Duterte on 3-day official visit to South Korea

Published June 2, 2018, 1:36 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Genalyn Kabiling

SEOUL – As part of the government’s cost-saving efforts, President Duterte is expected to take a commercial flight to South Korea for his three-day official visit.

President Duterte leads inauguration of the newly completed 420-megawatt (MW) Pagbilao Unit 3 power project in Pagbilao, Quezon (PTV / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Duterte leads inauguration of the newly completed 420-megawatt (MW) Pagbilao Unit 3 power project in Pagbilao, Quezon
(PTV / MANILA BULLETIN)

The President is scheduled to depart Manila early Sunday morning aboard a Philippine Airlines flight (PR 466) for a four-hour trip to Seoul. This will be Duterte’s first official visit to South Korea since 2016 upon the invitation of President Moon Jae-in.

In his visit to Singapore last April, Duterte tried to save government funds by taking a small private aircraft and bringing along a small delegation. The government previously tapped chartered planes for the President’s other foreign travels.

Based on his official schedule, the President’s first public engagement will be a meeting with the Filipino community in South Korea at the Grand Hilton Hotel and Convention Center Sunday afternoon.

Around 68,000 Filipinos are currently working and living in South Korea. Many of the Filipinos in Korea are students, professionals, missionaries, and spouses of Korean nationals.

On Monday, Duterte is scheduled to hold talks with his South Korean counterpart at the Blue House, the executive office and official residence of the President.

The two leaders are expected to tackle areas of cooperation on agriculture, environment, protection of nationals, among others, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

After the summit meeting, they are expected to witness the signing of four bilateral agreements on transportation, technology, infrastructure, and trade cooperation.

One of the agreements will be the $172.64 million loan agreement for the new Cebu international container port between the Department of Finance and the Export-Import Bank of Korea.

President Moon is expected to host a dinner for the visiting Philippine leader and his delegation at the State Guest House on Monday night.

On Tuesday, the President is expected to invite the Korean business community to invest in the Philippines during a business forum at the Lotte Hotel. A number of private business deals is expected to be sealed during Diterte’s visit.

He will attend the Philippine Food Festival at the E-MART headquarters on Tuesday night, before flying back to the country. It’s still unclear whether Duterte will fly back to Manila or his hometown Davao City.

 
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