President Reagan has assured Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos of support in his efforts to solve the difficult economic problems of the troubled U.S. ally.

The pledge was contained in a letter hand carried to Marcos by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Paul Wolfowitz. Wolfowitz met with Marcos for 90 minutes at the presidential palace today.

Reagan told Marcos that the future of the Philippines "is important not only to your own people but to mine as well and indeed to all peace-loving peoples in the Pacific region."

Reagan also assured Marcos that the United States strongly supports the efforts of the Philippine government "to revitalize and strengthen" the country's democratic institutions."

During his three-day visit here, Wolfowitz also met with other government officials and opposition leaders, including Corazon Aquino, widow of slain Marcos foe Benigno Aquino Jr., and Roman Catholic church leader Cardinal Jaime Sin.

In a press conference before leaving for Bangkok and Singapore tonight, Wolfowitz said there was a need for reform within the Philippine military to stop abuses against civilians so the armed forces could be more effective in combating the rising communist insurgency in the Philippines.

"One can't be effective in that effort of containing the insurgency unless there is strong discipline and strict control over mistreating of civilians," Wolfowitz said.

Wolfowitz was the second senior U.S. official to visit Manila in the past week. Assistant Defense Secretary Richard Armitage also visited Manila on a separate survey mission. Both officials came to assess the military and economic assistance needed by the Philippines and to prepare to make recommendations regarding future U.S. aid levels and other policies.

The United States maintains two large military bases in the Philippines for which it is paying $900 million over five years.

Wolfowitz said he was encouraged by the strengthening of democratic institutions and by what he called the clear understanding among Filipinos on the nature of the insurgency threat and the need for comprehensive social and economic reforms to check its growth.

Asked about the nature of future U.S. aid, Wolfowitz said the United States will continue to pursue its basic policy in encouraging economic reforms and revitalizing democratic institutions within the context of ongoing military and economic aid.

The immediate need for the Philippines, he said, is not for "additional programmatic assistance as much as policy change to get at some of the structural problems in the way of further growth."

Asked about Marcos' health, Wolfowitz said the president "seems to be functioning effectively," United Press International reported. Officials have said Marcos had the flu in November but speculation persists that he is suffering from a serious kidney ailment. Reagan Pledges Support for Philippine Reforms By Abby Tan Special to The Washington Post

MANILA, Jan. 16 -- President Reagan has assured Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos of support in his efforts to solve the difficult economic problems of the troubled U.S. ally.

The pledge was contained in a letter hand carried to Marcos by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Paul Wolfowitz. Wolfowitz met with Marcos for 90 minutes at the presidential palace today.

Reagan told Marcos that the future of the Philippines "is important not only to your own people but to mine as well and indeed to all peace-loving peoples in the Pacific region."

Reagan also assured Marcos that the United States strongly supports the efforts of the Philippine government "to revitalize and strengthen" the country's democratic institutions."

During his three-day visit here, Wolfowitz also met with other government officials and opposition leaders, including Corazon Aquino, widow of slain Marcos foe Benigno Aquino Jr., and Roman Catholic church leader Cardinal Jaime Sin.

In a press conference before leaving for Bangkok and Singapore tonight, Wolfowitz said there was a need for reform within the Philippine military to stop abuses against civilians so the armed forces could be more effective in combating the rising communist insurgency in the Philippines.

"One can't be effective in that effort of containing the insurgency unless there is strong discipline and strict control over mistreating of civilians," Wolfowitz said.

Wolfowitz was the second senior U.S. official to visit Manila in the past week. Assistant Defense Secretary Richard Armitage also visited Manila on a separate survey mission. Both officials came to assess the military and economic assistance needed by the Philippines and to prepare to make recommendations regarding future U.S. aid levels and other policies.

The United States maintains two large military bases in the Philippines for which it is paying $900 million over five years.

Wolfowitz said he was encouraged by the strengthening of democratic institutions and by what he called the clear understanding among Filipinos on the nature of the insurgency threat and the need for comprehensive social and economic reforms to check its growth.

Asked about the nature of future U.S. aid, Wolfowitz said the United States will continue to pursue its basic policy in encouraging economic reforms and revitalizing democratic institutions within the context of ongoing military and economic aid.

The immediate need for the Philippines, he said, is not for "additional programmatic assistance as much as policy change to get at some of the structural problems in the way of further growth."

Asked about Marcos' health, Wolfowitz said the president "seems to be functioning effectively," United Press International reported. Officials have said Marcos had the flu in November but speculation persists that he is suffering from a serious kidney ailment.