Tacloban trip highlights Swedish king’s visit to PH

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King Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, pays a courtesy call on President Benigno S. Aquino III in the Music Room of Malacanang Palace.LYN RILLON/INQUIRER

MANILA, Philippines — The King of Sweden is in the country for a three-day visit that includes a call to President Benigno Aquino III and a trip to Tacloban City to personally see the rehabilitation efforts after the devastation of Super Typhoon “Yolanda” (international name Haiyan).

King Carl XVI Gustaf will be the guest of honor in the Invitational Peace Jamboree of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP). “This is the first visit of a Swedish monarch and Head of State of Sweden to the Philippines,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement Friday.

“His Majesty is the Honorary Chairman of the World Scout Foundation (WSF)… which raises funds for various scouting projects worldwide, including the Ticket to Life project in the Philippines,” DFA said.

King Gustaf will have a dinner Friday hosted by Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is the National President of the BSP. Officials of the World Organization of the Scout Movement and the WSF will also be present.

The Philippines is third in the world in terms of scout memberships with two million boy scouts, behind the Boy Scouts of America and the Boy Scouts of Indonesia.

“The Swedish monarch will visit the projects of the BSP in Tacloban in the aftermath of Haiyan and other related projects of the Swedish Government implemented through the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA),” DFA said.

“King Carl XVI Gustaf is one of the longest serving monarchs in Europe, having celebrated the 40th anniversary of his accession to the throne in 2013,” it said.

The Philippines and Sweden have $202 million worth of bilateral trade as of 2012 and $17 million in remittances from the estimated 15,000 Filipinos in Sweden.

There were at least 21,000 tourists from Sweden that came to the country in 2012, DFA said.
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