Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Repost From Elena Torrijos

Philippine President takes stairs up 20 flights

By Elena Torrijos – March 10th, 2011

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III toured a water reclamation plant in Singapore (AFP Photo).

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III had to take 20 flights of stairs up a water treatment plant in the first day of his state visit to Singapore after the building’s only lift broke down.

Executives of Singapore’s national water agency PUB were touring the 51-year-old head of state and his delegation around the Changi Water Reclamation Plant yesterday.

As the group prepared to head back up after looking at some used water pumps 60 metres underground, the only lift broke down — the first time since the plant opened more than two years ago.

The group waited for technicians to get the lift working again, but after 20 minutes, Mr Aquino removed his jacket, loosened his tie and started climbing the stairs, The Straits Times reported.

Accompanied by Singapore Minister Lim Swee Say of the Prime Minister’s Office, Aquino remained in good spirits, taking short breaks along the way.

Members of the delegation kept the mood buoyant. One Philippine Cabinet secretary quipped: “We’re okay, Mr President, we’ll follow you anywhere you go.”

Upon reaching the top after a 10-minute climb, Mr Aquino received a towel, some water and apologies from Mr Lim and PUB executives.

“No problem at all,” the Filipino President replied.

Mr Aquino is scheduled to have lunch with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today and attend a state dinner hosted by President S R Nathan.

The visiting leader will also have an orchid named after him tomorrow, and will be speaking at an event organised by the Singapore Business Federation and the Singapore Management University.

Reposted From Elena Torrijos

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