May 30, 2024

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Fact Sheet: Celebrating the Strength of the U.S.-Philippines Alliance

Fact Sheet: Celebrating the Strength of the U.S.-Philippines Alliance
Fact Sheet: Celebrating the Strength of the U.S.-Philippines Alliance

Today, President Joseph R. Biden welcomed President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. of the Philippines back to the White House. The two Presidents marked the unprecedented strength of the Alliance between the United States and the Philippines and underscored the historic achievements in bilateral relations since they last met at the White House in May 2023.  President […]

The post Fact Sheet: Celebrating the Strength of the U.S.-Philippines Alliance first appeared on Social Gov.

Today, President Joseph R. Biden welcomed President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. of the Philippines back to the White House. The two Presidents marked the unprecedented strength of the Alliance between the United States and the Philippines and underscored the historic achievements in bilateral relations since they last met at the White House in May 2023.  President Biden and President Marcos intend to continue the momentous investments into the special friendship between our two nations.        
  
PROMOTING INCLUSIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH
 
The United States and the Philippines are working together to promote inclusive economic growth in both our countries, including through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF) launched in 2022. The two leaders celebrate significant achievements in our economic partnership: 
 

  • Investing in High-Quality Infrastructure:  Today, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States announced the first Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI) corridor in the Indo-Pacific—the Luzon Economic Corridor—which will support connectivity between Subic Bay, Clark, Manila, and Batangas in the Philippines. Through this corridor, part of the PGI-IPEF Investment Accelerator, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States commit to accelerating coordinated investments in high-impact infrastructure projects, including rail; ports modernization; clean energy and semiconductor supply chains and deployments; agribusiness; and civilian port upgrades at Subic Bay.
  • Over the last year, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) announced new activities that will leverage over $500 million from the public and private sector to develop high-quality infrastructure in the Philippines. These activities support renewable energy, smart grids, vessel traffic management system upgrades, customs and supply chain modernization, healthcare solutions, and aviation infrastructure. To further these and future efforts, USTDA opened a new office at the U.S. Embassy in Manila in early 2024.
  • The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is committed to mobilizing private sector investment in the Philippines, especially in priority sectors like infrastructure, critical minerals, and renewable energy. DFC is proud to announce a new $20 million loan to promote affordable housing throughout the country, bringing DFC’s total commitments in the Philippines to $80 million. DFC also intends to open a regional office in the Philippines to facilitate further investment across the country.
  • Presidential Trade and Investment Mission: Following through on the commitment made when the two leaders met in May 2023, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Raimondo led a Presidential Trade and Investment Mission (PTIM) to Manila in March 2024. The delegation of 22 U.S. companies and organizations highlighted more than $1 billion in combined investments that promote the Philippines’ innovation economy, clean energy transition, and supply chain resilience.
  • Indo-Pacific Business Forum: The United States and the Philippines will co-host the Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) in Manila on May 21, 2024. The IPBF is the U.S. government’s premier business event in the Indo-Pacific region and will include over 500 senior business executives and government officials from across the region, supporting infrastructure in the region’s emerging economies and highlighting the economic ties that have contributed to prosperity and interconnectedness in the Indo-Pacific.
  • Semiconductors Cooperation: In November 2023, the United States began a new partnership with the Philippines to explore opportunities to grow and diversify the global semiconductor ecosystem under the International Technology Security and Innovation (ITSI) Fund, created by the CHIPS Act of 2022. The United States has since partnered with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the Philippines’ existing semiconductor ecosystem, as well as with Arizona State University to bolster workforce capacity and create a pipeline of new talent for the semiconductor sector in the Philippines.
  • Critical Minerals: USTDA is supporting a grant to Eramen Minerals Inc. to develop an ore-to-nickel and cobalt processing plant for the production of critical minerals that are key elements in the supply chain for batteries and energy storage systems.  The State Department, under its Energy and Mineral Governance Program, provides technical assistance on nickel sector policy considerations, copper commercialization, fiscal regime development, and environmental and data management of the Philippine critical minerals sector. In addition, $5 million in USAID programming is helping to improve the Philippine business environment and governance standards to facilitate investments in minerals processing and other downstream industries.
  • Support from U.S. Industry:  Private sector investment is a key element to promote economic development and growth in the Philippines. Our two countries are enhancing economic and commercial ties and welcome recent private sector investments in the Philippines to include:
  • Meta’s announcement of its investment in the Pacific Light Cable Network international submarine cable system intends to support the Philippine government’s new National Fiber Backbone Phase 1. This project would connect the United States with locations on the Philippine island of Luzon, the most populous island and home to Manila. The National Fiber Backbone Phase 1 is estimated to be launched on April 19, 2024 and is planned to be one of the longest direct cable systems in the world, strengthening the digital connection between the United States and the Philippines.
  • United Parcel Service (UPS), a PTIM participant, announced in March that it had agreed with the Luzon International Premiere Airport Development Corporation to expand its operations at Clark International Airport in the Philippines. The move is expected to strengthen UPS’ portfolio of integrated express, supply chain, and healthcare logistics services, enhancing time in transit and improving service reliability. Construction of the new Clark hub is expected to begin in February 2025, and it is expected to be operational in late 2026. 
  • GreenFire Energy, Inc., a geothermal energy systems developer and PTIM participant, is implementing a letter of intent signed in February 2024 to supply Philippine steel company SteelAsia with geothermal power from GreenFire’s projects in the Philippines.
  • Astranis, which builds telecommunications satellites, plans to launch a communications satellite in summer 2024. The company’s Philippines-based partner, Orbits Corp, plans to use the satellite to bring digital connectivity to rural and remote sites across the Philippines. Astranis is building, testing, and readying the satellite—named Agila, for the Philippine national bird—for its summer launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

