Zubiri: PH Senate, House joint session set on Nov 4 for Japan’s Kishida
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Senate and the House of Representatives will convene in a joint session on Saturday, November 4, for Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said.
Kishida will be in the country starting November 3 in a bid to “strengthen cooperation between two allies in confronting common challenges,” according to Zubiri.
“We look forward to the address of a leader of a nation that is a robust trading partner, a strong security ally, a lending hand during calamities, and an investor in Philippine progress,“ the Senate leader said in a statement Wednesday.
Zubiri said the upcoming joint session of Congress was an “honor only accorded to a foreign head of state only five times in Philippine history.”
The last time it was held to “hear and receive” a message from a head of a nation was in 2006, when former Indian President Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam visited the Philippines, he noted.
Zubiri explained that the Senate and the House of Representatives will first convene separately at 9 a.m. on November 4 to pass resolutions on inviting Kishida to Congress and on conducting a joint session.
Zubiri said Kishida is scheduled to address the Philippine Congress at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City.
He also said that 18 of 24 senators have confirmed their attendance to the joint session.
Japan is the largest bilateral source of the Philippines’ official development assistance (ODA), the Senate leader pointed out.
“According to data from the Department of Finance, ODA from Japan amounted to $14.139 billion or P7.77 trillion over a 20-year period spanning three presidencies from 2001 to 2020, accounting for 72 percent of all $19.656 billion total bilateral loan portfolio for the same period,” he said.