Malacañang on Saturday, November 4, welcomed the announcement of the White House that United States President Donald Trump would extend his stay in the Philippines to attend the East Asia Summit (EAS).
The US Embassy in Manila had earlier announced that Trump will skip the East Asia Summit (EAS).
The US President however decided to extend his trip to the country for another day in order to attend the EAS this November.
The EAS is an annual meeting of national leaders from the East Asian region and adjoining countries. The 12th EAS will convene in Angeles, Pampanga on Novembers 13 and 14 this year.
“The President [Duterte] looks forward to engaging President Trump in the productive dialogue at the ASEAN-US Commemorative Summit and the EAS,” Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said during the radio briefing aired over Radio Pilipinas.
The Palace official said that this would be the perfect time for ASEAN and other partnering countries to resolve current issues.
Andanar said that the Philippines, as the host and chair of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings, is set to welcome all foreign leaders and delegates to ensure that they would experience Filipino hospitality at its finest.
“And since we are about to approach the culminating event of the 31st ASEAN, we will need to ensure the security of the ASEAN leaders plus the partnering countries,” Secretary Andanar said.
“We should show our best foot forward kasi this is the time that we can show the whole world that we are a very good country, a very nice country, disciplined people, and we are very warm, alam na naman ng lahat ‘yan. And we are very orderly,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Communications chief said that this year, the Gala Dinner for the ASEAN leaders will be held the night before the 31st ASEAN Summit.
“Kumbaga, fresh pa ‘yung mga leaders natin kasi kararating pa lang ng Pilipinas and nakapaghanda na rin ‘yung mga senior ministers days prior to that. So ‘yun ang isang pagkakaiba ng ASEAN,” Andanar said.
Malacañan welcomes PAL’s P6-B tax settlement
Malacañang welcomed the P6-billion settlement of Philippine Airlines (PAL) with the government, which is expected to fund the Duterte administration’s priority projects, particularly the rehabilitation of Marawi City.
“That is a very, very positive outcome na inaasahan din ng ating gobyerno, ng ating Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” Secretary Andanar said, adding that the Finance and Budget team will be the ones allocating the budget and that the infrastructure projects have to be implemented as soon as possible.
Secretary Andanar also reiterated that Japan has provided funds worth US$6 billion to the Philippines to support the infrastructure and development projects, including the establishment of a subway system in Metro Manila.
The project seeks to help address traffic congestion in Metro Manila, ease air pollution and promote investments in the Philippines.
“Remember, si Japanese Prime Minister Abe ay nag-commit na ng anim na bilyong dolyar para sa project na ‘yan at paulit-ulit niyang sinabi during the meeting in Japan… partial operability,” Secretary Andanar said.
“So meaning, sa loob mismo ng termino ni Pangulong Digong ay ma-experience natin ang underground sa Metro Manila or ‘yung subway system,” he said.
“This is really a positive outcome na nagbayad na ho ang grupo ng PAL ng anim na bilyon,” he added. PND