House ready to take BBM’s challenge to help forge closer PH-US ties — Speaker Romualdez

House ready to take BBM’s challenge to help forge closer PH-US ties — Speaker Romualdez

MANILA — Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Wednesday (US time) said the House is ready to take up the challenge of strengthening the long-standing relations between the Philippines and the United States through engagements of lawmakers of both countries.

“We, at the House of Representatives, welcome the suggestion of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. that efforts to boost the long-standing bond of friendship between the Philippines and the United States should also involve the respective Legislative branches of the two countries,” Speaker Romualdez said.

“We are ready to take up that challenge and we look forward to more engagements with our counterparts in the United States in the future,” he added.

On Wednesday, President Marcos and members of his delegation met with key members of the US Senate and discussed with them various issues that include security, defense, agriculture, and climate change mitigation, economic cooperation and cyber security.

During the meeting, President Marcos thanked Sen. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and other members of the panel for welcoming his delegation to Capitol Hill.

Pres. Marcos also noted that engagements between Manila and Washington should not only take place at the executive but also with members of the legislature.

Accompanying the President in the Capitol Hill meeting were Speaker Romualdez, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique A. Manalo, Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel G. Romualdez, Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla, and Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual.

On the other hand, Senator Menendez was joined by Senator James Risch, SFRC Ranking Member, as well as other officials of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.

“While the conduct of foreign relations is largely the domain of the Executive, engagements between the lawmakers of both countries would be of immense value in, for instance, harmonizing the legal framework governing their bilateral relations,” Romualdez noted.

He added that with closer personal relations engendered through such engagements, the lawmakers of both countries would help deepen the level of appreciation and understanding on issues of mutual concern and thus promote even closer cooperation and partnership.

“We have actually taken the initiative to move toward the direction suggested by President Marcos,” Speaker Romualdez said.

It could be recalled that in mid-April Speaker Romualdez, along with several members of the House, flew to the United States where they engaged with key congressional leaders to lay the groundwork for the official visit of President Marcos to the United States.

Members of the House delegation led by Romualdez include House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City 2nd District Rep. Manuel Jose “Mannix” M. Dalipe, House Deputy Speaker and Pampanga Rep. Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales Jr. of Pampanga’s 3rd District, Navotas City Rep. Tobias “Toby” Tiangco, Agusan del Norte 1st District Rep. Jose “Joboy” S. Aquino II, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel “Babe” del Gallego Romualdez, House Secretary General Reginald “Reggie” Velasco, and House Sergeant-at-Arms PMGEN. Napoleon Taas. (A. Inigo/MTVN)

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