PCOO holds Baguio City-Cordillera leg of 2017 ASEAN-PCOO Roadshow

BAGUIO CITY — In an effort to inform more people at the grassroots about Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) and other government programs, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) brought the third leg of 2017 ASEAN-PCOO Roadshow in the Cordillera region.

In his speech during dialogue with various sectors at the Hotel Elizabeth Baguio, Andanar said the PCOO as ASEAN Summit Communication Committee has to explain to the Filipino people the importance of ASEAN.

“It is our job to explain to you what is ASEAN, what is its importance. ASEAN has 630 million population and only 24 percent have basic knowledge about ASEAN,” PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar told the more than 300 representatives of different sectors.

The holding of 2017 ASEAN-PCOO Roadshow is line with the Philippines’ chairmanship of the ASEAN 2017 which coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the growing 10-nation Asian regional bloc.

The three-day Baguio City-Cordillera leg of the Roadshow kicked off on Friday with the holding of a dialogue attended by more 300 representatives of different sectors at the Hotel Elizabeth.

During the five-hour dialogue, the participants have been informed about the ASEAN through Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Director Flerida Ann Camille P. Mayo.

PCOO Assistant Secretary Kris Ablan, for his part, gave updates about the Freedom of Information (FOI) which the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte prioritized through Executive Order No. 2.

Ablan expressed optimism that issuance of EO for implementation of the FOI within the executive branch would pressure Congress to finally pass an FOI law that will cover all branches of government including local government units.

Presidential Task Force on Media Security Undersecretary Joel Egco, for his part, explained President Duterte first Administrative Order which focused on the protection of journalists.

Ego said the AO No. 1 would protect not only the media from harassment but even the source of media information.

PCOO Assistant Secretary Marie Rafael-Banaag put emphasis on the role of the government media in bringing to the grassroots level what in store in the agenda of President Duterte to uplift the lives of the Filipino.

Among the PCOO media entities tasked to do information dissemination include: Philippines News Agency (PNA), People’s Television or PTV4, Radyo ng Bayan and Philippine Information Agency.

Banaag encouraged the people to have access to government social media like Facebook and Twitter.

“I encourage everyone to be social media conscious. Let’s innovate,” Banaag said.

The Baguio City-Cordillera leg is the third 2017 ASEAN-PCOO Roadshow which made first two stops in Davao City and Zamboanga City.

The ASEAN region is composed of the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei, Myanmar, Singapore and Laos which hosted last year’s ASEAN Summit.

Andanar said this year’s ASEAN 2017 which has theme: “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World” will have more than 100 summits, including three major Summits to be attended by ASEAN leaders and officials.

The three major summits include the 30th ASEAN Summit on April 2017, the 50th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and Related Meetings coinciding with ASEAN’s 50th anniversary celebration in Metro Manila by August and the 31st ASEAN Summit in Clark, Pampanga in November.

Aside from hosting the ASEAN summits, the Philippines will also organize the ASEAN Plus Three, and the East Asia Summit with ASEAN’s dialogue partners, according to the DFA. PNA-northboundasia.com