Outgoing US ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg expressed confusion over the recent pronouncements of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s push for an “economic separation” from the United States.
Citing that a big chunk of dollar remittances come from Filipinos in the US, Goldberg said on Friday, Oct. 21 that the economies of the Philippines and the United States remain “very much linked.”
“43% of the remittances from abroad from OFWs go through the United States, or originate in the United States,” Goldberg said.
“There are 3 and a half million Filipino-Americans. I’m sure there are many people in the studio with American relatives, friends, who have studied in the US.”
But despite the apparent confusion over Duterte’s pronouncements indicating separation from the United States both in military and economics, Goldberg stressed that the US has a “solid and solemn commitment” to the Philippines in both military and economic sectors.
“I don’t know what separation means quite frankly, because we are so inextricably linked,” he said.
According to data from the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, the United States is the Philippines’ third largest trading partner, after Japan and China, worth $16.491 billion.