By Justinne Marie D. Santos
TARLAC CITY—The Philippine Information Agency (PIA), in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry’s Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) and other government agencies, organized a series of campus fora as part of its Asean Communication Plan. The first leg in the series was held on March 30 at the Tarlac State University, Lucinda Campus, in Tarlac City.
The forum focused on the three Asean Community Pillars, namely Asean, Political Security Community (APSC), Asean Economic Community and Asean Socio-Cultural Community.
Alfred Kristoffer Guiang of the Department of Foreign Affairs discussed the Asean 2017 Philippine Chairmanship and the APSC Pillar. The Philippines is hosting the Asean’s 50th anniversary this year with the theme “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World”.
Guiang said the APSC aims to ensure that countries in the Asean region live in peace with one another and with the world in a just, democratic and harmonious environment. Further, it envisions the Asean to be a rules-based community of shared values and norms; a cohesive, peaceful, stable and resilient region with shared responsibility for comprehensive security; and a dynamic and outward-looking region in an increasingly integrated and interdependent world.
Justinne Marie D. Santos of the DTI-EMB’s Market Innovation Division gave an overview of the AEC Pillar. The AEC, through the AEC Blueprint 2025, envisions a highly integrated and cohesive economy; a competitive, innovative and dynamic Asean; enhanced connectivity and sectoral cooperation; a resilient, inclusive, people-oriented and people-centered Asean; and a global Asean.
Santos also underscored the importance of free-trade agreements (FTAs), particularly the elimination or reduction of tariffs and other requirements of commerce that restrict trade. At present, there are six Asean FTAs, namely Asean FTA, Asean-China FTA, Asean-Korea FTA, Asean-Australia-New Zealand FTA, Asean-Japan FTA and Asean-India FTA.
Michel Kristian Ablan, Assistant Secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office, talked about the Freedom of Information Executive Order where he zeroed in on the significance of having access to information. Through this order, every Filipino shall have access to information, public records, documents and papers pertaining to official acts, transactions or decisions, as well as to government research data used as basis for policy development.
Other schedules for PIA’s campus fora are: Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija (May 3, 2017); Aurora State College University, Baler, Aurora (May 4, 2017); universities City of San Fernando, Pampanga (June 28, 2017); universities Malolos City, Bulacan (July 26, 2017); Bataan Peninsula State University, Balanga City, Bataan (August 23, 2017); Ramon Magsaysay Technological University, Iba, Zambales (August 24, 2017); Tarlac Agricultural University, Camiling, Tarlac (August 30, 2017); Pampanga State University, Magalang, Pampanga (September 5, 2017); and Don Honorio Ventura Technological State University, Bacolor, Pampanga (September 8, 2017).
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