President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said on Monday that he would have fewer trips abroad this year.
In an interview with news anchors including Ivan Mayrina of GMA Integrated News, Marcos said his administration wouldmake “follow-ups” on the discussions and agreements he had made with heads of state and world leaders in his previous trips.
“‘Yung mga biyahe medyo babawasan na namin for the rest of the year. Ang dahilan ay kailangan naming balikan lahat itong mga nasimulan sa ASEAN, sa APEC, sa China, pati pagpunta sa EU, sa Brussels tapos itong biyahe dito sa Davos eh kailangan naming idetalye ang aming pinagusapan. Sino ba dito ang kinausap natin, ano bang naging usapan natin?” Marcos said.
“Hindi pa namin nagagawa dahil busy kami, biyahe kami nang biyahe pero at least mayroon kaming nauuwi, ngayon kailangan na natin iconsolidate, kailangan na natin ifollow-up. Kukulitin na natin ‘yung mga kausap natin…” he added.
Marcos said that the only travel confirmed for this year after his visit to Japan next month is his attendance at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in the US in November.
“The one na confirm sa ngayon, APEC, November… sa States… pero November pa ‘yun. Kasi dapat naman talaga ang Philippine president kailangan pumunta sa lahat ng APEC eh… Importante talaga. Marami talagang napaguusapan,” Marcos said.
Marcos defended the foreign travels, saying that his participation and attendance at the events abroad would help other countries to “think” about the Philippines.
“Kapag hindi tayo bumiyahe at nagpakita sa mga conference na ‘yan, hindi tayo iniisip… wala sa isip nila ang Pilipinas. Iniisip lang nila dito tayo sa Vietnam, diyan tayo sa Indonesia… diyan tayo sa China o kung saan-saan, hindi Pilipinas ang iniisip. Kailangan nating ipakita ano ang ating ginagawa para naman mapaganda ang potential na investment nila na dadating dito sa Pilipinas,” Marcos said.
He further stressed that he needs to introduce himself to the world.
“I’m the new kid on the block. Nobody knows who I am. Kailangan ko magpakilala. Kasi sabi, ‘Oh bago ito, sino ba ‘to? May alam ba ito? Tama ba ‘yung mga ginagawa o ano bang klaseng tao ‘yan?'” Marcos said.
Marcos said that the public should look at the return on investments of his previous trips.
“In terms of the cost, the way I see it you have to look at it as ROI, do we bring something back or do we not? If you say, as I say I don’t the exact figures of the cost and everything… But for example, we came from China with pledges of $22 billion, let’s say we get actual out of that $1 billion, bawing bawi ang eight trips,” Marcos said.
Marcos has so far went on state visits to Indonesia, Singapore, and China; attended the United Nations General Assembly in New York; and participated in the ASEAN 2022 in Cambodia.
He was also in Thailand in November for the APEC 2022 and in Brussels, Belgium for the EU-ASEAN Summit.
His latest travel was to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum. –NB, GMA Integrated News