MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III flew to Indonesia tonight and will proceed to Singapore two days after.
The purpose of his visit is to strengthen the Philippines’ bilateral and regional ties with the two countries.
According to the official itinerary of the President, he will be in Indonesia from March 7 to March 9; and from March 9 to 11, he will be in Singapore for his state visit.
Sec. Alberto Del Rosario of the Department Of Foreign Affairs says, “These visits follow the ASEAN tradition of a new head of state paying courtesy visits to fellow ASEAN member countries. And by observing these traditions the Philippines shows its commitment to ASEAN as its most important regional partner in development and peace and security efforts.”
Upon his arrival in Indonesia, the President will meet with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and is expected to discuss matters regarding fisheries cooperation, maritime boundary delimitation and others.
The President will also witness the signing of basic education agreement, sports cooperation agreement and the agreement against transnational crimes between Philippines and Indonesia.
In Singapore, President Aquino will face Singaporean President Sr Nathan and his Prime Mminister Lee Hsien Long. There will be discussions on public private partnership initiatives or more popularly known as P-P-P.
It is anticipated that on this trip to Singapore, a particular breed of orchid will be named after President Aquino, in his honor, as part of Singapore’s courtesy to visiting heads of state.
Sec. Alberto Del Rosario says, “the Philippines looks forward to a more robust Philippines-Indonesia and Philippines-Singapore bilateral relations and a stronger ASEAN geared towards building a community by 2015.”
The President is also scheduled to meet with the Filipino communities in Indonesia and Singapore; various business organizations and businessmen to further strengthen their investments in the Philippines. (UNTV News)