Solaire Resort and Casino, Parañaque City
27 October 2015

President Benigno S. Aquino III highlighted the significant contributions of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) to society that serves as the country’s window to the global community.

In its Annual Presidential Forum held at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Parañaque City, the President commended FOCAP for putting balance in their reports and adhering to international standards of reportage. After his speech, the Chief Executive answered various questions from the FOCAP members.

Among the topics that were raised included the transmission of a guided-missile destroyer by the U.S. Navy at the West Philippine Sea to challenge the 12-nautical mile territorial limits that China is claiming. According to President Aquino, there is no official announcement on the particular voyage but he sees no issue as the freedom of navigation has been guaranteed to all parties.

When asked if he will extend assistance to his successor, President Aquino said that he is willing to help whoever will be elected, as long as his hand is needed.

On the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) being hosted by the Philippines, the President and Finance (DOF) Secretary Cesar Purisima explained that the meetings focus on the following — more inclusive growth within the APEC region which includes discussions on the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), trade agenda, and structural reforms. The 21 member-economies are expected to come up with a Manila Declaration after their meeting in November.

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