President Benigno Aquino 3rd left Thursday morning for Busan, South Korea to attend the two-day 25th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Republic of Korea commemorative summit.
In his departure speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2, the President said that he had earlier informed Korean Ambassador Lee Hyuk that his trip to Korea will depend on the impact in the country of typhoon “Ruby” (international name: Hagupit).
”According to our forecast, it (Ruby) will pass the areas hit by typhoon Yolanda. Based on the latest reports we received, it turned out that the typhoon did not create severe and extensive problem,” the President said.
”In fact, some have been thinking twice whether to recommend the declaration of national state of calamity. For this reason, we are confident in our objective that as we address the problems in our country, we are also focusing our attention in foreign relations of our country,” the President said.
While attending the Busan summit, President Aquino assured that he will continue to monitor the works of his Cabinet members in-charge of the rehabilitation and relief operations “to bring back to normal the life of the people” in the areas affected by Ruby.
The President said the commemorative summit will be a good opportunity to further enhance the bilateral relationship of the Philippines and South Korea.
”We know already that South Korea is the close ally of the Philippines for a very long time. It is a relationship formed by rich experiences of cooperation for democracy, freedom and prosperity,” he said.
The President said the strong cooperation between the two countries have resulted in over one million tourist arrivals from Korea.
”The Hanjin company from Korea has contributed also to make the Philippines the 4th largest shipbuilding country in the world. That’s according to 2014 first quarter data,” President Aquino said.
He said Korea was one of the countries that sent troops to help the Yolanda-ravaged areas in November last year.
”I’m also excited to talk to President Park Geun-hye. We will also get this opportunity to further expand and intensify our cooperation to them and to push stability and prosperity that are beneficial to our country,” President Aquino said.
The President said he will also use his last foreign trip this year to advance our advocacy in connection with the climate change.
”If we will be asked about our best practices in preparation and responses to climate change, we will not hesitate to share our experiences and knowledge about this,” he said.
The President is scheduled to return to Manila on Friday. PNA