President of the Republic of the Philippines, Rodrigo Roa Duterte was hosted by Singapore President Tony Tan during his two-days state visit to Singapore from 15 to 16 Dec.
On Mr Tan’s Facebook page, he wrote that Singapore and Philippines share a close and longstanding relationship.
He stated that ASEAN will celebrate the 50th anniversary of its founding next year, and as founding members of ASEAN, Singapore and Philippines have worked closely together over the past five decades in the effort towards achieving peace, stability and prosperity for the region.
“Singapore wishes the Philippines every success for its 2017 ASEAN Chairmanship,” he said.
Mr Tan said that Singapore and Philippines also have strong people-to-people ties. Singapore is a familiar place to many Filipinos.
He also noted that Singapore welcomes about 700,000 visitors from the Philippines and hosts many Filipinos studying or working in Singapore each year. In turn, the beautiful beaches in Cebu and Boracay are no strangers to many Singaporeans, many of whom like to visit the Philippines for a relaxing holiday.
“I look forward to working with President Duterte in the coming years to further strengthen the enduring friendship between Singapore and the Philippines,” he wrote.
President Duterte, accompanied by President Tony, inspected the Guard-of-Honour during the Welcome Ceremony held at the Istana.
The Presidents reaffirmed the close ties between Singapore and the Philippines at a Courtesy Call held earlier in the day.
President Tony spoke about the strong economic and warm people-to-people relations between Singapore and the Philippines at the State Banquet.
President Tony and President Duterte toasted to the enduring friendship between Singapore and the Philippines.
Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong also met the President Duterte.
He wrote on his Facebook page that the first time he met with President Duterte was at the ASEAN Summit in September.
President Duterte told PM Lee that he went to Singapore for the first time 30 years ago for a court case.
“Singapore and the Philippines enjoy a long-standing friendship. We have strong economic ties and warm people-to-people links. There is a lively Filipino community in Singapore and many Filipino tourists come here to enjoy our food and attractions,” PM Lee wrote on his post.
PM Lee and President Duterte had a discussion on terrorism, the South China Sea, and the US role in the region during their meeting yesterday.