PHILIPPINE President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. met on Wednesday with Vietnam National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue in Malacañang, where they reaffirmed the two countries’ commitment to enhance ties.

“[Mr. Marcos] got an added boost of commitment from Vietnam in a wide range of areas that include food security, climate change, defense and food supply,” the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) said in a news release, but did not provide more details.   

The OPS said Mr. Vuong told Mr. Marcos that Vietnam will help the Philippines in elevating its role and position in the global stage.

“I am looking forward to building upon excellent relationships between our two countries… and also in helping elevate the role and position of the Philippines on the global stage,” Vietnam’s top legislator told Mr. Marcos.

The Vietnamese official said he was “much impressed” about the commitments made by the Philippines during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Inter-Parliamentary Assembly for expressing the “concerted efforts and coordination to address climate change and to work together on transitioning towards clean energy.”

Mr. Marcos was represented by House Speaker Martin G. Romualdez during the event.

Mr. Vuong, meanwhile, expressed hope to “enhance the partnership” between the two countries’ legislatures.

“We are hopeful that we can do more to enhance the relationships between our political parties and government-to-government and parliament-to-parliament relationships, and most importantly, the people-to-people exchanges,” he added.

Mr. Marcos said he was “a little surprised that 16, 18 years have transpired since the exchange of visits between our two legislatures — that is much too long for such close neighbors.”

The Philippine leader said he’s “very optimistic that the Asia-Pacific region will return to its old position as the driving force behind the global economy.” — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza