Indonesia and Singapore are “ideal destinations” for President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s first two state visits.

Northern Samar 1st district Rep. Paul Daza

That’s according to Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Northern Samar 1st district Paul Daza.

Daza said the two nations were ideal given their strategic positions in terms of geography, trade and investment, security and defense cooperation, cultural exchanges, and people-to-people relations.

“Given our proximity to both of these rising regional powers and emerging global players, I am encouraged that these countries were our President’s first foreign trips,” he said.

“Indonesia has a growing economy, a young and dynamic population, and a diverse, democratic and social media–savvy culture. Their annual GDP growth is projected to range in the 5.2 to 5.5 percent range in the coming years, and with it, the demand for consumer goods, services, and workers,” he added.

Daza likewise expounded on Singapore’s attractiveness as a favorable partner. “Of course, we know that Singapore has established itself as a solid financial and regional trading powerhouse. Apart from having the world’s busiest port, its developed infrastructure, political stability, open business policies, and skilled workforce have made it a top location for investments in the Asia Pacific region,” he said.

Daza also highlighted how the Philippines can learn from Singapore’s Universal Healthcare (UHC) system – known around the world for its effective use of public and private sector partnerships, which allow comprehensive financing for the healthcare system ultimately benefiting its citizens.

Health and social development is at the top of Daza’s legislative agenda, specifically, the improvement of the Philippines’ own UHC system.

“With Asia’s continuing rise and growing impact on the global economy, regional cooperation and integration is essential to help nations to finally put the effects of the pandemic in the rear-view mirror,” Daza underscored.

“I am happy that President BBM seems to adhere to the axiom of ‘thinking global, strategizing regional, and acting local,” he concluded.

Source: Manila Bulletin (