Q: Sir, good evening. What are your top priority outcome from this trip po?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Oh, marami tayong gustong gawin. We want to engage --- firstly, on the economic level and in terms of --- again our priority sectors, agriculture, power, infrastructure, all of these new technologies that we are --- we have been discussing. There’s even the proposal for, again, the battery technologies to come to the Philippines.
All of these things --- that’s on the economic level. On the financial level, I guess what we --- I’m sorry on the political level, it will still be centered around the relationship between the Philippines and the United States.
As we all know, I always talk about evolving that relationship and that just means --- what is their view of the situation in the Indo-Pacific region, how do they feel it will develop and what part today the United States intend to play.
And again, to put our position forward, and to say that it --- kami wala kaming interes kung hindi maging peaceful lang ang region namin. Talagang hindi magka-problema ang mga Pilipino, ‘yun lang naman ang habol natin. Wala naman tayong interes na pumunta --- magpalawak ng territory. So wala sa position ng Pilipino ‘yung tungkol diyan.
And so we’ll just --- I suppose put our positions --- make our positions clear to everybody for both sides para naman we know how to proceed because then --- again, we’ll talk about the technical aspects of that. Marami pa ‘yan.
On the, again, the economic side, we will have to go into detail or meeting with many of the big companies who we were not able to see in the other trips, ‘yung sa New York at saka ‘yung sa Davos. But ngayon, mayroon pa tayong maka-meeting.
Again, to show them what the situation is in the Philippines and hopefully for them to bring investment to our country.
Q: Sir, are you in favor of --- na ibalik po ‘yung mandatory na pagsusuot ng face mask?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Mandatory na?
Q: Mandatory po na pagsusuot ng face mask.
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Sa?
Q: Face mask po, sir.
Q: Higit po na tumataas po ang kaso ng COVID sa bansa.
PRESIDENT MARCOS: We might have to think about it kung talagang… But ang ating --- ako ang tinitingnan ko is because although ‘yung rate of increase lumalaki, ang baseline natin na sinimulan eh maliit lang so hopefully we’re still ano --- we’re still going to be able to do it.
But it looks like, we will have to conduct again, especially for young people, we’ll have to conduct again a vaccination push para mabawasan na ‘yan, para mabawasan ‘yan especially with people being a little bit, shall we say, nahihirapan na nga eh dahil sa init, that brings down --- humihina ang katawan and that will make them more vulnerable to COVID again.
So we’ll look at it. Tingnan natin kung may guidance ang IATF, may guidance ang DOH. I think --- I hope we don’t have to but we might but I hope not.
Q: Sir, good evening. What are your thoughts on this latest incident between the China Coast Guard and our Coast Guard at Ayungin Shoal? Do you intend to take this up with the Chinese side?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: I did. I have already.
Q: What did you talk about sir?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: I asked him --- you know, that this is the kind of thing that we want --- we’re hoping to avoid, that this time it was a little more dangerous because malapit na sila eh.
Talagang kamuntik na nagbanggaan and that will cause a great many --- that can cause casualties on both sides. And that’s exactly what we want to avoid kaya’t pinilit ko sa kanila ‘yung aking sinasabi na mayroong high level na communication, tapusin na natin, buuin natin.
Hindi pa natin nabubuo, we’re waiting for China to give us the details kung who will be the team at their end.
‘Yung sa Pilipinas tapos na. We already have the team --- we have already submitted the names even the telephone numbers of these people so inaantay na lang natin ‘yung counterpart ng team natin from China
Q: Sir, sino po ‘yung nakausap niyo at ano ho ‘yung nakuha ninyong response sa Chinese side?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Well, they agree --- they’re working on it so but you know --- I said until we have that, we will continue to be doing this.
So binalik ko ‘yung usapan sa fishing grounds. Sabi ko, puwede ba pag-usapan na natin ‘yung fishing grounds dahil ito naman talaga ang first priority natin for now.
I mean, of course, the overall priority is to safeguard our maritime territory but the --- when you go down into the details, the most immediate, let’s say, concern are the fishing rights.
So that’s what we have to do. That’s what we have to decide and they have agreed again to sit down.
I’ve asked the Coast Guard and the DFA to put together perhaps a map of these fishing grounds that --- sasabihin natin, ito Pilipinas talaga ito and we’ll see what they say when we give them our proposal.
Q: Hi, sir. Magandang gabi po. Sir, when --- what was on your mind when you said that you want to see the Mutual Defense Treaty evolved? What particular changes po ‘yung gusto ninyong makita?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Well, that’s pretty much what we’re going to talk about now. The reason it has to evolve is because the conditions are changing. The conditions that --- under which the Mutual Defense Treaty was written, the original one, are completely different from the conditions that we have --- we’re facing now.
China, of course, has become very dominant in the region. The United States has become less so. And so --- but then the other player, i.e. like ASEAN Member States, all the Asian states have also changed their position in the world.
