MANILA, Philippines – Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam will arrive in Manila on Wednesday, April 2, for a 4-day state visit to strengthen bilateral relations with the Philippines.
Palace Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said in a news briefing on Tuesday, April 1, that Tan will be on his first official visit to the Philippines to reciprocate the state visit of President Benigno Aquino III to Singapore in 2011.
Tan and his official party will offer a wreath in honor of Dr Jose Rizal at the Luneta Park on Thursday before proceeding to Malacañang, where Aquino will tender a state luncheon in his honor.
“The two leaders will discuss cooperative activities in defense, trade and investment,” Coloma said.
Aquino and Tan are also expected to discuss the Filipino community in Singapore. Singapore hosts 180,000 Filipinos.
Tan, who will be accompanied by his wife, Mary Tan, and a delegation of Singaporean officials, will meet with the Philippine-Singapore Business Council on Friday.
Coloma said Tan will also visit Tacloban, Leyte and Basey, Western Samar where he will turn over medical supplies to the Basey District Hospital, the beneficiary of the joint rehabilitation project between the Singapore Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Tan’s delegation is composed of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Grace Fu, who is also the Second Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, and the Second Minister for Foreign Affairs; Hawazi Daipi, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Manpower; and Members of Parliament Dr Lam Pin Min and Vikram Nair.
Singapore was the Philippines’ 4th largest trade partner in 2013, with total trade of $8.22 billion. It is also the 6th largest source of visitors to the Philippines, with 175,304 tourist arrivals in 2013. – Rappler.com