LEGAZPI CITY, July 11 (PIA)—The Philippine Information Agency’s Provincial Information Center in Albay has launched what it dubbed as ASEAN Campus Tour –an information caravan designed to conduct lectures in schools in order to enlighten the youth of Albay on the relevance of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
For the caravan’s first leg, a forum was held by PIA-Albay at Polangui General Comprehensive High School (PGCHS) on June 23, wherein high school students participated in lectures and discussion with the region’s ASEAN focal persons.
During the event, an overview on the concept of ASEAN was discussed by Marlon Loterte, the information center manager of PIA-Albay. In order to let the students of PGCHS grasp the full context of the ASEAN’s importance, Loterte explained the history, structure and purpose of the ASEAN’s creation.
As he talked to the learners of PGCHS, Loterte stressed the present significance of supporting the ASEAN.
“This year, our president –Rodrigo Duterte- is the chairman of the ASEAN, and the ASEAN Summit is hosted here in the Philippines. So, we Filipinos should set an example to our fellow ASEAN citizens,” he explained.
Miguel dela Rama, regional focal person in Bicol for the ASEAN, was also present as resource speaker during the event. Dela Rama explained in his lecture the goals of the ASEAN as indicated in its thematic priorities.
“We should all understand that the ASEAN seeks to improve the lives of its citizens through its three pillars, namely economic growth, socio-cultural development, and political security,” Dela Rama said.
He explained the relevance of the ASEAN in the lives of the common Filipino. Particularly in the aspect of health, Dela Rama related the ASEAN to the efforts in curtailing the spread of diseases like HIV-AIDS.
During their respective lectures, both Loterte and Dela Rama engaged the students in discussion to give them the opportunity to ask questions and share their thoughts. During this open forum, it was clear that the students of PGCHS connected with the idea that they are part of the bigger community –not just as Filipinos, but as ASEAN citizens.
Maximizing the information dissemination aspect of the Campus Tour, the PIA also involved the participation of the Department of Education (DepEd) to spread knowledge about the ASEAN to both students and teachers alike.
To show their appreciation, Emma R. Morasa, principal of PGCHS, expressed her gratitude for the understanding of the ASEAN that was shared by their visitors.
At the end of the event, the delegates from the PIA and the attending students of PGCHS exhibited their solidarity as ASEAN citizens as they sang the ASEAN Solidarity Song in unison. (JBE/PIA5-Albay)