Aquino to hobnob with British royalty
MANILA, Philippines - Malacanang said President Aquino will meet with British businessmen who are interested to invest in infrastructure projects in the Philippines, as well as attend a lunch hosted by the royal family of the United Kingdom.
President Aquino's trip to the UK is in time for the 4-day 60th anniversary celebrations of the accession of Queen Elizabeth, 86, from June 2 to 5.
"The Queen will be hosting a lunch for the President (Aquino) but [it will be] Prince Andrew [who will be there instead] because, as we all know, the Queen is celebrating her diamond jubilee so [they have celebrations] going on there," Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a press briefing on June 3.
She said this UK trip is part of President Aquino's 3-cities trip from June 4 to 10. Aside from London, the president will also travel to Washington and Los Angeles. He will leave on Monday afternoon, June 4, via Philippine Airlines, and will be back in time for the Independence Day celebrations on June 12.
Valte said Aquino is keen to touch base with the Filipino community in the UK, as well as meet with business groups who have expressed interest in investing in infrastructure projects under the flagship public-private partnership (PPP) scheme of the government.
"If you remember, UK was the first country to signify intent to support the PPP programs. So we expect to get the sense of the investors there on what projects that they may want to support," she explained.
President Aquino has harped on the economic benefits of big-ticket infrastructure projects under a PPP mode when he became president in 2010, but delays have hampered project roll-outs. Except for one medium-sized road project that was awarded before end-2011, those in the pipeline--roads, airports, rail systems--have gone through several sets of reviews and changes. - Rappler.com