P12M budget for PNoy visit to S.Korea
MANILA - Malacañang is allocating some P12 million for President Aquino's two-day state visit to South Korea, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Thursday.
In a statement, Ochoa said the budget covers, among others, transportation, accommodation, food and equipment requirements for the President and his 60-member official delegation during the visit on October 17 and 18.
President Aquino left this morning for Seoul via a chartered flight, accompanied by Senate President Franklin Drilon, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla, Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Presidential Management Staff head Julia Andrea Abad and Presidential Protocol Chief Celia Anna Feria.
President Aquino’s trip to Seoul is on the invitation of Republic of Korea President Park Geun-hye.
"Our President is expected to tackle several issues with President Park. These concern not only South Korea and our country, but also the region, and cover matters related to politics, defense, labor, trade and development assistance,” Ochoa said.
"The President will also meet with key Korean business groups as well as the Filipino community there.”
Aquino will be meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-hye at the Blue House or the presidential palace where the two leaders will discuss regional and bilateral issues ranging from political dialogue, defense cooperation, to trade and investments relations, official development assistance, consular and labor cooperation and people-to-people exchanges.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) on defense cooperation between the two countries will be signed by their respective defense ministers.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said the agreement will cover a wide range of cooperation from exchange of visits by military personnel and experts to humanitarian assistance and international peacekeeping activities.
The agreement is designed to help the Philippines improve its defense capabilities including the protection of its territory.
Aquino will be honored with a state dinner Thursday night.
On Friday, Aquino will visit the War Memorial and receive a recognition on behalf of his father Ninoy Aquino who served as a Manila Times correspondent covering the Korean War.
The Philippines was a member of the US-led 16-nation coalition that defended the Republic of Korea against the invasion of North Korea during the Korean War in the 1950s.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said President Aquino will confer the Order of Lakandula on Representative Jasmine Bacurnay-Lee of the Korean National Assembly in recognition of her achievement and advocacies in promoting migrant women’s rights and multiculturalism.
Lee, who hails from Cavite and Davao City, is the first naturalized Korean to be elected to the National Assembly, the DFA added.