Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo welcomed reports that President Rodrigo Duterte and US President Barack Obama got the chance to meet personally and exchanged warm pleasantries on Wednesday in Vientiane, Laos.
Teo said the chance encounter of the two leaders at the Gala Dinner for ASEAN and Dialog Partners should boost the possibility of a more substantive meeting in the near future that may impact bilateral relations and Asian regional security.
"Mr. Obama must have found out for himself how amiable President Duterte is, one thing that I've known personally for many years in Davao City," Teo said.
The Department of Tourism chief also said the MalacaAang clarification that Duterte's outburst and expletive was not personally directed to Obama but a "natural reaction" to a reporter's hypothetical question should settle the issue.
"Now, they are getting to know more about President Duterte, his usual affront and uncompromising principles and stand on issues." noted Teo.
She also expressed confidence that strong friendly relations between the two countries will continue, and that Americans will be most welcome to visit the Philippines.
"The Philippines has always had strong ties with the US and that is not going to change any time soon,"Teo stressed.
United States has been consistently the second biggest source of international visitor arrivals in the Philippines. Last year, a total of 779, 217 visitors from US arrived in the country. And just for the first half of 2016, some 530,000 have opted to see the beauty of our islands.
Source: Philippine Information Agency