PH gov’t earmarks P11.2 million for Aquino’s two-day South Korea trip
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine government has allocated P11.2 million for President Benigno Aquino III’s two-day visit to South Korea, Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa said on Thursday.
Aquino left on Thursday morning to attend the 25th Association of South East Asian Nations Republic of Korea (Asean-ROK) Commemorative Summit.
He boarded a chartered flight to Busan, South Korea with a 48-member delegation which included some of his Cabinet secretaries: Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Press Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma, Presidential Management Staff Chief Julia Andrea Abad and Presidential Protocol Chief Celia Anna Feria.
According to Ochoa, the amount will cover transportation, accommodation, food, and equipment expenses.
“President Aquino’s attendance to the 25th Asean-ROK Commemorative Summit is an occasion to fortify our country’s relationship with South Korea in various areas of cooperation such as trade and investment, development, labor and migration, tourism, among others,” Ochoa said in a statement.
Aquino is expected to deliver his country statement “Building Trust, Bringing Happiness” before the Asean-ROK summit and will hold a bilateral meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
The chief executive has earlier suspended the trip Monday afternoon in order to monitor the situation in areas hit by Typhoon Ruby (international name: Hagupit). He was also not feeling well last Monday.
But since Ruby has left the country on Wednesday night, Aquino has decided to push through with the trip.
Promoting global climate change advocacy
In a speech before he left for South Korea, Aquino said that the trip provided an opportunity to bolster the relationship between the Philippines and South Korea, which he said was forged by a shared history of advancing freedom, democracy, and progress.
Aquino said he will also advance the country’s advocacy on global climate change during the summit.
“Gayundin, sa mga pagpupulong sa biyaheng ito, isusulong po natin ang ating adbokasiya kaugnay ng global climate change. Kung tatanungin nga po tayo tungkol sa ating best practices sa paghahanda at pagtugon dito, hindi tayo mag-aatubiling ibahagi ang ating karanasan at kaalaman ukol sa usapin,” the president said.
(During the meetings in this trip, we will advance our advocacy in connection to global climate change. If we will be asked on what our best practices in preparing for and responding to this issue, we will not hesitate to share our experience and knowledge to the said concern.)
The Asean-ROK Commemorative Summit will be the last foreign trip of the president for this year.
He is expected to be back on Friday.
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