(Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte is now in Indonesia to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leaders’ Gathering today, October 11.
The President arrived at the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, Indonesia on Wednesday night, October 10, for the ASEAN meeting set on the following day.
Duterte was invited to participate in the event by Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
The ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering is a High-Level Assembly that is a side occasion of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) – World Bank (WB) Annual Meetings seeking to accomplish ASEAN’s ambition in achieving its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Before Duterte left for Indonesia, he already ordered the sending of humanitarian assistance to Indonesia to help areas hit by the recent 7.5 magnitude quake and tsunami.
A Philippine C-130 plane flew Wednesday for Indonesia bringing supplies to aid quake and tsunami victims.
Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Leehiong Tan Wee said the Philippine government has also pledged US$300,000 in humanitarian assistance consisting of generators, medical kits, and water.
The first batch of the relief goods and other aids arrived at Balikpapan Kalimantan Airport on Wednesday while the second delivery is scheduled on Sunday.
Apart from government aid, several private companies in the Philippines also extended cash donations to the Embassy of Indonesia in the Philippines, according to Ambassador Wee.
He added that the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (BAC) also donated US$100,000.
-PHL President Duterte to meet with Indonesian President Widodo-
Aside from participating in the ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering along with other nine leaders of the regional bloc, President Duterte will also meet with Indonesian President Widodo.
The two leaders are expected to discuss matters of mutual interest such as enhancing trade and investment, combatting terrorism, and intensifying maritime defense and security.
Regarding trade, Ambassador Wee disclosed the plan to revive an old air route between Davao and Manado, capital of Indonesia’s North Sulawesi province.
“Probably within the year or early next year, there will be an air route that will come from Davao to Manado,” he said.
“And there’s a fastfood company in the Philippines that will also open up in Jakarta,” he added.
Indonesian Ambassador to the Philippines Dr. Sinyo Harry Sarundajan said the “brotherhood” between the Philippines and
Indonesia is evident, commending the Philippine government for always being open to help countries in need.
He likewise noted that the two nations are already preparing for the celebration of the 70th year of the Philippines and Indonesia’s bilateral relation next year.
Ambassador Sarundajang expressed his gratitude to the Philippine government for its assistance in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami.
“On behalf of the government and the people of Indonesia, we would like to thank the government and the people of the Philippines for the support [after the] disaster in Palu and Donggala,” he said.
(with a PND report)