Raising Awareness of Today's Philippines in the U.S.



A new decade of enriching PH and US ties
US_PH flag


On July 6, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and newly appointed Philippine National Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro committed to build on the past year's remarkable progress on the bilateral security alliance that included the addition of four new EDCA sites and joint patrols in the South China Sea. Secretary Austin reaffirmed the U.S. ironclad commitment to defend its ally. Secretaries Austin and Teodoro agreed to advance the Security Assistance Roadmap for the next five years and a General Security of Information Agreement aimed at modernizing national defense and collaboration in disaster response efforts, and review opportunities for multilateral exercises with Japan, Australia and other likeminded partners.

In the aftermath of Typhoon Egay that caused heavy flooding and damage in remote northern Philippines in July, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, working alongside Filipino servicemembers, conducted search and rescue efforts and delivered relief supplies by air from Subic to Batanes and distribution points including at Lal-lo Cagayan EDCA site.

To develop operational interoperability and train professional maritime operations under challenging sailing conditions in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy USS Ralph Johnson and Philippine Navy BRP Jose Rizal conducted a bilateral at-sea training on September 4, designed to practice maneuvering within close proximity to other vessels and improve the confidence of the bridge teams.

Portions of the West Philippine Sea that lie within the Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone in the South China Sea remain a vital energy and food resource. Philippine access and rights within the EEZ will ensure development and new capabilities in energy output, seafood production, and jobs. In his 2023 SONA, President Marcos Jr stressed the need to tackle rising prices of food, electricity, and gas, requiring whole of government approach. USAID AA Michael Schiffer discussed how USAID in partnership with the Philippine national government and local communities provides the tools and technical assistance, capacity building programs and funding, in support of vulnerable communities including fisherfolks and indigenous peoples.

Amid global trade challenges, the Marcos administration explored bilateral and multilateral agreements including on critical minerals, with traditional and new international partners across various trade frameworks including the US-led IPEF, APEC, RCEP, ASEAN, with UK and Europe.

In a USIP interview, USPH Society Executive Director Hank Hendrickson addressed questions about the US-PH relationship, highlighting the Marcos administration's full agenda - dealing with South China Sea tensions, economic recovery and digital transformation, energy security, building resilience and disaster response, illegal drugs, transnational crime, and terrorism. Domestic concerns in fostering economic progress shape the current administration's policy direction. Enhanced Philippine-U.S. economic engagement that promotes two-way trade and investment, and boosts capital flows can deliver concrete benefits and added value to the partnership.


Forging a US-PH Enhanced Strategic Partnership

Pres Marcos First Year Highlights

Philippine Coast Guard and Transparency in the SCS

Strengthening US-PH Partnership: A USAID Perspective

Top PH Health Officials on U.S. Study Tour

Tuning In on PH Domestic Priorities by Executive Director Hendrickson

Welcoming the PH Delegation to the UNGA 2023

Understanding PH History through Maps and Visual Arts

In the News

The Latest @ USIP: Where Do U.S.-Philippines Relations Stand?

Your Membership counts. Thank you for your continuing support! Join and renew today.

Online Donation are accepted here.

Donation my mail to our new mailing address:

Our office has moved to:

1001 Connecticut Ave NW

Suite 704

Washington DC 20036


Photo: First meeting of U.S. President Joe Biden and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on the sidelines of the 2022 UN General Assembly, 22 September 2022, New York.

At a July 18 forum held at the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC, Philippine Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez reviewed the first year of the new Marcos administration, including highlights in PH-US relations under the Marcos Jr. Administration, which welcomed high-level visits by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, State Secretary Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and resumed the Two-Plus-Two Ministerial dialogue in Washington, along with two-way exchanges between legislative and economic officials. These reinvigorated exchanges capped by President Marcos, Jr’s successful official visit to Washington in May generated two-way economic and security benefits, and signaled a commitment to strengthen the relationship. Read more

Following his July 18 remarks, Ambassador Jose Manuel G. Romualdez responds to participants during open forum. Executive Director Hank Hendrickson moderated the discussion, Washington DC. 


Photo: l-r USPHS Executive Director Hank Hendrickson, Greg Poling (Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative), George Drysdale (Marsman Drysdale), Satu Limaye (East-West Center), USPHS Director Amb Thomas Hubbard, Coast Guard Commo Jay Tarriela, Brian Buzzell (USPHS member), Brian Harding (US Institute of Peace), Amb John F. Maisto, Dr. Jeffrey Ordaniel and Greg Rushford (USPHS member), Washington DC, 20 July 2023.

The recalibrated approach in the South China Sea through increased transparency was a key topic at a US-Philippines Society-hosted July 20 roundtable discussion with visiting Coast Guard Commodore Jay Tarriela and Pacific Forum Director for Maritime Security Dr. Jeffrey Ordaniel in Washington DC.

Adviser to the Commandant on Maritime Security Affairs Commo Tarriela described how the Philippine Coast Guard conducts non-military activities including maritime law enforcement, fishing patrols, and marine environmental protection within the Philippines Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Recently, the Philippine Coast Guard has taken on an important role by calling attention the illegal fishing activities, swarming of maritime features by Chinese vessels, and unlawful conduct by the Chinese militia vessels within the Philippine EEZ. According to Commo Tarriela, the new transparency initiative is designed to raise public awareness of China’s aggressive tactics and has spurred support for the PGC and AFP patrol efforts in the West Philippines Sea. Citing the July 2016 Arbitral Award, the international community and countries including the United States, Japan, Australia, and India issued statements reaffirming rules-based order and offered assistance to the Philippines in capacity-building and maritime domain capability. Read more


At a July 28 roundtable discussion, USAID Assistant Administrator for Asia Michael Schiffer, provided insights and an outlook on the breadth and depth of U.S.-PH development partnership initiatives, addressing challenges to food security and energy conservation, and the health and socioeconomic well-being of vulnerable communities in the Philippines. AA Schiffer identified key project priorities and stressed the importance of working with local community leaders, civil society, the private sector, government partners and other development stakeholders. Priorities include promoting economic competitiveness and inclusivity to boost trade, productivity and participation in regional trade agreements, providing assistance in the management of natural resources including critical minerals and adoption of mitigation measures to manage the impact of disasters, encouraging responsive governance, promoting peace, and improving the health system in the Philippines. Read more

USAID Assistant Administrator Michael Schiffer (center) reports on his recent visit to the Philippines, 28 July, 2023. U.S. Institute of Peace, Washington DC.


