AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad
MANILA, Philippines – Philip Goldberg, the Ambassador Designate of the United States to the Philippines, arrived in Manila on Monday, November 25, saying he starts his new job at a "moment of great challenge" after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) ravaged large parts of the Visayas.
In a video statement on Tuesday, Goldberg, who was sworn into office last Thursday, November 21 by US Secretary of State John Kerry, assured the Philippines of the US' continued support in rebuilding the affected areas.
The United States is one of the leading donors to victims of typhoon Yolanda in the Visayas, providing financial aid, medical assistance, and relief goods.
During his swearing-in ceremony in Washington, Goldberg remarked, “If I’ve learned one thing from the Filipino friends I’ve made all around the world, and there are Filipinos all around the world, it’s that they’re warm, but they’re also tough and resilient."
"There should be no doubt that they will bounce back. I have no doubt," he added. "And I know that the President and the Secretary are committed to doing everything we can do to help the people of the Philippines make a full recovery and advance in the next stage of the country’s development.”
Photo courtesy US Embassy in Manila
Goldberg is set to present his credentials to President Aquino in the coming weeks. He is replacing Harry K. Thomas Jr., who served as the US Ambassador from 2010 to 2013.
Goldberg was the former US Ambassador to Bolivia from 2006-2008. His tour of duty was cut short after the host government expelled him after he was accused by Bolivian President Evo Morales of "conspiring against democracy and seeking the division of Bolivia". Washington dismissed Morales' accusations after being deemed as "baseless".
A career diplomat, Goldberg held key positions in the US government. He was also the US Chief of Mission in Pristina, Kosovo from 2004 to 2006.
Prior to his assignment to the Philippines, Goldberg was also the US' Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research since 2010.
He has also served as the Coordinator for Implementation of UNSC Resolution 1874 on North Korea prior to 2010.
Watch Goldberg's message below