have to say hello to all our friends in Hawaii because Honolulu, Hawaii holds a very… The Filipinos and the Filipino Americans in Hawaii hold a very special place in my heart for all the wonderful experiences that we had here with our Filipino compatriots,” said Marcos.
“In behalf of my entire family, wala na ‘yung aking ama, but when my mother found out that I was coming to Honolulu, she said you make sure that you go back to all of those people who went out of their way to keep us comfortable, to keep us alive, literally alive,” he added.
The Marcos family was exiled to Hawaii after the family’s patriarch former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was ousted following the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution.
The younger Marcos recalled how they landed in Hawaii without anything and how Filipinos there assisted them and gave them everything, from clothes, appliances and other necessities.
“And that is something that I will carry in my heart, that the Marcos family will carry in our heart. We tell our children about this and how wonderful you all were to us in the time that we were here. We could not have survived that very difficult period if not for you,” he said.
“These are the people who kept body and soul together of the Marcos family. [cheers and applause] Ultimo… When I tell this story, people do not quite believe me. But I tell them, you do not realize how -- how close we became and how kind and how generous the people -- the Filipino Americans in Hawaii were,” he added. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)