President Rodrigo Duterte may travel to at least four countries this year, Malacañang said Wednesday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said officials were currently discussing the possibility of Duterte visiting India, South Korea, Australia, and Israel.
Of the four trips, the India trip appears to be the most likely, as it will be held this month for a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and India, according to Roque.
Nothing is definite about the other foreign travels.
“So far it’s being discussed between the Department of Foreign Affairs and the countries that have invited the President,” Roque said.
“These visits of course will have very specific goals and, [as] part of a state visit or working visit, is always to promote trade and investments as far as the Philippines is concerned,” he added.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Duterte to visit India when they met in Manila during the Asean summit last November. India’s Ministry of External Affairs has already announced Duterte accepted the invitation.
Last month, in a speech in Davao City, Duterte mentioned that he hated to travel and spoke of his reluctance to go on the India trip.
But the DFA told him that if he failed to go there, the Philippines would be the only country without a leader present. Besides that, India is a big market.
In the same speech, Duterte announced that he would limit the travel of government officials, except for diplomats. /atm