Envoys upbeat on Philippines-US ties

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - The apparent upswing in longstanding relations between the Philippines and the United States is bound to continue in 2013, with both parties hoping to boost ties in the coming year.

In a New Year message, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia Jr. said 2012 was a year that saw deepening relations between the two countries, adding that he looked forward to an even more productive new year.

"We continued to exert efforts to widen and deepen relations between the Philippines and the United States on all fronts, including people-to-people ties. As recently noted by a US official, the two countries' relationship is in a 'renaissance,'" said Cuisia in his message posted on the website of the Philippine Embassy in the United States.

Related story: Chinese sea patrol in disputed territory alarms Philippines

He said 2013 bodes well for the Philippines with continuing political and economic reforms under the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.

Critical juncture

"Filipinos have many reasons to welcome 2013 with open arms. The country is at a critical juncture. Under the leadership of President Aquino, the Philippines has undergone a significant transition that establishes a direction of change that will shape our nation for years to come," said Cuisia.

"Reforms in the political and economic arena are bearing fruit and the President's continued high approval ratings are a testament to the people's trust and satisfaction in his administration. I look forward to another fruitful year, one filled with peace and blessings," he added.

US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. was also upbeat, expressing his optimism on microblogging site Twitter.

"I want 2013 to be even stronger for US-Philippines alliance. It's going to be a great year," Thomas said.

In other news: Philippine church leaders urge laity to protest population bill

The United States is among the Philippines' strongest allies and has been supporting government's defence and law enforcement programmes, disaster preparedness, mitigation and response, human rights promotion and antitrafficking initiatives, among others.

In its yearend report, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) credited the Philippines' relations with the US in upgrading the Philippines' military and police forces through new equipment and training.

Partnership with US

"The Department continued to engage its international partners in helping the country improve its defence capability and achieve a minimum credible defence posture. Vital to this engagement is the Philippines' strategic and defence partnership with the United States, which affirmed its commitment to honour its obligation under the Mutual Defence Treaty," said the DFA report.

Also read: VIEW: Personal touch missing in Philippine education

As the Philippines' leading defence partner, the United States this year doubled its funding commitment from US$15 million to $30 million under its Foreign Military Financing programme. The allocation was programmed to support the Philippines in the areas of "maritime security, maritime domain awareness and humanitarian assistance and disaster response".

The United States is also among the biggest donors to victims of disasters in the Philippines, most recently Typhoon "Pablo", which hit eastern Mindanao.

The US government has pledged nearly 300 million pesos (US$7.2 million) to the Philippines for emergency assistance in hard-hit communities in Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental and Negros Oriental.

The amount is on top of rice supply and transport assistance being provided by the United States Agency for International Development and the US military to Philippine authorities.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • China ignores global outcry vs reclamation
    China ignores global outcry vs reclamation

    On Wednesday, G-7 foreign ministers issued a Declaration on Maritime Security expressing alarm over “unilateral actions, such as large scale land reclamation, which change the status quo and increase tensions” in the region. In their communiqué, which did not specifically mention China, the ministers expressed belief that reclamation activities were meant to “change the status quo” in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, through which 40 percent of global trade passes. …

  • Project NOAH exec receives recognition
    Project NOAH exec receives recognition

    Project NOAH executive director and University of the Philippines professor Mahar Lagmay recently received recognition from the European Geosciences Union (EGU) for his work in disaster risk reduction and mitigation in the Philippines. …

  • Nightclub ban for US troops
    Nightclub ban for US troops

    The US Pacific Command has banned its troops in the Philippines from bars and nightclubs, a spokesman said yesterday, with the trial under way of a US Marine accused of murdering a transgender Filipino he met in a bar. Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers will kick off tomorrow the 10-day annual military exercises, according to Capt. Alex Lim, a spokesman for the US forces, but there will be strict controls on their free time. Lim would not say why the restrictions were imposed but …

  • US-Phl war games to start under China’s shadow
    US-Phl war games to start under China’s shadow

    Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers will kick off tomorrow expanded wargames, showcasing a deepening  defense alliance as alarm bells ring over China. The 10-day exercises in the Philippines are an annual affair between the longtime allies, but this time they will involve double the number of soldiers as last year in a sign of their expanding military partnership. The Philippines is seeking more US military and diplomatic support to fend off China’s increasing forcefulness in its bid …

  • Palace defends legal tack in sea row
    Palace defends legal tack in sea row

    There is nothing weak about taking the legal and diplomatic approach to push for the country’s claims in the disputed West Philippine Sea, Malacañang maintained yesterday. On Friday, Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares led a rally in front of the Chinese consulate in Makati City to protest China’s massive reclamation activities in the Spratly island group to fortify its presence in the disputed waters. Colmenares also criticized the Philippine government for supposedly not doing enough to defend …

  • Veloso sons urge authorities to save mother from death
    Veloso sons urge authorities to save mother from death

    The sons of Mary Jane Veloso, who is facing execution in Indonesia for drug smuggling, yesterday appealed to government officials to do everything to spare their mother from death. “We love you,” Mark Daniel, 12, said when asked for a message for his mother following a press conference at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City. Mark Daniel, an incoming Grade 8 student, reiterated his appeal to those in power to help save his mother from death. His younger brother, …

  • US-Philippines wargames to start under China's shadow
    US-Philippines wargames to start under China's shadow

    Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers on Monday will kick off expanded wargames, showcasing a deepening defence alliance as alarm bells ring over China. The 10-day exercises in the Philippines are an annual affair between the longtime allies, but this time they will involve double the number of soldiers as last year in a sign of their expanding military partnership. The Philippines is seeking more US military and diplomatic support to fend off China's increasing forcefulness in its bid …

  • Bar ban for US troops in Philippines amid murder trial
    Bar ban for US troops in Philippines amid murder trial

    The US Pacific Command has banned its troops in the Philippines from bars and nightclubs, a spokesman said Saturday, with the trial under way of a US Marine accused of murdering a transgender Filipina he met in a bar. Thousands of American and Filipino soldiers will on Monday kick off 10-day annual military excercises, according to Captain Alex Lim, a spokesman for the US forces, but there will be strict controls on their free time. Lim would not say why the restrictions were imposed but …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options