By Santosh Digal
Manila, October 15, 2019: The Indian diaspora in the Philippines is all set to meet President Ram Nath Kovind in Manila this week.
“We are excited to meet and interact with our president here. It is a great feeling to see one’s president,” Manpreet Singh, an Indian national, told Matters India.
President Kovind is scheduled to come on a state visit to the Philippines October 17-21 at the invitation of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
The occasion is to mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, said Philippine’s Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in a statement.
Both leaders are to “discuss areas of mutual interest, including political, economic, cultural, and people-to-people engagement” on October 18 in a bilateral meeting.
Kovind will also meet with the Indian community in the Philippines and the Filipino beneficiaries of the Mahaveer Philippine Foundation, an organization that helps give the Jaipur Foot to amputees. The Jaipur Foot is a rubber-based prosthetic leg designed and developed by Indian sculptor Ram Chander Sharma.
In 2017, during the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits hosted by the Philippines, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also visited the foundation to meet amputee-beneficiaries.
Kovind is the third Indian president to visit the Philippines since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 1949.
There are about 30,000 Indians in the Philippines, according to Philippine Immigration Office.