PH to host int’l scouts confab in October

MANILA -- The Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) will host the 26th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference in October this year where scout delegates from all 27 National Scout Organizations (NSOs) in Asia-Pacific countries are expected to attend.

Paul Parkinson, chairman of the Asia-Pacific Regional Committee said the conference, slated on Oct. 15-20, will advance the Scouting Movement" in the region through consultations.

"The conference is a meeting of the minds as we meet to discuss good governance, best practices, and challenges affecting our own organizations and to share these experiences in running our own," he said.

The event, which is convened every three years, is the third of its kind to be held in the Philippines. The event was first held in the country in 1958 and the second one in 1972.

The BSP, through its president Wendel Avisado, expressed its bid to host the conference during the 25th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference in South Korea last 2015.

BSP Secretary General Rogelio Villa told the Philippine News Agency that 200 of the expected 700 participants in the international conference will come from the BSP, where President Rodrigo Duterte is set to grace the event as keynote speaker.

Villa noted that the hosting serves as an opportunity for the organization to show the Philippines that "scouting is alive" in the country.

"We will show the kind of governance that we have here in the BSP because hosting a huge event like this is not a joke, it requires a close coordination not only among the members of the organization but the government," he said in an interview on Saturday.

"Through that activity, we will rekindle our relationship with other agencies, we create awareness that scouting is still alive in the country."

Three ancillary events will be held, including the Asia-Pacific Region Course for Leader Trainers on Oct. 6-12, the 9th Asia-Pacific Scout Youth Forum on Oct. 9-12, and the Chief Scout Executives Meet on Oct. 13.

Meanwhile, Jose Rizal Pangilinan, regional director of the Asia-Pacific Region of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, expressed hope that the international event would open doors for more mutual cooperation and understanding among Scout organizations.

He said scouting, in a way, could be an "answer" to the social problems affecting the youth today.

"Scouting can become the key to promote peace and goodwill among nations, he added. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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