By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

NEW ENVOYS. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. receives the credential of newly-appointed Oman Ambassador to the Philippines Nasser Said Abdullah Al Manwari at Malacañan Palace in Manila on Tuesday (Jan. 31, 2023). Marcos also received the credential of Canada Ambassador to the Philippines David Bruce Hartman. (Screenshot from Radio Television Malacañang)

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday received the credentials of newly-appointed ambassadors from Oman and Canada.

State-run Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM) shared several videos of the ceremony on the two new diplomats’ presentation of credentials held at Malacañan Palace in Manila.

Ambassadors Nasser Said Abdullah Al Manwari (Oman) and David Bruce Hartman (Canada) were given arrival honors before presenting their credentials to Marcos, based on the video uploaded by RTVM’s official Facebook page.

The two ambassadors also signed the Palace guest book.

Hartman started his diplomatic post in the Philippines in November 2022 when he replaced former Canadian ambassador James Peter MacArthur.

He worked as a special assistant to a member of Canada’s Parliament before joining the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in 1998.

Diplomatic relations between the Philippines and Canada began in 1949.

Over the years, the relations between the two countries have expanded significantly in areas of mutual cooperation such as trade and investments, maritime security, marine environmental protection, agriculture and education, among others.

Meantime, Nasser was appointed as Oman’s new ambassador to the Philippines in December 2022.

Bilateral relations between the Philippines and Oman were established in 1980.

Oman’s Embassy to the Philippines was officially inaugurated in 2013.

The two nations developed a progressive partnership in political, economic and cultural fields,

Seeking diplomatic community’s support

Meantime, Marcos, in a Vin d’honneur at Malacañan Palace, called on the members of the diplomatic community to support the administration’s Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028, which will serve as the country’s blueprint in its economic and social transformation in the next six years.

Marcos made the call, as he expressed high hopes for the country’s continued positive progress which cushioned the shocks of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic on the Philippine economy.

“I urge our friends in the Diplomatic Community to work with us in achieving our development goals as laid out in the Plan through partnerships and cooperation with your respective governments and also your business sectors. Let us discuss opportunities where our countries can participate,” he said.

The traditional Vin d’honneur is an official reception hosted by the Philippine president at Malacañan Palace on New Year’s Day. Vin d’honneur comes from the French practice, which means “wine of honor,” and traditionally takes place at the end of inaugurations, speeches and ceremonies.

Marcos stressed that the Philippines’ foreign policy aims to pursue international engagements on the basis of the country’s national interest, adding that his administration intends to elevate ties with bilateral and multilateral partners.

He also acknowledged that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) continues to be a cornerstone of Philippine foreign policy, and vowed that as a staunch champion of multilateralism, the Philippines will continue to work with its partners in building a stronger United Nations.

During the event, Marcos touted the country’s economic growth in 2022, as well as the tax collection and investment figures that are “also moving upwards.”

“With the current growth momentum, the Philippines is poised to reach upper middle-income status very soon,” Marcos said, adding that the plan is “achievable.”

Post-Covid-19 realities, Marcos said, demand recalibrating strategies and focusing on urgent concerns, which include food security, job generation, poverty reduction and management of inflation.

Marcos said the strategies entail “new thinking” that puts premium on “operational efficiency, sound fiscal management and good governance.”

He said the initiatives that his administration will pursue would help draw investments in agriculture, renewable energy and infrastructure sectors, expressing optimism that opportunities and investment leads and pledges would translate into actual projects. (PNA)