MANILA, -- The launching of the Philippines' chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) last Sunday at the home city of President Rodrigo Duterte was successful, a Palace official said.
"I would love to say that it was successful. It's difficult to praise own deeds but it went smoothly and peaceful," Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said in radio DWFM on Monday.
Andanar said all other ASEAN member countries -- Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have sent their respective representatives in the ASEAN 2017 launching at the jampacked SMX in Davao City.
He said ambassadors from China, Russia and other countries were also present during the launching spearheaded by no less than President Duterte.
"Foreign dignitaries appreciated the preparations of the ASEAN National Organizing Committee, including our PCOO office," Andanar said.
He said the objective of the Philippines as host is to further strengthen and unite the ASEAN organization to create big impact in the world in terms of economic growth.
"This year, we will focus on people-oriented projects, improve our health services, peace and stability, counter-terrorism, maritime security cooperation, climate change, inclusive and innovative-led growth and to help people to be productive through micro enterprises," Andanar said.
The ASEAN and its 630 million people are celebrating the region's 50th anniversary with the Philippines as its chairman this year.
"We will continue to promote the ASEAN resiliency, as model of regionalism and as big bloc when it comes to population and economy. And the ASEAN itself stands on three legs or three posts. First post, would be the political; second, would be the economics; and number three, it would be the socio-cultural," he said.
After the successful launching, Andanar said the ASEAN Organizing Committee will be headed to Iloilo City for another event.
"There will be 112 ministerial mini-summits all over the Philippines that will be held in 12 different places including Cebu, Boracay, Manila, Davao and others. It will be spread across, between now and November," Andanar said.
He said three major summits will be held in April, August and November. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency