Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez (bottom) answers questions from attendees of “Philippines-U.S. Alliance in a Post-Pandemic World,” held on 12 November 2020 and moderated by Jihyun Amanda Won (top), founder and coordinator of the Asia Initiative Lecture Series at the Institute of World Politics in Washington, D.C.


12 NOVEMBER 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – “To say that this pandemic has changed the world as we know it is an understatement. We have witnessed how the coronavirus has and continues to alter the way we live and interact with each other, the way we work and conduct business, and even the way we meet and exchange ideas. It has also magnified and intensified geopolitical dynamics in many parts of the globe, including in our own region in Southeast Asia. Amidst these changes, the alliance between the Philippines and the United States has remained steadfast, if not stronger,” said Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel G. Romualdez in a virtual program entitled, “Philippines-U.S. Alliance in a Post-Pandemic World,” hosted by the Institute of World Politics (IWP) Asia Initiative Lecture Series on 12 November 2020. 

Ambassador Romualdez also spoke about the Philippine Embassy’s efforts to secure access to COVID-19 vaccines that are being developed by U.S. pharmaceutical companies. He said, “Discussions are underway with companies at the most advanced clinical stages of development, including Pfizer, ModernaTX, Novavax, INOVIO Pharmaceuticals, and Arcturus Therapeutics. We hope to further expand our pool of potential partners to include Janssen Pharmaceutical and MSD. We are also working to facilitate cooperation in clinical trials, procurement and distribution, and eventual co-manufacturing with both the government and the private sector to complement the vaccines that the Philippine Government will source from the WHO-led COVAX Facility. This would ensure that Filipinos will have early and sustained access to reliable vaccines.”

On the role of the U.S. in preserving peace and stability in the South China Sea, the Ambassador remarked, “The Philippine Government welcomes the U.S.’ strengthened policy as regards maritime claims in the South China Sea, making it clear that China’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are unlawful. We also welcome U.S. leadership in rallying like-minded countries to push back against China’s actions in the South China Sea.”

The event was moderated by Jihyun Amanda Won, founder and coordinator of the Asia Initiative Lecture Series at the IWP. 

“The objective of IWP’s Asia Initiative Lecture Series (AILS) is to enhance the study and knowledge of the Asian geopolitical, economic, and cultural realms, and the event with Ambassador Romualdez was significant in that he specifically emphasized the critical value of the Philippines-U.S. alliance in one of the most challenging times in a post-pandemic world,” Won said in a statement after the program. 

The Institute of World Politics is a graduate school of national security and international affairs, dedicated to developing leaders with a sound understanding of international realities and the ethical conduct of statecraft, based on knowledge and appreciation of the founding principles of the American political economy and the Western moral tradition.