INVESTING IN CLEAN ENERGY AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES

The United States and the Philippines recognize the need to deepen technology cooperation, advance the clean energy transition, address and mitigate the effects of the climate crisis, and meet the emerging opportunities of the 21st century. The two leaders welcome recent milestones in advancing our clean energy and technology partnership:

  • Supporting Secure and Reliable Networks:  The United States, subject to Congressional notification, and Japan, with support from Japanese industry, intend to provide at least $8 million for Open Radio Access Network (RAN) field trials and the Asia Open RAN Academy based in Manila, to enable future commercial deployment and an open, interoperable, secure, reliable, and trusted information communications technology ecosystem in the Philippines. This builds on prior U.S. and Japanese investment of over $9 million for these projects in the Philippines.
  • Civil-Nuclear Cooperation: In November 2023, our two countries signed a “123” civil-nuclear cooperation agreement, which, once in force, will facilitate U.S.-Philippine civil-nuclear energy cooperation and support climate and clean energy transition goals while securing the Philippine’s energy future. In addition, to support the Philippines civil nuclear sector, the Philippine Department of Energy intends to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Philippine-American Educational Foundation to promote capacity building and workforce development through scholarships and academic exchanges through the Fulbright Program. Under the Foundational Infrastructure for Responsible Use of Small Modular Reactor Technology (FIRST) program, the United States and Japan plan to co-host a nuclear energy study tour in Japan for nuclear experts and policy decision-makers from the Philippines and other FIRST partner countries.
  • Increasing Renewable Energy Capacity: As part of the Philippines’ efforts to address its energy needs, USAID and the Philippines have partnered and launched the Green Energy Auction Program (GEAP). The first and second round of auctions held under GEAP resulted in 5,300 megawatts of renewable energy projects that will be developed between 2024 to 2026, increasing the Philippines’ renewable energy capacity by 65 percent. USAID and the U.S. Department of Energy are also working with the Philippines to develop the next phase of competitive renewable energy zones by supporting transmission planning to unlock the Philippines’ tremendous offshore wind potential. In addition, USTDA supported renewable energy activities across the Philippines, including two grants for the Philippines Energy Development Corporation to develop geothermal energy, a grant to Aboitiz Renewables focused on offshore wind power, a grant to the Rural Electrification Finance Corporation for utility-scale solar power plants with energy storage systems, and funding for an upcoming trade mission to the United States focused on advanced grid technologies.
  • Cyber-Digital Cooperation:  The Philippines joined the International Counter Ransomware Initiative (CRI), the largest cyber partnership in the world, in April 2024. The CRI builds collective resilience and helps design policy approaches to combat ransomware. The United States and the Philippines plan to hold their first bilateral Cyber-Digital Dialogue in July 2024 in Washington. This dialogue focuses on helping strengthen the Philippines’ resilience against cyber intrusions from state-backed and criminal organizations and advance an open, interoperable, secure, reliable, and trusted information communications technology ecosystem in the Philippines. Supporting this work, USTDA is providing a grant to NOW Telecom Company, Inc., for a feasibility study to help develop a secure nationwide 5G network in the Philippines utilizing equipment from trusted vendors. Also, USAID has established eight community digital networks to expand internet access to remote locations in the Philippines, bringing 1,470 households online for the first time.
  • U.S.-Philippines Space Dialogue:  The United States and the Philippines plan to hold our first bilateral space dialogue in May 2024 to advance cooperation on using space-based technology for disaster management, mapping of resources, pollution monitoring, the use of space for maritime domain awareness, and other areas.

