CAMBODIA – If he had his way, President Duterte prefers to stay home and govern the country.
But for the sake of enhancing the country’s relations with neighbors abroad, the President has confessed that he is compelled to overcome his aversion to flying to fulfill his foreign affairs duty.
The President made the remarks about foreign travels as he vowed to promote regional “cohesiveness” in his state visits to Cambodia and Singapore from December 12 to 15.
“I’m leaving for Cambodia sa – bukas. I’ve been trying to sort out really why I have to visit these countries. Ayaw ko kung ako lang. Napipilitan lang ako because ang foreign policy natin is to get to know ‘yung ASEAN countries,” Duterte said during his Tarlac visit last Sunday night.
“It would maybe someday work to – for our benefit because we have a cohesiveness at magkaisa tayo dito. The world is really a troubled one,” he added.
The President is scheduled to depart for Cambodia today for a state visit on December 13 and 14 followed by Singapore on December 15 and 16. This would be his six foreign travel since he assumed office last June.
Meanwhile, the government is still hopeful that American Business Process Outsourcing companies will stay in the Philippines despite the recent pronouncement of US President-elect Donald Trump to return these businesses stateside.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar argued that the country remains a lucrative place for BPO companies due to lower operating costs compared abroad.
“If you may recall, US President Obama had similarly appealed to American BPOs to conduct their operations back in the US but his call fell on deaf ears,” Andanar said.
“American BPOs stayed in the Philippines because it is more viable to do business here. They would have less operating expenses. In the US, workers are paid per hour. In the Philippines, workers are paid per day,” he added. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)