MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III returned to the Philippines Wednesday, bringing some good news from his Japan state visit. He said Japanese firms are ready to pour in $1.4-billion worth of investments into the Philippines.
One agreement that coincided with the President's visit is Marubeni Corporation's deal with Aboitiz Power to expand the 735-megawatt coal-fired Pagbilao power plant for $600 million to $700 million.
A Marubeni spokesman said they aim to have the expanded plant fully functional by 2015.
On Tuesday, another Japanese business group, Itochu, announced that it will buy Shell's LPG business in the Philippines for a reported $130 million, or around P5.6 billion.
Aquino thanked the Japanese government, as well as the nation's emperor and prime minister, for the warm welcome he received.
He said Japan promised to continue its overseas development assistance for projects in the Philippine Development Plan and the Public-Private Partnership program.
The President said Japan supports peace in the region and is willing to help the Philippine Coast Guard patrol the West Philippine Sea.
Aquino had mixed emotions while he was in Japan because of the devastation caused by Typhoon Pedring on the Philippines.
The President was constantly being briefed by Cabinet officials about the situation in the Philippines while he was in Japan.
He praised state weather bureau PAGASA, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the Social Welfare Department, the military, and the police for their readiness in responding to the typhoon's threat. - with reports from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News; ANC Business Nightly