On Tuesday, September 29, the United States presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden has become controversial, to say the least.
In the live-streamed debate, Trump continuously interrupted Biden while he was delivering his points, making the former US vice president and Delaware senator lose his train of thought at times. The current president even claimed that the US would have logged 10 times more COVID-19 deaths if Biden were the president, as Trump accused Biden of wanting to open the US borders.
Truths, lies, insults, and interruptions were thrown here and there during the first night of the debate. Some issues were also brought up during the debate, like Trump having zero paid federal income taxes in 10 of the last 15 years, and the current administration’s COVID-19 response, to which Trump got defensive about. (Read: LIST: The Loans Signed by PH Government for COVID-19 Response)
As millions of voters from all over the US watched the live debate, people from the rest of the world have also given their own share of opinions about the upcoming November 3 elections. This leaves some non-US citizens (Filipinos, in particular) asking: Why do we actually need to be concerned and informed with the US presidential elections when we’re not even voters of the US?
Philippines-United States Ties
For the Philippines per se, we are concerned about the upcoming elections because of our country’s democratic relationship with the US since 1946.
One of the major programs the US and the Philippines have partnered with is the maintenance of peace and security in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao. The US government has also assisted in the relief and recovery efforts for those who were affected by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013 and the Marawi Siege in 2017, and continue to assist the Philippines in its relief and DRRM initiatives. (LIST: The Government Officials Who Resigned From Their Posts This Year)
On the economic side of things, the US and the Philippines have a long-standing trade and investment relationship. The Philippines also imports various materials such as machinery and agricultural goods from the US, while the latter imports computer peripherals, textiles, coconut oil, among others, from the Philippines. The US is also one of the Philippines’ largest investors and trading partners.
The US also accounted for over 600,000 tourists in the Philippines back in 2013, the second-largest group to visit that year. Around 350,000 Americans also live in the Philippines as permanent residents. On the other hand, there are around 3.4 million Filipinos residing in the United States and some of them even hold positions in public office.
The 2020 US Presidential Elections will be held on November 3, Tuesday.