Marcos, Harris meeting boosts bilateral ties
Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez recently asserted that the meeting between Philippine President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. and US Vice President Kamala Harris has built upon the progress achieved in the collaboration between the two nations during her trip to the Philippines the previous year.
The meeting took place at the Number One Observatory Circle, in Washington D.C., the official residence of the US Vice President, and was attended by President Marcos, First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos, VP Harris, Second Gentleman Dough Emhoff, Romualdez, Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez, and House senior Deputy Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos.
“It is heartening to note that during the meeting over coffee between President Marcos and VP Harris, the two officials reiterated their commitment to secure and advance the mutually beneficial initiatives she announced when she visited the Philippines,” Romualdez said.
During her visit to the Philippines in November last year, VP Harris aimed to deepen economic and security ties between the two countries, announcing various initiatives covering climate action, energy security, and sustainable infrastructure, among others.
One such initiative involves a new high-level policy dialogue aimed at developing new forms of energy cooperation, including potential projects on short and long-term energy planning, offshore wind development, and grid stability and power transmission.
Moreover, VP Harris’ office revealed negotiations on a civil nuclear cooperation agreement to support nonproliferation priorities and zero-emission energy security initiatives in the Philippines.
“The availability of cheap and reliable supply of electricity is indispensable in our effort to attract investments that would create more jobs and livelihood opportunities for our people and so he is exploring all viable alternatives, including renewables and nuclear energy, to achieve this end,” Romualdez said.
During President Marcos’ visit, NuScale Power Corporation, a top US nuclear energy firm, expressed interest in investing in the Philippines and revealed plans for a study to identify a suitable site for their advanced Small Modular Reactor (SMR). The project requires an investment of $6.5 billion to $7.5 billion to provide 430 Megawatts to the country by 2030.
In addition to energy cooperation, VP Harris reiterated Washington’s commitment to defend the Philippines under the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty during her visit, emphasizing unwavering support from the US.
Marcos stated that moves to strengthen ties between the Philippines and the United States are part of his administration’s effort to help preserve regional peace and security.
The US has committed to bolstering the maritime and tactical lift capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines by transferring two Island-class patrol vessels, two Protector-class patrol vessels, and three C-130H aircraft, subject to relevant congressional notification requirements.