By ROY C. MABASA
With the economy slowly recovering from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States is committed to continue investing in the Philippines to generate more jobs, conduct charitable activities and help uplift the lives of Filipinos.
This was the message relayed by U.S. Embassy in Manila Chargé d’Affaires (CDA) Heather Variava during her visit at the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone over the weekend.
Variava met with the American Chamber of Commerce and discussed the impact of American investments in Central and Northern Luzon, including the 17,000 square-meter FedEx Clark Gateway facility which already employs hundreds of Filipinos. It was reported that FedEx plans to expand further its operations which would mean more jobs and economic opportunities for the people in the region.
During the interaction, Variava echoed the statement made by US President Joe Biden during the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) in May this year, saying that the future of the 21st century economy is going to be largely written in the Indo Pacific.
“This is why we are grateful for the investment being poured into the Philippines by American businesses, which support our longstanding commitment to the shared prosperity of our two nations,” Variava said.
At the same time, the top U.S. Embassy official in the Philippins also visited major infrastructure projects, including the new Clark International Airport Terminal and the Malolos-Clark railway project, which will greatly improve transportation between Metro Manila and Clark.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded Malolos-Clark railway project will create thousands of local jobs, ease traffic congestion, and reduce auto emissions by tens of thousands of tons. The United States is the largest shareholder in ADB and supports the Philippines’ efforts to improve environmental outcomes through greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
Variava likewise expressed her support for the Philippine Disaster Relief Foundation (PDRF), an alliance of major businesses dedicated to building the capabilities of the private sector to respond to natural disasters in the country.