Government Earmarks P4.2 Million for President Aquino’s Trip to 18th ASEAN Summit

The government is spending about P4.2 million for President Benigno Aquino III’s trip to Indonesia for the annual gathering of the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) from May 7 to 8, Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Thursday.

The Chief Executive is set to leave Friday afternoon for Jakarta, accompanied by a 54-man delegation which includes Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, and Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras.

“The President will be participating in the plenary sessions and bilateral meetings to pursue initiatives on human rights, disaster risk reduction, protection of migrant workers, peace and security, and environment, as well as the realization of the Millennium Development Goals,” Ochoa said. “And consistent with the President’s previous official foreign trips, every effort was made to keep expenses to the minimum.”

The P4.2 million covers expenses for hotel accommodations, food, transportation, telecommunications and equipment requirements, among others. It does not include air fares.

The President’s attendance to the 18th ASEAN Summit, a yearly meeting of the heads of states and governments of the regional bloc composed of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, is his second since he became the Chief Executive last year. His first was in Vietnam in November 2010.

Other officials who will join the presidential delegation are Secretary Ramon Carandang of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office, Mindanao Development Authority Chairperson Luwalhati Antonino, DFA Undersecretary Erlinda Basilio, Chief Presidential Protocol and Presidential Assistant Miguel Perez-Rubio, Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Ramon Vicente Kabigting, and DFA Assistant Secretary Victoria Bataclan. ###