President Rodrigo Duterte’s foreign trips last year cost tax payers around P277 million.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the money allocated for the President’s trips included airfare.
“The President made a total of seven foreign trips, visiting a total of 12 countries since he took office,” Abella told reporters.
“These visits incurred a total of about 277 million in expenses, which included airfare, charter lease and others,” he added.
Among the countries the President visited were Laos, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, China, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Peru, New Zealand, Cambodia, and Singapore.
The Palace official said Duterte’s visit to neighboring countries aims to enhance diplomatic relations and boost the economy.
He cited the President’s visit to China that resulted in the signing of over 20 agreements, yielding investment commitments valued at $4 billion and projected to generate more than 100,000 jobs.
“Included in the agreements were a 50 million Renminbi grant for the provision of drug rehabilitation facilities and another 50 million Renminbi million grant for the supply of law enforcement-related equipment,” Abella said.
He noted that the visit to Japan produced investment commitments estimated at $1.85 billion and will generate about 250,000 jobs in the next few years.
“There were also about five government-to-government agreements signed, including the exchange of note and agreements up to $184 million. Moreover, 15 pipeline loans were acquired by several national agencies during the visit in Japan, which includes the construction of a subway from North Avenue to Taguig and a high-speed railway from Manila to Clark,” he said.
“These official trips are part of the President’s obligation to maintain and strengthen diplomatic ties with neighboring countries and has clinched numerous economic investments and commitments amounting to billions of dollars — to billions of pesos and generate thousands of jobs in the following years,” Abella added.