MANILA - South Korean companies are interested in port and other infrastructure developments in the Philippines, President Aquino said Friday night.
He made the announcement at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport upon his arrival from Busan, where he attended the 25th Association of Southeast Asian Nations-Republic of Korea commemorative summit.
Aquino said South Korean President Park Geun-hye laid down the interests and steps that her country would take to further strengthen the relations between South Korea and the Philippines.
He noted that South Korean companies were particularly good at building coastal breakwaters and that the Philippines could learn from them in port and other infrastructure developments.
Aquino earlier announced the $500-million framework agreement loan from South Korea for development projects in the country. He said the Philippines was given a very good interest rate.
The President also cited other forms of assistance that Seoul would like to provide the Philippines for Mindanao peace and progress and for the improvement of its services and disaster preparedness.
He disclosed the planned implementation of the infrastructure development program by the Korea International Cooperation Agency, along with the continuation of their current programs for capacity-building for the Bangsamoro.
As regards Seoul’s aid in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda that hit the Philippines last year, Aquino said Park told him that apart from sending Araw troops, they allocated $5 million after Yolanda struck and another $20 million for rehabilitation of disaster-hit areas.
Aquino said these donations contributed a lot in the country’s “build back better” program for the areas affected by Yolanda.
The President also visited an exhibition on public governance organized by the South Korean government with the theme: “Better Governance, Happier Citizens.”
He expressed admiration over the innovations that South Korea was pushing for its citizens, including e-passport or instant passport system that was part of their e-governance agenda to make government services more efficient.
The President also bared that the first two FA-50 fighter jets from South Korea would arrive next year as part of the administration’s plan to build a minimum credible defense for the country.
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