By Recthie T. Paculba
BUKIDNON – As an integral part in playing the country’s ASEAN role in promoting unity, cooperation and harmony, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)-10 held the Multi-Sectoral and University Forum on April 27 in Malaybalay City and Maramag town, Bukidnon.
With ASEAN, the country becomes “part of a community that gives a lot of opportunities for us economically, politically and socially,” PIA Director General Harold Clavite said.
As the host country for the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, over 100 meetings will be held in the Philippines and this indicates that the country has the opportunity to showcase the best of what it can offer including the Filipinos’ hospitality, tourist sites, locally made products and diverse culture.
Clavite also stressed the varied opportunities of being part of ASEAN and these include international scholarships, bigger market for the business sector, upheld rights and protection for migrant workers, and travel perks with the Open Skies Policy.
Aside from ruling the seventh largest economy in the world that uplifted its member-countries, ASEAN has also helped the Philippines in overcoming calamities and disasters like bringing the first responders, ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Centre, when Typhoon Yolanda hit the country.
To further emphasize the benefits of ASEAN, Supervising Economic Development Specialist Rosann Dime of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA)-X said that they are working on AmBisyon Natin 2040 which is created to be an anchor for development planning across administrations and a guide for engaging with international development partners.
Dime also said that AmBisyon Natin aims to emphasize the widely-shared common vision for self and for the country, that motivation for aspirations is family, a comfortable life with the family—free of hardship and worry, and families create vibrant and resilient communities
Meanwhile, Venus S. Villanueva of the Department of Trade and Industry discussed the Free Trade Agreements (FTA) saying that such will help maintain competitiveness, promote cross-border complementation, sustain inflow of investments, gain mutual support on issues of common interest and uphold benefit of consumers.
Villanueva also said that with ASEAN, there is a high growth in service industries such as fast food chains, language tutorials, education, hospitals, tourism, technical vocational and call centers.
With such growth, Villanueva stressed that there is a need to be modern and progressive but necessarily Western, and a common set of values for harmony and order.
The ASEAN awareness activities of the PIA is designed to encourage togetherness among communities, increase public knowledge and promote understanding regarding the international community.(RTP/PIA10)
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