Duterte flies to Singapore for ASEAN summits
President Rodrigo Duterte left on Monday for Singapore to attend the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit and Related Summits.
Duterte designated Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea as officer-in-charge on November 12-18, while he is attending the ASEAN Summit and later the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders' Meeting in Papua New Guinea.
"To ensure continuity of government service, it is necessary to designate an Officer-in-Charge (OIC) to take care of the day-to-day operation in the Office of the President and oversee the general administration of the Executive Department," Special Order No. 1265, which was issued on November 9, said.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, in a statement, said Duterte will take part in the opening ceremony for the second and last summit of ASEAN for this year on November 13.
On the same day, the President, along with the other leaders, would witness a presentation by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, to be followed by a working dinner for the ASEAN leaders to be hosted by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore.
This will be followed by an ASEAN Summit Plenary session.
The ASEAN leaders will also hold summits with leaders from dialogue partners in the format of the Plus One Summit. Dialogue partners include leaders of Australia, China, Republic of Korea, Russia, and Japan on November 14. They will then hold the Second Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Summit to discuss the progress in the negotiations of the document. A cocktail reception and gala dinner will be held at the end of the second day.
On November 15, Duterte, together with other ASEAN leaders will meet with leaders of India and the United States, after which they will attend the ASEAN Plus Three Summit. The 13th East Asia Summit Plenary will also be held.
"The 33rd ASEAN Summit in Singapore will be an opportunity for the Philippine government to join in discussions pertaining to the progress of the ASEAN Community blueprints and in bringing ASEAN closer to the realization of a people-centered ASEAN Community. Similarly, the related summits in Singapore will give the President the chance to witness the progress of ASEAN’s relations with its dialogue partners, with the goal of fostering deeper cooperation on priority areas including peace, security, economy, and overall well-being of our people," Panelo said.
Other Cabinet officials joining Duterte in Singapore are Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Social Welfare and Development Secretary-Designate Rolando Joselito Bautista, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, and Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, and Philippine Ambassador to Singapore Joseph del Mar Yap.
From Singapore, Duterte will proceed to Papua New Guinea for the APEC meeting. Celerina Monte/DMS