The Philippines is now ready to receive foreign visitors, prospective investors, and parliamentarians, Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said Tuesday.
Romualdez made the statement during a luncheon meeting with ambassadors of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF)-member-countries at Shangri-La The Fort as part of the preparations for the APPF’s 31st annual conference to be hosted by the Philippines in November this year.
For his part, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said the event was “a great start for the President’s administration to show that the Philippines is once again open to the international community, in this period of post-pandemic recovery.”
“Our dear Ambassadors, please extend our warmest invitation to our peers in your countries and let them know that the Philippines is very much open for business, and we have a lot to offer,” Romualdez said.
“This year, 2023, in Manila, your parliamentarians will rediscover a other unique and rich culture, reflecting all three of our heritage —our island nation ancestry, our deep Southeast Asian roots as well as our Latin American kinship,” he said.
Romualdez also said that the House of Representatives approved the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF) and the proposals amending the restrictive economic provisions of the Constitution to further stimulate economic activities, create job opportunities, and provide better health care services for Filipinos
“Two of our more promising initiatives is the Maharlika Investment Fund proposal and the efforts to amend the economic provisions of our existing Constitution through a Constitutional Convention. These measures, we at the House of Representatives believe, will help create a more vibrant economy not only for the Philippines but also for the countries in the Asia-Pacific Region, by reducing, if not, totally eliminating economic barriers to investments. Indeed, there are so much more to look forward to,” Romualdez said.
The Speaker also cited the foreign policy declaration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that the Philippines “is a friend to all, enemy to none.”
“Our country extends the open hand of friendship to our neighbors as we host the Asia Pacific Parliamentarians Forum this year. We are excited to have your legislators here. I am sure that the Senate President shares this sentiment,” Romualdez said.
Zubiri chairs the 31st APPF with Romualdez as co-chair.
The House leader told the ambassadors that he is looking forward to receiving and interacting with APPF lawmakers.
“Personally, I am eager to meet our counterparts from our neighboring countries. I am quite partial to face-to-face meetings. I find it easier to communicate, coordinate and provide support to each other when we are all physically present,” he said.