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Hotel and Vehicles for 24-Hour Obama Philippines Visit: $1.1 Million

9:02 AM, May 15, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
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The official White House schedule says President Obama was in the Philippines for less than 24 hours, but the estimated cost of the hotel and vehicle rentals in support of the trip topped $1.1 million. The hotel contract (Sofitel Luxury Hotel) provided for up to 3,600 room night plus various function rooms for $873,675:

The vehicle contract included cars, vans, buses, and also cargo vehicles for $231,876:

The cost of the hotel in Manilla exceeds that for the Japan leg of the president's Asia trip, which was estimated at $635,000, as THE WEEKLY STANDARD reported on April 28.

During his April 28-29 visit to Manila, the president met with Philippine president Benigno Aquino and attended a state dinner, viewed the new City Optimized Managed Electric Transport (Comet) electric Jeep being developed as a low-pollution mass transit alternative, and participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Manila American Cemetery.

According to a report by the GMA news network, since the Philippines trip was an official state visit, the government of the Philippines will cover the cost. A statement on the official website of the president of the Philippines says of state visits: "The host country shoulders the costs for the visit for the official delegation only. This may include accommodations and providing vehicles for travel unless the delegation chooses to provide its own." However, the statement goes on to say, "In this type of visit, the visiting official can have 8-10 (not counting the official) personnel as part of his official delegation." However, President Obama often travels with hundreds of White House, State Department, and support personnel.

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