PRESIDENT Duterte yesterday promised $300,000 or about P15 million as humanitarian aid for the Rohingya minority in Myanmar, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs.
The President made the pledge during his meeting with Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, which was held at the Presidential Palace in Nay Pit Kaw.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, who was part of the President’s delegation in the Myanmar trip, said Duterte also invited Suu Kyi to visit the Philippines and presented her a bouquet of red roses.
Suu Kyi issued a letter of appreciation to the Philippines for its “generous contribution of $300,000 as humanitarian assistance for the communities in the Rakhine State, Myanmar.”
“This thoughtful gesture of the government of the Philippines reflect the Asean solidarity and family spirit as well as the traditional bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two countries,” she said.
Rakhine, one of the poorest states in Myanmar, is home to a Buddhist-majority and to more than one million Rohingya Muslims, some of them immigrants from Bangladesh.
Violence broke out in Rakhine in 2012, resulting in the killing and displacement of some 140,000 people — predominantly Rohingya — from their homes.
During the meeting, Duterte and Suu Kyi also talked about increasing trade and investment between Philippines and Myanmar.
Chief of Staff, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing also hosted high tea for Duterte and his delegation after the meeting between the President and Suu Kyi.
Prior to the meeting, Duterte met with President U Htin Kyaw who led the welcome ceremony for him and his delegation.
The two presidents discussed several issues, including strengthening of relations and increasing trade and investment between Philippines and Myanmar.
They witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on food security and agricultural cooperation.
U Htin hosted dinner for Duterte and his delegation.
Duterte will proceed to Thailand for a two-day official visit. He was expected to arrive there 12:10 a.m. today, Manila time.
Today, Duterte is scheduled to meet with Thai Prime Minister, General Prayut Chan-o-Cha, and discuss issues of mutual concern like politics, agriculture, energy, education, defense cooperation, and increasing trade and investments between the countries.
On Wednesday, Duterte will have a roundtable discussion with business executives and meet the Filipino community in Bangkok. There are about 16,000 Filipinos living and working in Thailand.
He is expected to arrive in Manila on Thursday.