US eyes Philippine ties in energy and critical minerals


THE UNITED STATES plans to forge more partnerships with the Philippines in the energy sector and critical minerals this year, according to the head of a delegation of American senators.

“We do believe that we are in the moment of extraordinary opportunity, especially for economic ties, to build upon existing strengths, whether they are in the fields of energy or in the fields of rare earth minerals or in the fields of commerce,” US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand told Philippine President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. during a courtesy call in Manila on Tuesday, based on a transcript e-mailed by the Presidential Communications Office.

“These are important alliances for us, and we want to continue to grow.”

Mr. Marcos earlier said his government seeks to attract more investments in renewable energy to fast-track the Philippines’ green transition.

The Philippines aims to raise its renewable energy share in power generation to 35% by 2030 and to 50% by 2040 from 22% now.

During her visit to Manila earlier this month, US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said American companies plan to invest more than $1 billion (P56.3 billion) in the Philippines, including deals on developing power and refueling stations.

She said US companies are keen on investing in the Philippines’ semiconductor industry and to double the country’s 13 packaging, testing and assembly facilities.

Miners and semiconductor companies are reluctant to invest in the Philippines due to expensive power, US State Department Undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy and Environment Jose W. Fernandez said during his visit to Manila last month.

“These are important alliances for us, and we want to continue to grow on that,” Ms. Gillibrand said. “We want to build on the trip that Secretary Raimondo just had here with a number of executives from our companies.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez