PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte might visit some law enforcement and drug rehabilitation centers during his scheduled visit in China, the spokesperson of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Friday.

Speaking to reporters, DFA spokesperson Charles Jose said the President would arrive in Beijing, China on October 18 and would stay there until October 22.

“As part of his official program, the President may visit some law enforcement and drug rehabilitation centers,” Jose said.

Jose said Duterte is likely to visit the law enforcement and drug rehabilitation centers to find out how the Chinese government is cracking down on the drug menace.

“The visit is still tentative. It’s not final yet. But I think the purpose is for the President to see for himself how China is also addressing the drug problem and it’s also the fact that China is also assisting us as far as rehabilitation and law enforcement are concerned,” he said.

Duterte has revealed that Chinese government is helping his administration curb the drug proliferation by providing it the list of Chinese nationals involved in narcotics trade in the Philippines.

He has also thanked China for giving the Philippines some funds for the creation of a drug rehabilitation center.

Asked if it is possible that there would be joint efforts between the two countries to address the drug problem, Jose said: “I’m sure the ongoing efforts between our PDEA (Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency) and their Chinese counterparts on how to address this very serious problem.”

‘Maritime row expected to be discussed’

Meanwhile, Jose said Duterte is scheduled to hold bilateral meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his visit to China.

Jose said the bilateral talks would begin on October 20 but he refused to disclose specific details about the supposed meeting between Duterte and Xi.

He said that the two leaders were expected to tackle “all areas of interest,” including the disputes on the South China Sea.

“Well, the bilateral relations between the Philippines and China are very expansive. So we expect that all areas of interest will be expected to be discussed, including the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea),” Jose said.

“I don’t know how things will emerge. Well, I would imagine his this will be taken up during the meeting of the President with President Xi Jinping,” he added.

Jose said Duterte and Xi are scheduled to witness the signing of a number of memoranda of understanding and agreements on various fields of cooperation between the two countries.

The President, he said, is also expected to meet separately with National People’s Congress Chairman Zhang Dejiang and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

Jose said Duterte would also meet the Filipino community and China and would deliver a keynote address at the Trade and Investment Forum that will be attended by Filipino and Chinese investors.

“With this visit by President Duterte, the Philippines hopes to strenghten the bilateral ties between the Philippines and China through mutual respect and sincere cooperation for the prosperity and benefit of both countries and their peoples,” he said.

In June this year, the Philippines and China celebrated 41 years of formal bilateral relations. (Sunnex)