When Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. returns home this week from an extended trip to the United States, his greatest achievement will not be securing new security pledges amid a worsening territorial row with China. Instead, it comes from an entirely different arena.

Marcos lauded a landmark deal signed Friday that will enable Washington to export nuclear material, technology and know-how to the Southeast Asian country to help it decarbonize and boost energy independence.

“We see nuclear energy becoming a part of the Philippine energy mix by 2032, and we would be more than happy to pursue this path with the United States as one of our partners,” Marcos said during the signing ceremony of the so-called 123 Agreement, calling the move "a major step" in enhancing bilateral ties.