Gov’t Sets Aside P4.5-M for President Aquino’s official trip to Thailand

The government has earmarked around P4.5 million for the official  visit of President Benigno Aquino III and a 52-man delegation to Thailand where he is expected to make a pitch for investments under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program and foster cooperation in agriculture and in combating drug-trafficking. Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said on Thursday that funding for the trip covers expenses for air fare, hotel accommodations, food, transportation, and telecommunications and equipment requirements.

President Aquino left this morning for Bangkok for a two-day trip on the invitation of Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. He was accompanied by Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario, Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo and Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.

“The President’s visit to Thailand seeks to fortify the bilateral relations of our country with Thailand. Our country and Thailand have a dynamic and thriving relationship and we intend to strengthen that relationship with them, as well as with the rest of our neighbors in the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN),” Ochoa said.

Other officials who are part of the presidential delegation are Philippine Ambassador to Thailand Linglingay Lacanlale, Chief of Protocol and Presidential Assistant for Foreign Affairs Miguel Perez-Rubio, Energy Undersecretary Josefina Patricia Asirit, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Cristina Ortega and Secretary Ramon Carandang of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said President Aquino iexpected to present investment possibilities in the Philippines under the PPP program to Prime Minister Abhisit and Thai business groups.

According to the DFA, there will be discussions on possible collaboration in agriculture and fighting drug trafficking betweenofficials of the Philippines and Thailand, among others.

The Chief Executive is also scheduled to meet the Filipino community in Thailand. ###