PBBM eyes pause on foreign trips to review investment deals

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said he was considering putting his overseas trips on halt so that he and his economic team could go over each foreign investment deal they have cornered.

President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. talks to the media onboard Philippine Airline Flight PR001.

Marcos said this as he concluded his five-day official working visit to Tokyo, Japan, where he brought home $13 billion in contributions and pledges.

In an interview onboard Philippine Airlines flight PR001 on Sunday, Feb. 12, the President cited the need to review each deal they have inked with foreign counterparts and investors since he assumed office.

"The reason sabi ko itigil na natin muna lahat itong mga trip (why I said we should stop these trips for now) is because all of us, we're going to sit down, and we're going to talk about each and every single project that we have talked about in ASEAN, APEC, EU, New York, China, and now in Japan," he said.

Including his recent trip to Tokyo, the President has secured at least $54 billion in investment pledges from his nine foreign trips, the largest coming from China, where he brought home $22.8 billion.

"Lahat ‘yan dapat nating balikan, isa-isahin natin, alin ba talaga dito ang gusto natin? Ano yung mga priority, ano ang kailangan nating gawin para baguhin ito? (We need to go over each of them. Which of these do we really want? What are our priorities? What do we need to do to change some of them?)" Marcos said.

According to the President, he received many suggestions from Japanese investors, including easing up tourist travel procedures and amending legislation to address requests and roadblocks.

"So we have to treat, we have to go one by one, case to case, and see how it's going to work," Marcos said.

"It’s up to us kung talagang i-follow-up natin, pagandahin natin ang ano nang husto, eh talagang mabubuo ‘yan. Kung hanggang pirmahan lang, wala talagang mangyayari (if we want to follow-up on them. If we'll work on them, they will materialize. If we're stuck with just signing, nothing will happen)," he added.

Meanwhile, President Marcos said public and private Japanese financial institutions had expressed interest in the proposed Maharlika Wealth Fund.

"Some of the private corporations, we've mentioned it, we have some commitments, but I don't think it's' appropriate for me to name who they are," he said.

"There were already three commitments, the substantial amount they're willing to invest in the fund. So, they can begin there," he added.