PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte flies to Brunei on Sunday as his kick-off trip abroad since assuming the presidency last June.
Duterte is expected to touch down in Brunei in the afternoon and will end his visit the following day.
The President earlier said that he plans to personally thank the Sultan of Brunei, His Majesty Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Wad’daulah, for “taking care” of the many overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in his country.
“I’d like to thank the King of Brunei, a lot of Filipinos [are] there. One is to thank him for taking care of the Filipinos, providing jobs,” said Duterte in a chance interview last August 23.
In Brunei the President will be accompanied by his official delegation, senior and other government officials.
“He will also meet with His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Sultan, and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam to discuss general bilateral relations and to convey his sincere appreciation to Brunei Darussalam for taking care of the 23,000-strong overseas Filipinos currently residing in the country,” according to Meynardo LB Montealegre, the Philippine ambassador to Brunei.
The President is also scheduled to have a meeting with the Filipino community in the evening at the Indoor Stadium.
“This visit is indeed a historic and a very memorable one not only for us, given that this is the first official foreign trip of President Duterte, but also for Brunei Darussalam, being the first foreign country visited by the newly-elected president,” said Montealegre.
Duterte departs for Laos the following day to attend the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits from September 6 to 8 before traveling on to Jakarta where he is set to meet with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
Duterte will be in Indonesia from September 8 to 9.