Manila, Philippines – President Aquino is busy doing his homework in preparation for his visit to the United States this month.
The President has started to study certain government policies and proposals that would be discussed when he meets world leaders in his first overseas trip as the Chief Executive, Secretary Herminio Coloma of the Presidential Communications Operations Office revealed Sunday.
The 50-year-old Aquino, who won a huge mandate in the last elections despite modest experience in administrative capacity, is set to visit the US on September 20 mainly to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.
He will also join other leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in a summit with US President Barack Obama at the sidelines of the UN assembly.
The second US-ASEAN leaders' summit will seek broader cooperation in trade and investment, regional security, disaster management, food and energy security, and climate change.
“Our President and his team are preparing for the topics that will be discussed in the United States.
The President is known for his style of always preparing thoroughly in all his tasks including the upcoming visit abroad,” Coloma said in Filipino over government radio.
“He is meticulously studying position papers, policy options and proposals required for policy reforms and approval. He is doing his homework while attending to the other important concerns of his government,” he added.
Coloma also said the President would not allow the August 23 hostage incident to dampen his visit to the US this month.
Despite the outrage over the government’s supposed mishandling of the hostage crisis, he said the President is ready to meet and talk with foreign leaders, including the leader of China, during his attendance at the UN Assembly. The government of China has demanded a swift and thorough investigation into the hostage-taking that left eight Hong Kong tourists dead.
Coloma acknowledged that the hostage incident was a “temporary setback” but the government has carried out measures to remedy the lapses in handling crisis situations.
“That’s part of the challenges facing the government. We cannot totally eliminate those challenges but since it is already there, we need to face them, fix what went wrong, and improve in areas we are weak at,” he said.
“Governance is a continuing process. We cannot allow temporary setbacks like that to slow the nation’s progress,” he said.
Genalyn Kabiling, Manila Bulletin