The governments of the Philippines and Guatemala vowed on Tuesday for stronger bilateral ties between the two countries in terms of improving the agriculture sector, pursuing climate action, and enhancing its people-to-people relations. 

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said the Philippines and Guatemala have distinct similarities that the two governments can work on, especially in terms of looking for solutions to their respective issues on agriculture, climate change, and their people. 

“With the Philippines, we have prioritized agriculture and all the other obvious things: infrastructure and power, and renewables and all. But in our case, we really have had to make a special effort and special focus on agriculture,” President Marcos said. 

“And we have found that our Latin American friends, this is the most obvious area where we can share since many of the crops that we talked about are similar … what agricultural knowledge there is in Guatemala, will certainly – we will find an application for here in the Philippines,” he added. 

President Marcos made the remarks as he accepted the credentials of Guatemala Non-Resident Ambassador H.E. Manuel Estuardo Roldán Barillas at the Malacañan Palace on Tuesday.

The President said that the Philippines and Guatemala should not limit their areas of cooperation with agriculture being the “first major area” that they could explore along with many other opportunities. 

In fact, President Marcos also emphasized the Philippines and Guatemala can both learn from their respective efforts in mitigating climate change, which is affecting not only the two countries but also some other parts of the world. 

“Climate change is becoming an incredibly important part of everything that we do because we certainly find that any discussion in terms of government and administration, we always, in the end, have to look at the subject of climate change,” President Marcos said. 

“Every other aspect of governance is touched by the effects of climate change. So, that would be… Well, I am sure we could learn a good deal from Guatemala,” the chief executive added, to which Barillas responded with admiration. 

Marcos also highlighted to Barillas the government’s efforts to protect the welfare of Filipino workers as he shared that the Philippines is proud of them as they brought a great deal of benefits to the people, the country, and its economy. 

For his part, Barillas said he was happy to meet President Marcos and to visit the Philippines for the first time as he expressed optimism about the strengthened bilateral relationships between the two countries. 

“I can see at the outset, that I want to express my admiration for your efforts concerning the service sector of your economy and how you take care of your workers outside the Philippines,” Barillas told President Marcos. | PND

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