DAET, Camarines Norte, Aug. 8 (PIA) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a benchmark of the Philippines’ neighboring countries towards economic development, professor Rex Bernardo, persons with disabilities affairs officer, said during a multi-sectoral forum held here over the weekend.
Bernardo expressed hopes that the aspirations of ASEAN for an open perspective in trade and industry, education and drop in tariff will materialize.
Bernardo was one of the participants in the ASEAN Multisectoral Forum which was attended also by students, women, farmers, out of school youth, fisher folks and senior citizens and representatives of national government agencies, local government units, academe, business, people’s organizations, media, religious sector.
On the other hand, Abel Icatlo, investment officer of the provincial government of Camarines Norte, described “Ambisyon 2040,” the vision of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), as “very comprehensive.”
Icatlo said it reassures the public that the government is in charge of laying down ground works for infrastructures in order to respond to the demands of the people.
He urged the private sector to invest also in the attainment of “Ambisyon 2040.”
The “Ambisyon 2040” of NEDA, the ASEAN Integration which was earlier discussed by Benigno R. Elevado, chairperson of infrastructure development committee of the Regional Development Council (RDC) cited the vision of the Philippines by year 2040.
The vision states that “A prosperous predominantly middle-class society where no one is poor. People enjoy long and healthy lives and a smart and innovative. The country is a high-trust society where families thrive in vibrant, culturally diverse, and resilient communities.”
In response to querries during the forum on how to attain the vision, Elevado explained that it will be done step by step with the plan and strategies to cater to the different sectors engaged in investment, micro-small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), education, infrastructures, information technology and among others and with the support of all the stakeholders.
Malou Belgado, science research specialist of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), said that for DOST part, it is giving scholarships to qualified students and equipment in the form of grant to those engaged in MSMEs.
Provincial Public Information Officer Sherwin O. Mata who pinched hit for Governor Edgardo Tallado said that in terms of investments there were developments in Daet like the opening of SM Daet in March 2019 and the construction of a convention center in Bagasbas.
He said that he also conformed to the ideas and policies of the country’s neighboring countries that are members of the ASEAN.
The forum was spearheaded by the Philippine Information Agency as part of the information dissemination drive on ASEAN.
Marlon Loterte, assistant regional director said that the PIA remains the key information arm of the presidency and task to provide relevant, timely information similar to the forum so that people would know the development about ASEAN.
ASEAN is celebrating on Aug. 8 since its establishment in 1967. The members of the ASEAN aside from the Philippines are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
This year the Philippines hosts the ASEAN where various forums, meetings and activities of representatives of the 10 member-countries are being held in the various parts of the country.
“This year’s theme ‘Partnering for Change Engaging the World’ connotes the truth that we cannot do these alone, we need to engage not only members of the ASEAN but the whole world,” Loterte said.
“This is the third multi-sectoral forum conducted in the Bicol region, and we will reach out to those without internet by means of our traditional media so that nobody will left behind,” he added.
Loterte appealed to the people of Camarines Norte to support the ASEAN goals.
Other topics discussed during the forum: ASEAN overview; engaging local community in MSMEs- fulfilling ASEAN Goal; people oriented, people centered ASEAN and Accessing ASEAN Benefits and Local Impact. (RBM/PIA5-Camarines Norte)