On May 1, CSIS hosted Jejomar C. Binay, vice president of the Republic of the Philippines, at our Banyan Tree Leadership Forum. Mr. Binay spoke about the U.S.-Philippines alliance in light of President Barack Obama’s April visit, the significance of the U.S.-Philippines Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), his experience as mayor of the city of Makati, and ways to sustain the success of the Philippine economy. CSIS Sumitro Chair Ernest Bower hosted Vice President Binay for a short Dialog video which you can watch here:
In his public speech, Mr. Binay lauded EDCA – which was agreed upon following eight rounds of negotiations and signed during President Obama’s visit – as an important pillar in the Philippines’ regional security strategy. The Philippines, he said, will continue to pursue international law to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea. While the agreement comes on the heels of China’s growing aggressiveness toward its neighbors in the South China Sea, Mr. Binay said it does not define the whole of China-Philippines bilateral relations.
Vice President Binay confirmed his ambition of running for president in 2016, and told the audience that his experience of developing Makati into a bustling financial center has taught him how to create a business-friendly environment and influenced his thinking on economic policy at the national level.
Mr. Binay stressed inclusive growth as the key to replicating the Makati success story across the Philippines. The Philippine economy has been booming in recent years, and is projected to become the world’s 15th largest economy by 2015 if it continues to grow at the current level. However, in order for economic gains to be felt by the people, Mr. Binay believed the government should pay attention to poverty reduction and the diversification of the Philippine economy. Vice President Binay’s full speech is viewable below: