By Ruby Balistoy
ILIGAN CITY, Lanao del Norte, May 11 (PIA) — Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) worked together recently by launching a ‘University Forum’ and setting up an ‘Info Kiosk’ to help the government push public support in order to deepen people’s understanding about the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
This year, ASEAN is celebrating its 50th Founding Anniversary and the Philippines is hosting her neighbor countries by working as the “speakerperson” for the 10 ASEAN Member States namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
In his keynote address with more than 800 students, youth leaders, academe executives, and local government officials, PIA Director-General Harold E. Clavite urged people from all walks of life to support the government’s development programs and be partners in promoting the ASEAN gains and opportunities.
“As vital instruments in spreading good news on how ASEAN could improve people’s lives, we need to deepen our knowledge and understanding on the different gains and challenges across ASEAN’s ten member states, which include the Philippines. We need to know how can we avail of ASEAN’s various benefits offered such as the opportunity to invest and set up business in other ASEAN countries; direct product exports; and to have a ‘visa-free’ travel, among others,” he said.
MSU-IIT Chancellor Sukarno Tanggol, likewise, said it is his prayer and hope that the Institute is doing its share in hyping ASEAN to stimulate people’s support as it works to help produce quality laborers and professionals so it can also help enhance the country’s rank in global competitiveness.
A taste of ASEAN foods and cuisines, culture and arts
MSU-IIT hosted a “food-tasting” event showcasing ASEAN foods and cuisines at the University Park during the ASEAN 2017 Food Festival.
Likewise, the remarkable cultural dance and music shows performed by various arts guild of the University namely IPAG, KALIMULAN, Octava, and Kalilang broadened audience’s knowledge and appreciation of ASEAN cultural diversity.
The official hoisting of ASEAN flags, staging of Film Festival, and Art installations also gave highlights of the university’s event.
An organization of ten Southeast Asian Countries, ASEAN has become one of the world’s most experienced organizations in the practice of dialogue and cooperation.
It was formed on 8th August 1967 by five founding members comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, with the main purpose of accelerating economic growth, social progress, cultural development among its members, the protection of peace and stability, and to provide opportunities for Member States to discuss differences peacefully.
Five more countries later joined the group—Brunei (1984), Vietnam (1995), Laos PDR (1997), Myanmar (1997), and Cambodia (1999). This makes the total ASEAN membership of 10 countries.
Anchored on the theme “Partnering for change, Engaging the world,” the ASEAN advocacy is part of keeping the goals of President Rodrido Duterte for real change by encouraging community engagement through interpersonal communication, thus, promoting appreciation of ASEAN’s development throughout its 50 years of existence; and encourage public support to the country’s hosting of ASEAN’s yearlong events. (RLRBalistoy/PIA10, Bukidnon)