Marcos meets Tony Blair anew; ex-UK PM keen on PH transpo projects

ZURICH, Switzerland — For the third time in seven months, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has met with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who has expressed intention to support the country's railway projects, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said.

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair meet on the sidelines of the 2023 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 17, 2023. (Malacañang photo)

Marcos met Blair on the sidelines of the 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Tuesday.

Blair is a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and is the current Executive Chairman of the Tony Blair Institute For Global Change which, according to its website, aims to "help political leaders build open, inclusive and prosperous societies in an increasingly interconnected world" by "shaping the debate and offering expert advice."

However, Bautista said that Blair was keen on supporting the Philippines' transportation projects.

"Me, personally, I was able to share with Mr. Tony Blair the projects of the Department of Transportation, and he was very interested in supporting, especially the railway projects of the government," he said.

"After ng WEF, we are expecting that we will be able to implement the programs of the department, not only to help the Filipinos to have a very good transport experience but also to attract mga tourists," he added.

Marcos and his officials first met with Blair during his trip to New York in September last year for the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). There, the President said they "explored concrete ways" to address priority issues in the global economy, such as food security, climate action, and trade.

The two leaders also tackled the optimistic peace process in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Marcos and Blair met for the second time when the latter went to Manila in October last year, where they "discussed a wide range of topics on bureaucracy and governance based on the best practices in developed countries."