Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Tuesday said Cabinet officials joining President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s attendance to the 25th Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia in Tokyo will work with various trade missions in Japan.
In a message to reporters, Medialdea said Cabinet members have their own trade missions and denied that the trip is a reward for a successful 2019 midterm election results.
“May mga kanya-kanyang trade missions ang mga kasamang kabinete. Hindi po sila dekorasyon sa summit. Trabaho lang yan (Each Cabinet member has their own trade missions. They are not mere decorations in the summit. They are there solely for work),” he said.
Medialdea noted that most Cabinet members have not been active in the 2019 election campaign.
“Puro halos wala sa kampanya ang mga kasamang opisyal (Officials in the delegation were not in the campaign),” he said.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez also dismissed such claims.
“We have never seen this as ‘pabuya’ (reward) when we are working day and night just to prepare for all these activities,” Lopez said in his text message to reporters.
Lopez said government officials maximize the President’s attendance every time there is a foreign trip.
“Every time we travel with the President, we maximize his presence and have him speak to several investments fora, and we conduct deal signing, business matching and networking, round table meetings with PRRD and investors and Secretaries do join as an opportunity to dialogue with the foreign business community,” he said.
Malacañang released a list of the official delegation as of Tuesday morning, which include:
-Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Department of Foreign Affairs
-Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Department of Finance
-Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Department of Agriculture
-Secretary Mark Villar, Department of Public Works and Highways
-Secretary Karlo Nograles, Secretary to the Cabinet
-Secretary Ramon Lopez, Department of Trade and Industry
-Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat, Department of Tourism
-Secretary Arthur Tugade, Department of Transportation
-Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña, Department of Science and Technology
-Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Department of Energy
-Secretary Eliseo Rio Jr., Department of Information and Communications Technology
-Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority
-Secretary Jose Ruperto Martin Andanar, Presidential Communications Operations Office
-Secretary Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., National Security Adviser and Director-General of the National Security Council
-Secretary Salvador Panelo, Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel
-Carlito Galvez Jr., Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity
Duterte is expected to assert Asia’s role in charting its own future when he delivers his speech in the event on the second day of the conference set on May 30-31.
The Nikkei Conference on the Future of Asia is an annual meeting where government and business leaders share their respective assessment of Asia’s prospects and their ideas as to the direction Asia should chart for itself. (PNA)
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