Remarks by Vice President Harris And President Marcos of the Republic of the Philippines Before Bilateral Meeting

Published: Mon Nov 21 2022

Malacaņang Palace
Manila, Philippines

PRESIDENT MARCOS: Madam Vice President, I'm delighted to be able to welcome you to the Philippines on your first visit -


PRESIDENT MARCOS: - to our country after our very, very brief conversation back in - back in Bangkok.


PRESIDENT MARCOS: And we have been looking forward to this visit for - for a while, and we've been preparing for it. The vice president has been - has been working hard to make sure that the visit goes well and smoothly.

So - but we are happy that you have arrived. We are - it's unfortunate that this is such a - such a quick visit.


PRESIDENT MARCOS: We would have hoped for your - to have shown you more of the Philippines, although I suppose you - you are - you actually are doing that because you're seeing some of the prettiest parts of the Philippines in Palawan.


PRESIDENT MARCOS: And I'm sure you're just going to the resorts and the - (laughter) - and the beaches. So that's -

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: That is not the life I've chosen these days. (Laughter.)

PRESIDENT MARCOS: So, I'm happy that we - as you know, and that has been really well established for very many years, the relationship between our two countries is something that we both - both our countries - have really come to depend upon.


PRESIDENT MARCOS: And with the more - the upheavals that we are seeing, especially in the - not only in the region, but especially in the region, this - these partnerships become even important.

The situation is rapidly changing. We must evolve to be properly responsive to that situation. But - and so that is why it is very important that we continue to progress, that we continue to strengthen, and we - as we redefine those relationships.

So, your visit is a very strong symbol that these relationships remain strong and that these remain - relationships remain important, as indeed they do.

So, that is said, the Filipino - I have said many times: I do not see a future for the Philippines that does not include the United States. And that really has - that really has come from the very long relationship that we have had with the U.S. and the continuing to str- - and at which - and, of course, we went through different phases of a relationship.

But as - in the - since the war, it has just been strengthened in every way -


PRESIDENT MARCOS: - in the economic sense, in the political sense, defense, security. I cannot think of an area where we have not cooperated, collaborated, and have had good results for both our countries.

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Thank you, Mr. President. And thank you for the warm welcome. It was good, as you said, to see you in Bangkok and to have a brief time to talk there. But we were very much looking forward to this trip.

I bring you greetings from the Second Gentleman, who told me about the great time that he had when he was here for your inauguration. And so, he laid the path for this trip in many ways.

PRESIDENT MARCOS: Oh, that's good. Yes, yes.

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: But thank you. Thank you for the welcome.

I have traveled here because of many of the points that you have made. The relationship between the Philippines and the United States is a long and enduring one. It is a one - a relationship that is strong for so many reasons. It is the - the longstanding relationship in terms of the people-to-people ties.

As you and I have discussed, I come from California. We have a thriving Filipino American community there. And, in fact, in the United States, by last count, there are at least 4 million Filipino Americans. And -

PRESIDENT MARCOS: Oh my. (Laughs.) We're good - we're good Catholics. Yeah. (Laughs.)

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: And - and very good Catholics who celebrate Christmas - according to you, in the Philippines, three months of the year. (Laughs.)

PRESIDENT MARCOS: Yeah. Well, it's been -

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Which is wonderful.

PRESIDENT MARCOS: - it's been said of us that we - we celebrate Christmas like we own - like we invented it. (Laughter.) We certainly own it now. So we start in September.

VICE PRESIDENT HARRIS: Well, it is good to be here with you in this season - in the season.

And as you said, the basis of our relationship is multifaceted. Our relationship is based on mutual commitment to the economic prosperity of the region and our respective nations.

And during the conversation that we have today, we will talk about - more about what that means in terms of the opportunities that are presented through our mutual concern about the climate crisis and what we might do in terms of investments and renewable energy and thinking about clean power and the industries that will come about because of that commitment, and what that may mean in terms of economic prosperity through the creation of jobs, the creation of industries, and the bilateral relationship we have to coordinate in that regard.

Our relationship is based on mutual concerns about security for the region. We are both proud members of the Indo-Pacific. And in particular, as it relates to the Philippines, I will say that we must reiterate, always, that we stand with you in defense of international rules and norms as it relates to the South China Sea. An armed attack on the Philippines Armed Forces, public vessels, or aircraft in the South China Sea would invoke U.S. mutual defense commitments. And that is an unwavering commitment that we have to the Philippines.

When we think about what is happening in this region, we know that there are so many opportunities for us to continue to strengthen our relationship, but the basis of our relationship is based on mutual commitments to international rules and norms and upholding those international rules and norms in all of the ways that we know allow for, again, prosperity and security for our respective nations in the region.

So, again, I will reiterate that the alliance between the United States and the Philippines is a strong one, an enduring one, and, only under your leadership, continues to be strengthened. And we look forward to working with you on many of these issues.

And I, of course, bring you greetings from President Joe Biden.

PRESIDENT MARCOS: Well, thank you. Thank you, Madam Vice President.


PRESIDENT MARCOS: Please do send President Biden my warmest regards.

And I thank you for the very strong commitment that you have just made for the U.S. to be defensive of the Philippines.


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