Malacanang Palace Philippine US business president marcos

US Firms Desire Collaboration with Filipino Businesses

The Business Executives for National Security (BENS) has reiterated its commitment to strengthening cooperation and investment between the United States and the Philippines in the areas of health, digital infrastructure, and energy. During a meeting with President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the Malacañan Palace in Manila, BENS members inquired about business opportunities in the Philippine healthcare system, particularly in nursing, digital infrastructure, and energy.

Healthcare Shortage

President Marcos highlighted the government’s focus on improving healthcare accessibility by building more hospitals in remote areas. During the pandemic, the Philippines experienced a high demand for its healthcare professionals, resulting in a shortage, which he acknowledged. The Department of Health (DOH) is developing plans to address this shortage by forming agreements with countries that accept Filipino healthcare workers. The DOH will also provide training for an equivalent number of professionals who will stay in the Philippines. The President also mentioned efforts to expedite nursing board examinations to increase the number of qualified nurses.

President Marcos acknowledged concerns raised by foreign investors. Concerns raised were regarding the price, reliability, and supply of energy in the Philippines. Another concern raised was the ease of doing business. He assured that the government is actively working on improving the ease of doing business. The government is also exploring new technologies to expedite the establishment of power plants. The distribution of electricity has also improved, but efforts are ongoing to address deficits in certain areas.

The President stated that his administration has amended laws to attract investment in digitalization, encompassing both the government and the private sector. The government aims to support micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). It will do so by integrating MSMEs into digital marketing through initiatives like the “Paleng-QR Ph Plus Initiative.” Private NGOs are also encouraged to promote start-ups, and the government is creating an environment conducive to their success.

President Marcos expressed pride in the country’s resilient business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. The industry continued operations during the pandemic through remote work arrangements. He emphasized the importance of retraining and reskilling the workforce to adapt to new technologies. He cited their relevance to digitalization, climate change, and cybersecurity.

US Business Delegation Express Admiration for President Marcos

The BENS members expressed appreciation for President Marcos’ leadership in revitalizing the alliance between the Philippines and the US. The BENS delegation is in the Philippines to engage with Philippine leaders. The delegation also wishes to explore investment opportunities and cooperation in various sectors. The delegation consists of prominent business leaders.

In attendance at the meeting were also US Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson, various embassy officials, and representatives from the BENS group.

The BENS, established in 1982, is a US-based business group with ten members focused on national security. Their visit to the Philippines aims to foster dialogue and collaboration between business and national security sectors, with a specific focus on investment prospects in the country.

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