Marcos thanks ADB, meets Sri Lankan leader
MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos on Thursday thanked the Mandaluyong-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) for its help at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic during the annual meeting of the bank’s 66 governors.
The meeting was chaired by Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who also held bilateral talks with Marcos in Malacañang before the bank meeting at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City.
In their bilateral talks, the two leaders agreed to seek “new approaches” to further improve relations, according to a statement posted on the website of Sri Lankan president’s media division (PMD).
Wickremesinghe, the PMD said, emphasized that the “long-standing” friendship between Sri Lanka and the Philippines would be promoted by developing Asian regional cooperation.
Marcos, on the other hand, said in his keynote speech during the ADB event that his administration is committed to ensuring the efficient and effective utilization of ADB’s assistance for the full benefit of all Filipinos.
“While many things remain uncertain, one thing is for sure: We can no longer return to the way things were,” Marcos said.
“It is time for us to work together to bring about an even Better Normal,” he added.
Marcos thanked the bank for its help at a time when Western nations were also having problems dealing with COVID-19.
“On behalf of the Filipino people, I thank you for that,” Marcos said as he recalled that ADB was one of the first institutions to grant $3 million for the purchase of medical supplies for Filipino front-line health workers.
The President also recognized the Japan-dominated ADB for allowing access to its COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support program, a quick-disbursing budget-support facility to help countries mitigate the economic shocks caused by the pandemic.
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