The continuous quality improvement study delegation, URC staff, and partners at URC headquarters in Chevy Chase, Md. 17 August 2023. Photo credit: Doug Trapp

Eight senior Philippine health officials gained insights into best practices in continuous quality improvement (CQI) in health care during a study tour and onsite meetings with leading experts in Washington DC and Baltimore. Led by Dr. Kenneth Ronquillo, Health Department Undersecretary of Governance and Organizational Development, the delegates will adopt strategies in the Philippine context ensuring all levels of the Philippine health workforce understand CQI and its role in delivering quality care. The tour was a joint program of USAID, the Health Resources and Management System (HRMS) and the University Research Co (URC), 

URC President and US-Philippines Society Director Earl Gast, USAID Asst. Administrator for Global Health Dr. Atul Gawande, Deputy Chief of Mission Jaime T. Ascalon, Jr.; and US-Philippines Society President John F. Maisto joined the delegation in an August 17 special reception held at the Philippine Embassy Washington DC. In his remarks, Amb Maisto highlighted the important aspect of public health exchanges that the U.S. government engages in the Philippines through USAID, HRMS and global leader URC.

URC is a thought leader in developing and implementing best practices to improve the quality and impact of health and social services in over 90 countries. URC has led health projects in the Philippines since 2007 funded by multiple donor agencies, including the USAID, the Global Fund, Millennium Challenge Corporation, and the Asian Development Bank. URC is currently implementing three USAID-funded projects focusing on TB burden reduction, community-based drug rehabilitation, and family planning and adolescent reproductive health in the BARMM.


During a USIP interview on the US-PH relationship, US-Philippines Society Executive Director Hank Hendrickson cited the importance of tuning in to economic challenges faced by Filipinos particularly in the areas of employment, clean energy transition, and conflict resolution in Mindanao. More progress on trade negotiations, where U.S. leadership on setting broader rules and standards, can lead to win-win outcomes. The interview was hosted by the United States Institute of Peace, a national, nonpartisan, independent institute, mandated by Congress to promote U.S. and global peace and security.

Click to watch.

US-Philippines Society Executive Director Hank Hendrickson featured in The Latest @ USIP: Where Do U.S.-Philippines Relations Stand? Published August 8, 2023


The US-Philippines Society hosted a luncheon meeting September 20 in New York City for Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique A. Manalo, who led the Philippine delegation to the 2023 United Nations General Assembly. Ambassadors Thomas C. Hubbard and Society President John F. Maisto welcomed SFA Manalo and key members of his team in a productive exchange of views on UNGA and bilateral matters. Private sector members of the USPHS board used the occasion to raise company-specific issues aimed at strengthening business and investment in the Philippines.

Key priorities for the Philippines at this year’s UNGA include strengthening respect for international law, action on Climate Change, a commitment to multilateralism in addressing global issues, and expanding partnerships, according to the Secretary. On the PH-US bilateral relationship, SFA Manalo said the Philippines wants to ensure ties are not focused solely on meeting defense challenges, but are more broadly grounded to include economic cooperation, energy development, advances in public health, and resilience-building, among others.

Joining SFA Manalo were DFA Undersecretary Ms. Theresa P. Lazaro, Special Assistant Andrea L. Lazaro, Consul General in New York Senen T. Mangalile, and U.N. Permanent Representative Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo.

In addition to Ambassadors Hubbard and Maisto, USPHS members included Dr. Carlos Cuéllar (URC), Craig Hall (Chevron), John Michael De Carlo (IBM), Roberto Llames (Enterprise Solutions), and Hank Hendrickson (Executive Director).

Photo above: l-r: Dr. Carlos Cuéllar (URC), Roberto Llames (Enterprise Solutions), John Michael De Carlo (IBM), Consul General of New York Senen T. Mangalile, Ambassador John F. Maisto, Secretary Enrique A. Manalo, Ambassador Antonio Lagdameo (Permanent Representative to the UN), Undersecretary Maria Theresa Lazaro, Ambassador Thomas C. Hubbard (McLarty Associates), Craig Hall (Chevron), and Executive Director Hank Hendrickson, 20 September 2023, New York City.


At a September 7 presentation “Rizal, Maps, and the Emergence of the Filipino Nation,” jointly organized by the US-Philippines Society and Sentro Rizal Philippine Embassy Washington DC, Professor Ambeth Ocampo traced the evolution of various Philippine maps along with the development of geography from early drawings during the Age of Exploration, 15th to 17th centuries. Professor of International Studies Dr. Frank Jenista followed with insights into the events and factors that influenced American foreign policy towards the Philippines during the turn of the century amid debates over American expansionism. The presentation preceded a symposium at the National Portrait Gallery Washington DC which currently features an exhibition on 1898 and the Age of Imperialism. Read more

Photo: l-r Chargé d’Affaires Jaime Ascalon, Dr. Frank Jenista, Professor Ambeth Ocampo and USPHS Executive Director Hank Hendrickson, Washington DC, 7 September 2023.

Stay Connected
Facebook  Twitter