MANILA – Malacañang spent about P8.8 million for President Benigno Aquino III’s working trip to Japan on Tuesday based from a news release posted on the Presidential Communications Operations Office’s (PCOO) website.
According to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., the president left this morning for Tokyo via a chartered flight together with his 41-member delegation which includes Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, Presidential Management Staff Chief Julia Andrea Abad and Presidential Protocol Chief Celia Anna Feria.
The P8.8 million pesos covers the expenses for transportation, accommodation, food, equipment and other requirements of the President and his delegation during the one-day trip.
Aquino had a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and discussed areas of cooperation and regional security developments particularly in the Bangsamoro peace deal and the promotion of trade and investments in the country.
In a joint press statement, earlier today, the President also expressed his support to Abe’s proposal to expand the role of the Japanese military not only in defending Japan, but also its allies that come under attack. Aquino said that Abe’s push could bring the Philippines and Japan closer to their shared goal of regional peace, stability and prosperity.
Aquino, thereafter, proceeded to Hiroshima to deliver a keynote speech at the Consolidation for Peace for Mindanao Conference organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) together with the Research and Education for Peace of the Universiti Sains Malaysia.
Aquino will then drop by the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park before heading back to the Philippines Tuesday night according to the PCOO.
Prior his departure, Aquino said in a speech that his visit to Japan will be worthwhile, as quoted, “Mamayang gabi na rin po ang uwi natin, at ngayon pa lang ay nakikita na natin ang positibong bunga ng biyaheng ito.”