(Photos: screengrabbed from RTVM)
QUEZON CITY (PIA) -- President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Sunday evening announced that his five-day official visit to Tokyo, Japan has yielded around US$13-billion in investment pledges and create some 24,000 new jobs for Filipinos.
“Coming back, we have carried with us over US $13 billion in contributions and pledges to benefit our people and create approximately 24,000 jobs and further solidify our economic environment,” the President said upon his return at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City.
The Tokyo visit has drawn an “unprecedented number” of business delegates from Japan and the Philippines, making it historic for an official visit of a Filipino leader.
At least 240 Philippine companies and 1,300 Japanese firms, composed of 3,472 business leaders, registered for the meetings held, where a wide range of cooperation was sealed.
In a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, both sides have committed to further strengthen the strategic partnership between the Philippines and Japan and mapped out a transformative future-oriented partnership that is responsive to new developments.
The President also said that the visit strengthens the Philippines' defense and security relations with Japan and were able to cover important deals in the fields of agriculture, information and communications technology (ICT), and cooperation.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), for its part, expressed its full support to help address the wide-ranging development needs of the country especially in infrastructure. They hailed the signing of loan agreements amounting to ¥377 billion with the PH to provide Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans for the North-South Commuter Railway Project (Malolos-Tutuban) II and the North-South Commuter Railway Extension Project II.
President Marcos said that the completion of these infrastructure projects such as the Metro Manila Subway Project, and many others across the country are expected to translate to better lives for the Filipinos through improved facilitation of the movement of people, of goods and services.
Moreover, the country's delegation met with the Japanese shipping companies and received the assurance that they will continue to hire Filipino seafarers to man their vessels as they thanked the Philippine Government for supporting initiatives to improve the skills and expertise of the country’s sea-based laborers.
Japan, being the second largest maritime industry in the world employs a total of 31,673 Filipino seafarers. This number constitute 70% of the maritime crew of the Japanese ship owners.
Pres. Marcos and his delegation witnessed the signing of letters of intent on investment or agreements of cooperation between the Philippines and Japan governments and various companies. On top of the list is a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), signed by Trade Secretary Alfred E. Pascual and Nobuhiko Sasaki, chairman and CEO of JETRO.
The President met with the Imperial Majesties, Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako where he reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to enhance friendship and close cultural ties of the two countries.
On his meeting with the Overseas Filipino Workers in Japan, which is now close to 300,000 in number, he gave his assurance that his administration is working diligently to create more domestic job opportunities so that going abroad would not be the only option for them but a career choice.
He said that his administration is faithfully working on enacting policies that will forge partnerships that will make the economy more competitive and attractive to foreign investors and to entrepreneurs.
Present during the arrival of the President in Villamor Airbase, Pasay City are Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio, Exec. Sec. Lucas Bersamin, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez, Pasay City Rep. Antonino Calixto, Defense Sec. Carlito Galvez. Jr, Armed Forces Chief Gen. Andres Centino, Philippine Army Chief Gen. Romeo Brawner, Jr, Presidential Security Group Chief BGen. Ramon P. Zagala, DICT Sec. Ivan John Uy, DHSUD Sec. Jose Acuzar, National Security Adviser Eduardo Aňo, DILG Sec. Benhur Abalos, DOJ Sec. Jesus Crispin Remulla, DSWD Sec. Rex Gatchalian, and DOLE Sec. Bienvenido Laguesma. (PIA-NCR)