So why is Duterte in Japan?

Michaela Tangan
PUBLISHED October 30, 2017 12:04 pm | UPDATED October 30, 2017 12:25 pm
Photo from Reuters

(Inside Manila) So what if Duterte is in another "foreign trip?" What do we get from it?


The country has spent over P500 million for President Rodrigo Duterte 19 trips to 17 countries.  This does not include his second trip to Cambodia, Hong Kong and, the recent three-day working visit to Japan.


As a Juana Dela Cruz, are these trips, particularly his current visit to Japan, worthy of our hard-earned contributions to the state?


Here are a few things you should consider:


Marawi Rehabilitation


In his departure speech, Duterte had expressed hope that Japan could extend assistance for the Marawi rehabilitation. He said that the “failure to rehabilitate” the war-torn city could have a huge impact in the country.


Marawi City, once a business district and beacon of quality education in Mindanao, has been burned down to ashes due to the five-month-long battle, the longest clash since World War II.


 For the war alone, which left the city in ruins, the Philippines has already spent about P5 billion.  


The government has estimated a P150 billion budget to bring back structures and provide shelters, basic services, and livelihood to about 400,000 residents.


Security, peace, and stability in the region


In Duterte and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s joint statement, the leaders had affirmed their commitment to maintaining peace amid challenges faced by the East Asian region, such as rift at the North Korean Peninsula and the overlapping claims over the West Philippine Sea.


The two heads of state witnessed the Memorandum of Implementation and Letter of Arrangement for the transfer of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force's training aircraft TC-90s.


Abe had renewed the intention to continue enhancing security and defense cooperation, including training the Philippine Navy pilots and enhancing the capacity of its infrastructure and providing high-speed boats and other equipment to enhance the Philippines’ anti-terrorism capabilities.


Infrastructure improvement


President Duterte and the Philippine delegation are also set to meet with Tokyo businessmen, including Japan International Cooperation Agency President Shinichi Kitaoka, to enrich their interest in investing in the country and to further boost Manila-Tokyo economic ties.


In January, Japan had already pledged to provide a total of one trillion yen (P434 billion) in aid and investment for the huge infrastructure projects of the Philippines such as the first-ever rail system in Mindanao and other railways which will connect Metro Manila and its nearby provinces.

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