Gov’t spent P277M on Duterte’s foreign trips

Pia Ranada
Gov’t spent P277M on Duterte’s foreign trips
President Rodrigo Duterte has gone to 12 countries since he became Chief Executive, mostly in Southeast Asia

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has spent a total of P277.387 million on President Rodrigo Duterte’s foreign trips, so far.

Malacañang released a breakdown of the amount on Thursday, February 23, at a Palace news briefing.

Duterte has visited 12 countries as President, to date.

See the breakdown below:

  • Brunei, Laos, and Indonesia, September 5-9, 2016 (ASEAN Summit working visit) – P29.876 million
  • Vietnam, September 28-29 (official working visit) – P14.082 million
  • Brunei and China, October 16-21 – P45.266 million
  • Japan, October 25-27 (official visit) – P28.305 million
  • Thailand and Malaysia, November 9-10 (official visit) – P23.721 million
  • Peru and New Zealand, November 17-23 (APEC) – P86.558 million
  • Cambodia and Singapore, December 13-16 (state visit) – P49.578 million

The most expensive foreign trip was his visit to Peru to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ summit last November. The visit cost a total of P86.5 million.

His two-day trip to Vietnam was the cheapest, at P14.1 million in total expenses.

Duterte’s trips to Southeast Asian countries is in fulfillment of the Philippines’ chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year.

“These official trips are part of the President’s obligation to maintain and strengthen diplomatic ties with neighboring countries,” Abella said in another press briefing on Wednesday.

He said the trips also won for the Philippines many government-to-government agreements and investments. 

In China, for example, 13 bilateral agreements were signed while billions worth of soft loans and investment deals were committed to the Philippines. (READ: What Duterte accomplished in China)

In Japan, Duterte also brought home several agreements.

He is set to visit two more Southeast Asian countries early this year.

The Palace is also gearing up for Duterte’s trip to Russia in the summer months. – Rappler.com

 

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.