Duterte set to leave for South Korea official visit
Duterte is also hoping the planned summit between US President Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart will push through despite the issues, especially on denuclearization.

Duterte set to leave for South Korea official visit

Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - June 2, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte is ready to reaffirm the country’s bilateral ties with South Korea during his three-day official visit to Seoul from June 3 to 5, even as the Philippines supports the planned talks between the United States and North Korea this month.

“Mainly we can say that the Philippines welcomes the historic Inter-Korean Summit between President Moon Jae-in in the Republic of Korea and supreme leader Kim Jong-un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which was held last April 27 in Panmunjom,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ernesto Abella said in a press briefing yesterday.

Duterte is also hoping the planned summit between US President Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart will push through despite the issues, especially on denuclearization.

The President will depart from the Manila International Airport Terminal 2 late tonight. 

According to Abella, the President aims to convey to South Korea the importance of the partnership and to reaffirm relations. The Philippines is among the first nations in the world and the first among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member-states to establish official diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea.

“We actually celebrate the 70th anniversary of Philippines-Korea relations this coming 2019,” he said, noting that official diplomatic relations between the two countries started on March 3, 1949. 

Duterte will participate in a summit meeting, a business luncheon forum and attend the E-Mart Philippine Food Festival. He is also expected to discuss with Moon the Philippine-Korea relationship and the rehabilitation of Marawi City. The Republic of Korea has donated $100,000 to the Philippine Red Cross.

Also up for discussion are social cooperation and the protection of nationals of both countries. Abella said 1.6 million Korean tourists visited the Philippines and 450,000 Filipino tourists went to Korea in 2017, aside from the expatriates in each country.

Agricultural cooperation and market access for Philippine exports, especially okra, avocado and tropical fruits, will also be tackled during the summit meeting. 

The two leaders will talk about plans to cooperate in environmental protection for both bilateral and multilateral aspects. A joint press conference will be held after the meeting of the two leaders. 

During the official visit, several agreements will be inked and witnessed by Presidents Duterte and Moon: the memorandum of understanding between the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport; Scientific and Technological Cooperation between the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Ministry of Science and ICT; and Trade and Economic Cooperation by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.

A loan agreement on the New Cebu International Container Port Project between the government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Export-Import Bank of Korea will also be signed.

The President will meet with the Filipino community in South Korea. An estimated 68,000 Filipinos – comprising workers who entered the country under the employment permit system (EPS), students, professionals, missionaries and spouses of Korean nationals – are currently residing in South Korea.

The official visit has been in the works since Moon invited Duterte on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Manila in November 2017, Abella said.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea will be officer in charge of the executive department during Duterte’s Korea visit.

On the eve of his trip, Rep. Michael Romero of 1-Pacman urged Duterte to seek South Korean help in replenishing the country’s oil and fuel inventory through an oil reserves sharing agreement that could be included in the agenda.

“It so happens that South Korea has large petroleum and fuel reserves. We do not yet have an oil and fuel reserves sharing agreement with them,” Romero said, adding that the country already has existing oil-sharing arrangements with Thailand, Japan and the US.

He urged the Department of Energy (DOE) to tap these agreements to shore up the country’s oil reserves, pointing out that the “reserves of the cheaper oil from 2017 were used up last January and February.”

Based on DOE guidelines, oil firms are required to stockpile only up to seven days’ consumption of LPG and 15 days of other petroleum products. – With Jess Diaz, Rhodina Villanueva, Emmanuel Tupas

  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with