PHILIPPINE President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. has appointed his special envoy to boost trade ties with South Korea, months after the two countries entered into a free trade deal.

Bryan C. Lim, vice president for business development at Suyen Corp., was named special presidential envoy to Korea for trade and investments, the Presidential Communications Office said in a Facebook post.

Suyen, the Philippine company behind the clothing brand Bench, has interests in fashion, food, furniture and real estate.

Mr. Lim donated P20 million in cash to the 2022 presidential campaign of Mr. Marcos, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) said in a report last year.  

To expand its real estate business, the company signed a deal with Global Gateway Development Corp., a unit of Dennis Uy’s Udenna Group, for the sublease of the latter’s 177-hectare leasehold in the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, according to Property Asia.

Mr. Marcos, 66, earlier this month appointed another campaign donor to the Department of Agriculture, which he headed for almost a year.

The PCIJ earlier this month reported that at least six of Mr. Marcos’ campaign donors have been given government posts, including Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel, Jr., Special Assistant to the President Antonio Ernesto “Anton” Floirendo Lagdameo, Jr., National Housing Authority General Manager Joeben Ang Tai and Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) chief Melquiades A. Robles. 

South Korea was the Philippines’ fourth-largest trade partner last year, with total trade hitting $15.45 billion. They signed a free trade deal on the sidelines of the 43rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Jakarta in September.

Meanwhile, Mr. Marcos also appointed Julius Neri, Jr., former president of SunStar Publishing, Inc., general manager and chief executive officer of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority.

Aboitiz InfraCapital is set to take full control of Mactan Cebu International Airport next year after a P25-billion share subscription and transfer deal in 2022 with its operator, Megawide Construction Corp.

The palace also announced the appointment of Angelito Vergel de Dios as commissioner of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).

The late President Corazon C. Aquino created the PCGG in 1986 to go after the ill-gotten assets of Marcos, Jr.’s father, the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos, his family and their cronies.

Meanwhile, Senator Juan Edgardo M. Angara during debates on the Office of the President’s 2024 budget said filmmaker Paul D. Soriano is no longer the President’s creative communications adviser.

Mr. Soriano, a godson of Mr. Marcos, was named presidential adviser on creative communications in October last year. The palace said in July he had been on leave due to personal matters.

Mr. Soriano directed political advertisements promoting Mr. Marcos during the presidential campaign. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza