Duterte to raise 'environmental concerns' in South Korea visit

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in and President Rodrigo Duterte. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 3) — President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday he would raise "environmental concerns" with potential investors during his three-day visit in South Korea this weekend.

"We welcome infrastructure, factories and all, but we must protect the environment," Duterte said an hour before boarding a commercial flight to Seoul early Sunday.

"I want them also to see how the extent of the damage to the interest of the country had been so we can understand each other. The Philippines can only take so much," Duterte said.

The President particularly cited the destruction brought by open-pit mining companies, but did not mention if these include South Korean firms. Open-pit mining, an internationally allowed method of extracting mineral ore, is allowed under the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.

Duterte earlier said he would rather forego revenue from the mining industry than risk further damage to the environment.

The President however expects the bilateral meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-In will greatly benefit Mindanao, considering potential investments it would bring to the country.

He said he will seek a "reinvigorated partnership"  in defense and security, trade and investment, and political cooperation.

Duterte will also meet members of the Filipino community at the Grand Hilton Hotel and Convention Center on Sunday afternoon.

On Monday, Duterte will meet with Moon at the Blue House to sign four bilateral agreements:

Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and South Korea's Ministry of Land, Industry and Transport

Memorandum of Understanding on scientific and technological cooperation between the Department of Science and Technology, and South Korea's Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning

Loan agreement on the new Cebu International Container Port project between the Department of Finance and Export-Import Bank of Korea

Memorandum of Understanding on trade and economic cooperation between the Department of Trade and Industry, and South Korea's Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy

On Tuesday, Duterte will speak before potential Korean investors and grace the Emart Philippine Food Festival.