MANILA –Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella reported the “windfall” of President Rodrigo Duterte’s foreign visits.
The President made seven international trips to 12 countries since he took office last year. These included Brunei, Laos, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Peru, New Zealand, Cambodia and Singapore.
“These visits incurred a total of about PHP277-million in expenses, which included airfare, charter lease, and others,” Abella disclosed.
From these foreign trips, China and Japan were the most fruitful, with investment pledges in the billions of dollars and estimated hundreds of thousands of jobs to be generated in the next few years.
“The visit to China resulted in more than 20 agreements with an estimated value, total value of USD 4 billion and will generate over 100,000 jobs,” the Palace spokesperson continued.
Included in the agreements, Abella said, were a 50-million renminbi each for the construction of drug rehabilitation facilities and supply of equipment for law enforcement activities.
“The visit to Japan likewise produced investment commitments estimated at USD1.85 billion and will generate about 250,000 jobs in the next few years,” Abella said, adding five government-to-government agreements were executed that included Exchange of Notes Agreements of up to USD184-million.
Moreover, Abella mentioned 15 pipeline loans entered into by various national government agencies for various projects during the President’s visit to Japan, which include the constructions of North Avenue to FTI Taguig subway and the Manila to Clark high-speed railway.
Foreign trips made by the President, Abella underscored, form part of his obligation as Head of State to maintain and strengthen the country’s diplomatic ties with other nations.