And so, this is --- that’s why we need to --- that’s why we call it a continuing evolution because we have to be able to respond to the situation as it happens. Hindi… And once the situation changed, we should also still be able to be responsive to that.
So ‘yun ang kanilang --- pag-uusapan natin and all of these things. So that’s really how --- that’s really one of the main purposes of the visit.
Q: Hi, sir. There was a lot of attention given on Balikatan. Perhaps because people are curious to know, how do you envision our role in the Indo-Pacific sir? Given the geopolitical tensions of Taiwan…
PRESIDENT MARCOS: There is --- simple lang ang goal natin sa Pilipinas, we work for peace. We work for peace. We’ll not encourage any provocative action by any country that involves, that will involve the --- provocative action that will involve the Philippines by any other country. We will not allow that to happen. We will not use --- we will not allow the Philippines to be used as a staging post for any kind of military action.
All we are worried about is the peace and the safety of our people, of here and abroad. And that’s the main consideration. So in my view, that’s the role.
But of course, in maintaining that peace there is a role to be played but I think that’s where the Philippines, the best role that we can play when it comes to keeping peace and keeping the --- lowering the tensions in our area, the Indo-Pacific, Asia-Pacific region is --- for me is still ASEAN.
And I think the best move for us is to stay within ASEAN, keep ASEAN solid, strong, and united. So that, if that’s the case, if we are --- at least, we have a consensus and areas of agreement then it will remain strong and that will be --- that ASEAN will still be the one to conduct and to lead the political fortunes of all the other countries around Asia.
Q: Hi, sir. Sir, matatapos na po ‘yung appointment ban para sa mga tumakbo noong nakaraang election. Sa oras na ma-lift ito sir, may maaasahan ba tayo na…?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Ang dami ko ng nakikita na ano na speculation.
Q: Opo, sir. May maaasahan po ba tayo na mga bagong miyembro ng Gabinete mula doon sa mga nakasama niyo noong nakaraang eleksyon sir?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Well, we’ll see. But yeah, ‘yung first year, that really was --- we have to look at…
Marami talagang --- marami namang magaling na hindi nanalo sa eleksyon na gustong tumulong. So we will certainly look into that in different positions. Pero yeah. More or less, for the beginning of siguro the --- the beginning of the second year of my term, palagay ko mayroong mga ano. Not a shuffle but we will add people to Cabinet, to strengthen the Cabinet.
No, I will not announce anybody. No, they should not hear it naman from the press. They should hear it from me. Kami muna mag-usap.
Q: Sir, how many?
Q: May shortlist po ba kayo?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Pero one year is still you know --- it’s still… We still have a little time.
Q: Sir, for agriculture? Agriculture sir, for instance.
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Kaya nga. I will not announce anything now.
Q: Ilan, sir? Ilan?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Sinabi na ngang hindi mag-a-announce, kayo talaga o.
Q: Sir, any directives po to government agencies to address ‘yung frequent na power outages sa Visayas?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Yeah, the power outages, well talagang it’s a consequence of the weather at napaka-init.
We are now trying to control or trying to manage rather our water consumption, our power consumption because that’s very closely related.
In terms of Mindoro and even Marinduque, we’ve already been able to do some remedial measures.
Ang nagkaka-problema ngayon are Negros and Panay Island. The irony is Negros actually has a surplus of power supply. The reason na nagkaka-brownout is because sa distribution system sa high tension wire sa ano… So that’s what we will have to look into.
Kung hindi kaya ng mga gumagawa, maybe the government na lang will be the one [tutulong?].
Q: Take over sir ganun?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: I’m sorry.
Q: Te-take over po ng government?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: No, I won’t take over anything. We’ll augment. Ganun na lang. Kasi kulang eh.
Q: Just the distribution side sir?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: On the distribution side because ‘yun ang naging problema eh. Ridiculous nga that you have a place like Negros.
What we were thinking about Negros was how do we get the surplus power out of Negros into the rest of the Visayas because net loss sila, net undersupply sila eh.
But suddenly, this comes up and it turns out it’s because of the distribution system not the power supply.
Q: Sir, good evening sir. Ano pong regalo ninyo sa mga manggagawang Pilipino ngayong Labor Day po?
PRESIDENT MARCOS: Well, I think that we can --- I think they’re going to announce it anyway by tomorrow.
I just signed an Executive Order to put us in alignment with the International Labour Organization so that all of the areas that they have identified where there is weakness in our system, we have addressed it already. And so we have…
Ang ginawa --- what it actually does is to instruct all the departments of government to work together on very specific issues.
I think you can talk to Sec. Benny, he’s the one who --- he will be able to give you the details on that but there are four issues that the ILO brought to the Philippines in terms of our labor relations.
So ‘yun ang inaddress na natin with the EO and I think that will put us in alignment to the international standards when it comes to labor relations.
Thank you. Salamat.
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