P49 mil for Aquino's Switzerland trip

President Benigno Aquino III is kicking off his foreign trips this year with a journey to Switzerland, where he is seen to cite Philippine reforms in a global forum.

Aquino is expected to "highlight the administration's anti-corruption campaign and make a pitch on the Philippines' readiness to receive more investments," Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. said in a statement Wednesday.

The government has earmarked P49 million for the trip, the statement added.

The amount includes the delegation's chartered flight to Switzerland, accommodation, transportation, food and equipment and telecommunications requirements, among others.

The President will fly to Davos late Wednesday to attend the World Economic Forum, which is flocked by global business and political leaders.

He is set to deliver a keynote address on the fight against corruption at the WEF "Partnering Against Corruption Initiative" which will be held on January 24, the Palace said.

Related story: Aquino to showcase Philippines' performance in Davos

Aquino's trip will last until Jan. 27. Aquino is also expected to meet the Filipino community in Zurich Jan. 26 before flying back to Manila.

"President Aquino's participation in the WEF is an important opportunity for us to let the world know of our determination to institutionalize good governance in our country as one of the principal pillars of fiscal reform," Ochoa said.

Last year, Aquino had nine trips abroad, including state visits to the United States and the United Kingdom.

Also among his notable 2012 trips abroad are to Vladivostok, Russia for the 24th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in September and to Phnom Phen, Cambodia for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in November.

Related story: Aquino won't be absentee president in 2013 polls 

For his first 2012 trip abroad, the President will be accompanied a 63-member delegation composed mostly of public officials.

This includes Foreign Affairs chief Albert Del Rosario, Finance chief Cesar Purisima, Trade chief Gregory Domingo, Budget chief Florencio Abad, Socio-Economic Planning chief Arsenio Balisacan, Cabinet Secretary to the President Jose Rene Almendras and Presidential Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang.

Related slideshow: Presidential activities

Philippine President Benigno Aquino speaks on October 23, 2012 in Wellington. Aquino has accused China of harassing two Philippine fishing boats in disputed South China Sea waters, allegedly driving ... more 
Philippine President Benigno Aquino speaks on October 23, 2012 in Wellington. Aquino has accused China of harassing two Philippine fishing boats in disputed South China Sea waters, allegedly driving out one that had sheltered from rough seas less 
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Sun, Jan 27, 2013 2:29 AM PHT

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