A member of the House Committee on Economic Affairs said on Monday that President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. is poised to raise economic issues and heightened security concerns in the West Philippine Sea (WPS) during discussions with officials from allied nations like the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit.
Occidental Mindoro Lone District Rep. Leody Tarriela bared the anticipated economic benefits for the Philippines from Marcos’ visit to the United States, where he will participate in the APEC Leaders’ Summit.
He said the President is expected to discuss economic issues as well as possibly security concerns with his counterparts from the 21 member nations of APEC, including those from the United States and other allies like Japan, Australia, Canada, South Korea, and New Zealand.
“The economic benefits our country could derive from the President’s APEC meetings and bilateral discussions are enormous. They could help us sustain our economic growth in the days ahead,” Tarriela said.
Tarriela highlighted the substantial economic ties between the Philippines and APEC member- nations, emphasizing that major export and import partners are part of the APEC grouping.
“Our economy grew by 5.9 percent in the third quarter of this year. We hope to do better in the succeeding quarters with investments and financial and economic assistance from our APEC friends and allies,” Tarriela stressed.
With the 30th APEC Leaders’ Summit scheduled in San Francisco, California, from November 15 to 17, hosted by the US as the group’s chair for the year, President Marcos’ attendance marks his second participation following last year’s summit in Thailand.
After the APEC summit, President Marcos is set to meet with business leaders and the Filipino community. Additionally, he will visit the Daniel Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies and the Indo-Pacific Command headquarters of the US armed forces in Hawaii at the command’s invitation.
The Chief Executive is expected to be back in Manila on November 20.
Highlighting the timing of President Marcos’ APEC attendance, Tarriela noted recent tensions in the WPS, including China’s use of water cannons on Philippine civilian boats resupplying soldiers stationed at Ayungin Shoal.
Earlier, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez condemned the latest incident, calling it an “unprovoked act of hostility” and urging China to stop such dangerous maneuvers.
Romualdez also called on China to honor the 2016 ruling of the arbitral tribunal in The Hague that invalidated Beijing’s expansive territorial claims over the South China Sea, including areas that are inside the Philippines’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone.
“Ayungin Shoal is clearly part of our country’s territory under international law, being just 115 miles from Palawan. It is more than 1,000 miles from the nearest Chinese island. Panatag Shoal, about 120 miles from Pangasinan and Zambales, is also ours,” Romualdez said.