By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte has vowed to pursue “more solid” relations between the Philippines and Singapore, adding that he intends to get “a lot of advice” from the Asian neighbor on matters including water resource management.
The President made the statement after welcoming Gerard Ho Wei Hong, the new ambassador of Singapore to the Philippines, during the presentation of credentials of envoys in Malacañang.
“You Excellency, welcome to the Philippines. We are happy to see you here and I hope your stay will be productive,” Duterte said in his impromptu remarks.
“We need a lot of advice from Singapore and I’m sure those pieces of advice will go a long way to help us solve our problem especially water. I know Israel and Singapore have the best-operating machines about desalination,” he added.
Duterte said he was “happy” with the country’s strong relations with Singapore. “It has grown stronger all these years and we will make it more solid with your assignment here,” he said.
Water supply interruptions hit parts of Metro Manila last week, prompting the President to direct authorities to release water from Angat dam to deliver resource in affected areas. The government earlier blamed the mismanagement and inefficiency of concerned water officials for the recent supply problem in Metro Manila.
Meantime, the new Singaporean ambassador affirmed the “very strong” and “excellent” relations between the two countries.
“We look forward to commemorating the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations this year,” he told the President.