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Thursday, November 04, 2010

FW: Five-day Vietnam trip to cost taxpayers P11.3 million




Office of the President

of the Philippines





Malacañang is spending around P11.3 million for President Benigno Aquino III's five-day trip to Vietnam for the 17th Association ofSoutheast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit, according to Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr.

The amount covers the expenses for the 52-man delegation accompanying the President on his second foreign trip since he became President last June. This includes accommodations, transportation, food and the cost of commercial airfares.

"The President is being consistently prudent when it comes to his trips. He insisted on cutting the support staff to minimum and paring down expenses so that taxpayers' money is wisely spent," Ochoa said.

Ochoa added that the President's trip to the United States last month reinforced the Chief Executive's views that huge delegations were unnecessary and wasteful.

"If the first foreign trip taught us anything, it is that it is possible to limit the delegation size and keep costs down and still meet the objectives of the trip," Ochoa explained. "Last month the President brought home US$2.4 billion worth of investments and more than 40,000 new jobs and still achieved those results with a lean staff."

"At the end of the day, it's not about how big the delegation is; what matters is who's leading them," Ochoa said.

This time five Cabinet officials are accompanying the President in Vietnam. They are Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima, Trade Secretary Gregory L. Domingo, Foreign Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, Presidential Management Staff Chief Julia R. Abad and Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning head Ramon A. Carandang.

Prior to the gathering of the ASEAN heads of states and governments from October 28 to 30, the President is scheduled to meet with Vietnam President Nguyen Minh Triet during the state visit on October 26 and 27. ###


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