IN a bid to save on taxpayers, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is planning to fly in a small aircraft to Singapore instead of a presidential charter flight to attend the 32nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) this April.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the president decided to use an eight-seater plane in place of the normal Philippine Airlines Charter Flight PR001.
“To save money! It’s expensive to charter a plane. And a leaner delegation will mean lesser cost for the taxpayer,” Roque said in a Palace briefing on Monday, as quoted by The Inquirer.
“The private plane is an 8-seater plane, so it’s a very small plane,” he added.
The senior official said Duterte would only be accompanied by the president’s Special Assistant Christopher “Bong” Go, and several members of staff.
“It’s a very small team that will fly with him and it’s a lot cheaper compared to chartering a whole, an entire Philippine Airlines plane,” he said.
The regional summit is being held in Singapore on April 27 to 28.
According to the Inquirer earlier, Duterte is the most travelled President in his first year in office with over 19 trips abroad.
In January Duterte ordered government officials to only fly economy class every on all official trips.
Duterte is known for taking economy seats for his regular flights home to Davao City and has fired several of his appointees for supposedly taking frequent yet unnecessary travels.