Press Releases

“New goals, new friends, new projects:” Salceda says PBBM’s first SONA best time to signal foreign policy doctrine of “national interest, global cooperation;” Marcos Jr. “may have to make deals” with “non-traditional partners” such as Russia, Arab nations, India

August 1st, 2022

Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Sarte Salceda, who is expected to retain his post as Chair of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, has said that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s first State of the Nation Address tomorrow will also be “his chance to articulate as President to the diplomatic corps his guiding foreign policy doctrine.”

“Because much of the current threats to economic recovery are externally driven, domestic policy and foreign policy will be deeply interconnected in the coming months. The SONA is the first best chance for PBBM to articulate to the world how he will navigate this dynamic.”

“While domestic policy is a power shared among the three branches, foreign policy is almost exclusively the domain of the President. He is, after all, the chief architect of foreign policy. Tomorrow, the entire diplomatic corps will be at the State of the Nation Address. That will be his chance to articulate what the Marcos Jr. Doctrine will be,” Salceda said.

Salceda says that finding cheap sources of food, fuel, and fertilizer will demand that President Marcos “make deals in the national interest that are not necessarily perfectly aligned with the designs of our traditional allies.”

“President Duterte cultivated strong ties with Russia during his term. Indeed, he was given very good treatment during his state visit to Moscow. Russia is also the world’s leading source of fertilizers, on top of being an oil and gas producer. Belarus also produces much of the world’s phosphates. In their current status as ostracized by the West, our traditional cultural alignment, how do we optimize our friendship with Russia to solve our current food and fuel issues, without earning the ire of our Western partners?”

“There are also our very good friends in the Middle East, especially the petrostates. They are awash with cash now because of the fuel price hikes. How do we leverage our traditional cultural ties, their affection for us due to our OFWs, and their search for new investment destinations? Just this week, some Middle East experts have emphasized to me the possible interest of Kuwait in financing some of our infra projects, including the Bicol railway. That was an offer they apparently first made during PNOY’s time.”

“India is also proving to be a very promising partner. I have been among the strongest proponents of India-Philippine ties, particularly in technology, research, and maritime defense. India is becoming the world’s powerhouse for cheap but effective pharmaceuticals. We need that for universal health care and for COVID-19 management.”

“I have suggested to President Marcos that we make it national policy to aspire to join the OECD by 2040. That will require new vigor in the domestic economy, and also new friends in the global community.”

“I have no doubt that PBBM has the predisposition for finding new friends. It was his father who helped normalize our relations with China. Now, we need new friends other than China or the West. I think SONA will be the time to articulate that as a foreign policy doctrine.”

“I would summarize a possible Marcos foreign policy doctrine as this: New goals, new friends, new projects. New global goals to join OECD and be a rich country, as well as to be a regionally respected military and economic power; New friends other than the ones we have always run to or have always competed for our attention; New projects with our existing partners and allies, to redefine the dynamic of our relations with them.”

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