WASHINGTON – June 23 (via PLDT) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
is arriving here Monday from Fresno, Calif. to begin a five-day
working visit to the US capital for a series of meetings with top US
officials and business leaders.
The highlight of her 10-day visit to California, Washington and New
York is her one-one-one meeting with President George W. Bush.
Accompanied by First Gentleman Miguel Arroyo and a small group of
Cabinet officials and Filipino business leaders, the President arrived
in San Francisco, Calif. from Manila on a commercial flight Saturday
The President has lined up a series of engagements, including meetings
with Filipino communities in the three cities in her itinerary,
Filipino World War II veterans and US business groups.
The Chief Executive will also discuss with US officials various
issues, notably US-Philippines relations, the environment, security,
human rights, and other global concerns.
Her meeting with President Bush will focus on outstanding global
issues of common concern to the two countries, notably terrorism, food
security, non-proliferation of nuclear arms and human rights.
She is expected to thank Bush for his support to Filipino World War II
veterans through the US Veterans Office in Manila and the Veterans
Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.
Filipino veterans are also looking forward to a favorable resolution
of the remaining issues relating to their longstanding claim for
benefits in World War II alongside the American forces in the Philippines.
Voting 96-1, the US Senate had approved the Veterans Benefits Bill
calling for additional benefits to Filipino WWII veterans.
The President will also meet with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates
for wide-ranging discussion of the US-Philippines security relations
and the Philippine defense reform program.
Another important engagement on the President's calendar is her
meeting with officials of the Washington-based Millennium Challenge
The MCC has granted the Philippines Compact Eligible status after the
country passed objective indicators in the areas of governing justly,
investing in its citizens, and encouraging economic freedom.
She will also meet with stakeholders of the Coral Triangle Initiative
(CTI) a multi-nation effort to push the CTI project spanning across
Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands
The CTI holds the richest concentration of iridescent corals, fish,
crustaceans, mollusks and marine plants in the world.