The President’s Day: October 26, 2010

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Today is the first day of the President’s Vietnam trip. It marks the President’s first State Visit (the US trip was not a state visit). In Vietnam, the President will also attend the 17th ASEAN Summit in Hanoi and other related Summits.

At 7:00 AM, the President arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport to depart for Vietnam. Before leaving the President delivered his departure statement, telling those present that he intends to “send the message loud and clear to our friends overseas that the Philippines is once again open for business, as a responsible and dynamic member of the community of nations.”

Read the President’s whole statement.

The President and his delegation took a commercial flight, PR 591 of Philippine Airlines, bound for Ho Chi Minh City.

View photos of the departure ceremonies.

Note: Vietnam is 1 hour behind Philippine time (e.g., 9:00 AM in Vietnam is 10:00 AM in the Philippines). From hereon, time stamps will be in Vietnam time.

The President’s flight landed at Ho Chi Minh Tan Son Nhat International Airport at around 9:oo AM. There he was greeted by a delegation of  Vietnamese officials. From Ho Chi Minh, the President boarded an F-28  presidential aircraft for Hanoi.

At around 12:00 PM, the President arrived at Noi Bai International Airport, Hanoi. After the arrival ceremonies, the President headed for the Grand Plaza Hotel, Hanoi.

At the Grand Plaza, the President met with members of the Philippine media for a quick interview, wherein he expressed his hopes for greater cooperation among ASEAN nations, and emphasized that Vietnam is one of the RP’s closest neighbors. When asked if he’s considering tie ups with Vietnamese industries, he said they will be discussing it.

At 2:30 PM, the President went to the Presidential Palace of Vietnam for a bilateral meeting with Vietnam President Nguyen Minh Triet and the Vietnamese delegation.

During the meeting the President discussed the RP’s investments in Vietnam and said he hoped Vietnam would also consider the Philippines as a possible investment venue. Triet in turn reaffirmed his commitment to strengthen ties between Vietnam and Philippines.

At 4:00 PM, the two leaders witnessed the signing of four Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs) between the RP and Vietnam on (1) Academic Cooperation,  (2) Defense Cooperation, (3) Oil Spill Preparedness & Response, and (4) Search & Rescue at Sea.

Notes on the four MOAs between the Philippines and Vietnam:

  • The MOA on Academic Cooperation with the CHED aims to promote cooperation in higher education and professional training, and provide a framework within which detailed proposals for programs on education cooperation are to be jointly considered.
  • The MOA on Defense Cooperation with the DND aims to create a framework for boosting bilateral cooperation between the defense agencies and armed forces of both countries, specifically covering defense and military cooperation, equipment and technology cooperation, and cooperation in the defense industry.
  • The MOA on Oil Spill Preparedness and Response with the Philippine Coast Guard aims to undertake cooperation in oil spill preparedness and response, particularly in the areas of human resources development, mutual assistance, information exchange, research and development, and other areas of cooperation.
  • The MOA on Search and Rescue at Sea with the Philippine Coast Guard aims to enhance the efficiency of search and rescue operations for ships, aircraft and persons in distress.

At around 4:30 PM the President went to the Grand Hall of the Prime Minister’s Office to meet with Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

The President Congratulated the Prime Minister on the occasion of the 1000th anniversary of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. Prime Minister Tan Dung in turn congratulated the RP for conducting a successful elections last May, and said he was happy that the earlier meeting between the two presidents led to the signing of key documents that would contribute in strengthening the ties between the two countries.

At 7:30 PM, the President attended a state banquet held in his honor, hosted by President Nguyen Minh Triet at the Banquet Hall of the Government Guest House.

The President of Vietnam delivered a speech and offered a toast. President Aquino in turn offered his toast.

During the banquet, traditional songs and dances of Vietnam and the guest countries were performed—including hit songs by Freddie Aguilar and the Apo Hiking Society covered by a Vietnamese band.

There was little formal discussion during the banquet—it served as an opportunity for the President to interact with Vietnamese dignitaries and the ASEAN leaders.

After the banquet, the President retired to the Grand Plaza Hotel, thus ending the first day of his state visit.

Read the President’s day: October 27, 2010

Read the President’s day: October 25, 2010