The Asean we want: Romualdez shares view  

House Speaker Martin Romualdez

SPEAKER Martin G. Romualdez on Thursday called for a concerted effort among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to build a resilient, peaceful, and progressive regional community.

Romualdez made the statement after attending the Asean Inter-parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) interface with Asean leaders at the Sokha Hotel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Romualdez heads the Philippine delegation to AIPA, which includes Zamboanga del Norte Rep. Glona Labadlabad, chairperson of the House committee on inter-parliamentary relations and diplomacy.

“Today, we come together, as we do every year, to consolidate our efforts in building a cohesive, resilient Asean community that is peaceful, secure and stable, but more than that, we come together to foster the closest possible relations with our fellow AIPA parliamentarians,” Romualdez said.

The House leader affirmed the Philippines’s“strong commitment to supporting AIPA in its initiatives and resolutions to make it an effective pillar of community building in the ASEAN region.”

“Our task of preparing the statement of the AIPA President should strengthen our vision of an AIPA that is instrumental in enhancing peace, stability, and security in the region, as well as building a prosperous, inclusive, and people-centered community,” Romualdez said.

He also acknowledged the meeting’s chairman, Cheam Yeab, who is the first vice president of the National Assembly of Cambodia, members of the host country’s legislature, and delegations from ASEAN-member nations.

The Speaker also thanked the National Assembly of Cambodia “for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements for this meeting.”

“We look forward to a fruitful meeting in a spirit of unity and understanding,” he told his colleagues in the region.

In his message, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr. acknowledged AIPA’s important role as well as the intensified cooperation between the executive and legislative branches of government in harmonizing laws and regulations among ASEAN Member States and in ensuring the effective implementation in the region of resolutions and decisions ASEAN has passed.

He noted that earlier this year, he had enumerated his administration’s priorities before the Philippine legislature, which are meant to ensure and assist in post-pandemic recovery.

Among others, Marcos noted that he called for the creation of a Medical Reserve Corps and a National Disease Prevention Management Authority, as well as the creation of the Virology Institute of the Philippines to ensure the country is better prepared to face future public health emergencies.

Marcos also said he seeks to increase the capacities and capabilities of the Philippine government in the digital platform to streamline government processes and render timely and efficient service to the citizens.

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