Social welfare dept to lead launch of ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Pillar on Jan. 24

MANILA-- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will lead the launch of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Cluster (ASCC) Pillar at the Marquee Mall in Angeles City, Pampanga on Tuesday.

The ASCC Pillar, one of the three Community Councils within the ASEAN, focuses on nurturing human, cultural and natural resources for sustained development in a harmonious and people-oriented ASEAN.

Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo heads the ASEAN ASCC this year.

She will be joined by Department of Foreign Affairs executive director Zaldy Patron, and ASEAN National Organizing Council (NOC) chairperson, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

As head of the ASCC, the DSWD aims to help realize the ASEAN objective and eventually foster greater solidarity and unity among peoples and member states of the ASEAN.

"As the Philippines chairs the ASEAN, the goal is to make it a more people-oriented, people-centered institution. We want to make the ASEAN an institution that is more responsive to the needs of vulnerable sectors, such as senior citizens, children and youth, disadvantaged women and persons with disabilities," said Taguiwalo.

Interactions with the neighboring countries during this international event will give the country a lot of opportunities to look into their best practices and learn from them, she said.

"We can use some of these practices to guide us as we craft new policies, programs, and services or improve our existing ones. We will do our best to ensure that the results of the ASEAN 2017 conference will result in tangible benefits for the Filipino people, particularly the poor and working sectors," she added.

The social welfare chief noted that the ASCC Blueprint or the plan that will be discussed and formulated represents the human dimension of ASEAN cooperations and upholds ASEAN commitment to address the region's aspiration to lift the quality of life of its peoples.

The goals of the ASCC are envisaged to be achieved by implementing concrete and productive actions that are people-centered and socially responsible.

Taguiwalo further said that since a people-oriented, people-centered ASEAN is among the six priorities of ASEAN 2017, which carries the theme, "Partnering for change, engaging the world", they intend to do the following:

Ensure the promotion and protection of the rights of migrant workers;

Ensure the promotion and protection of the rights of the vulnerable sectors -- women, children, persons with disabilities, older persons, internally displaced persons, and indigenous peoples, among others;

Further promote appreciation of cultural heritage and strengthening the ASEAN cultural identity;

Intensify access to health care and improved nutrition; and

Promote the role of the civil service as catalyst for achieving ASEAN Vision 2025.

As chair of ASCC, the DSWD is also set to host the 22nd Senior Officials Committee for the ASCC (SOCA) and 17th ASCC Council Meeting on March 6-9 in Iloilo; the High-Level Meeting on ASEAN Active Ageing: Presentation of Results of the Study on May 21 in Metro Manila; the Cross-Regional Meeting on Violence against Children in June in Metro Manila; the ASEAN High-Level Conference on Social Protection on Aug. 15-17 in Metro Manila; the ASEAN Policy Dialogue on Children's Rights on Aug. 30-31 in Metro Manila; and the 23rd SOCA and 18th ASCC Council Meeting on Sept. 11-14 in Metro Manila. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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