EXPANDING DEFENSE AND SECURITY COOPERATION

U.S.-Philippine defense and security ties serve as the cornerstone of our alliance. As the United States and the Philippines work to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region, the two leaders herald advancements in our cooperation:

  • EDCA Sites Advancing Mutual Security and Local Investments: Since signing the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) in 2014, the Department of Defense has allocated $109 million toward infrastructure projects at EDCA sites, including more than $59 million for airfield improvement at Basa Air Base, which will increase interoperability with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and enable Basa to serve as a logistics hub for humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and other crisis response. The President’s Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2025 includes an additional $128 million for infrastructure projects.  USAID will launch a new initiative in the next year to preposition humanitarian relief commodities at an EDCA site for Philippine civilian disaster response authorities to help provide urgent assistance to the Filipino people if needed in times of crisis. Prepositioning of commodities, combined with strengthened Philippines’ humanitarian assistance and disaster response capacity, including for EDCA-hosting communities, will contribute to greater crisis resilience and more effective crisis response. In partnership with DoD, USAID will also increase civilian-military disaster response trainings to enhance fluency with response systems between Philippine and U.S. civilian and military agencies and international humanitarian organizations. In addition, USAID has several ongoing projects in and around communities hosting EDCA sites, as it does throughout the Philippines, in the areas of health, education, economic growth, and environment.
  • Bolstering Maritime Cooperative Activities: Over the past year, the United States and the Philippines increased their cooperation in the South China Sea to historic levels, including a complex multilateral maritime cooperative activity between Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and the United States.  Additionally, U.S. and Philippine forces conducted their first-ever combined intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance mission over the South China Sea.  Our joint efforts demonstrate resolve, strengthen bilateral security ties, and expand multilateral cooperation and training among likeminded partners.
  • Implementing Trilateral Coast Guard Exercises: The Philippine Coast Guard hosted coordinated port visits by USCG Cutter Stratton and Japan Coast Guard vessel Akitsushima in Manila in June 2023. Following the port visit and underway preparations, the visiting ships joined Philippine Coast Guard vessels for the first-ever trilateral at-sea coast guard exercise. As part of this first-ever exercise, our three countries held interoperability drills in communications and search and rescue activities. In the coming year, the United States looks forward to welcoming Philippine and Japan Coast Guard members onto a U.S. Coast Guard vessel during a patrol in the Indo-Pacific and our coast guards also plan to conduct an at-sea trilateral exercise and other maritime activities in the Indo-Pacific to improve interoperability and advance maritime security and safety.
  • Enhancing Coast Guard Cooperation and Training: The U.S. Department of State, Department of Defense, and Coast Guard inaugurated a technical training center for the Philippine Coast Guard Fleet in September 2023. The center has hosted approximately 200 students for various vessel-related training courses since its opening and builds Philippine capacity and capabilities in operating and maintaining its rapidly expanding inventory of vessels deployed throughout the country and in the South China Sea.

INVESTING IN PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE TIES

Our two countries benefit from unique, shared bonds of friendship and community, to include the millions of Filipino-Americans who enrich communities across the United States and serve as the bedrock of our relationship. The two leaders are proud of recent achievements in our people-to-people ties:   

  • Investing in the Next Generation of Philippines Leaders: State Department educational and cultural exchange programs provide learning and networking opportunities to emerging Filipino leaders. The Philippines’ Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Network (YSEALI PH) has grown to over 31,000 members, spanning a broad range of Philippine geographic regions and professional areas. This includes increasing numbers of YSEALI affiliated local government leaders, with 80 YSEALI alumni currently serving in local governments nationwide. The YSEALI Academic Fellowship will have 38 participants from the Philippines in 2024, and the Southeast Asia Youth Leadership Program (SEAYLP) will include six participants from the Philippines. Our 9,000 exchange alumni include high-level Philippine leaders, including Vice President Sara Duterte, two sitting senators, and leaders of numerous prominent Philippine institutions from academic institutions to startups.
  • Higher-Education Partnerships: USAID launched UPSKILL, a five-year activity in February 2024, intended to strengthen higher education institutions in the Philippines, and make them key drivers of growth by improving their innovation, workforce development, and community extension work. UPSKILL creates partnerships between Philippine universities and U.S. universities such as Arizona State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Friends, Partners, Allies Reporting Tour: The United States plans to host an exchange program of ten Filipino journalists for a reporting tour in May 2024. The delegation will visit Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and Honolulu to deepen their knowledge of people-to-people ties, economic partnerships, and security cooperation.
  • Fulbright-Philippine Space Agency Scholarship Program: In support of the Fulbright Philippines program, the Philippine Space Agency provided funding for scholarship and training programs in the fields of space science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in addition to related fields such as space law and policy, business, economics, international relations and diplomacy, and communications. These initial resources are intended to support approximately eight students and scholars to pursue study and research in these fields at educational institutions in the United States.

ADVANCING RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND LABOR RIGHTS

The United States and the Philippines are committed to our shared values of freedom, democracy, and respect for human rights, labor rights, and the rule of law. These values form the foundation of our bilateral relationship.

  • U.S.-Philippines Democracy Dialogue: Following through on our commitment from 2023, the United States and the Philippines intend to convene a bilateral Democracy Dialogue in 2024. The Dialogue provides a platform for the United States and the Philippines to institutionalize discussions on human rights and democracy issues, as well as identify initiatives that can be pursued jointly to complement national efforts on the promotion and protection of human rights.
  • U.S.-Philippines Labor Working Group: Under the U.S.-Philippines Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, the United States and the Philippines created a Labor Working Group to accelerate implementation of internationally recognized labor rights and facilitate dialogue among the Philippine and U.S. governments and labor unions. The Labor Working Group had its first meeting in December 2023 and plans to hold its next meeting in Manila in May 2024.
  • U.S. Support for the BARMM Peace Process: In March 2024, the U.S. Department of State and the Government of the Philippines launched the Peace Accords Matrix Mindanao program which emphasizes the importance of respecting human rights and seeks to protect the rights of those living in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) by fully implementing the 2014 Peace Agreement. Implemented by the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies with the Joint Normalization Committee and the Presidential Advisor on Peace Reconciliation and Unity, the Peace Accords Matrix program will train civil society to monitor and accelerate implementation of the Peace Agreement before the first-ever elections for the BARMM Parliament and the “Exit Agreement,” both scheduled for 2025.

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Official news published at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2024/04/11/fact-sheet-celebrating-the-strength-of-the-u-s-philippines-alliance/

The post Fact Sheet: Celebrating the Strength of the U.S.-Philippines Alliance first appeared on Social Gov.