Military veterans across Southeast Asia will share the spotlight when the 22nd General Assembly and 35th Executive Board Meeting of the Veterans Confederation of ASEAN Countries (VECONAC) gets underway in Manila on November 26 to 30, 2023.
Sec. Gilberto C. Teodoro, Jr. of the Department of National Defense will be the guest of honor in the 22nd VECONAC General Assembly at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza on November 28, 2023. At least 160 international delegates and observers from the 10 VECONAC member-countries will participate in the event, consisting mostly of leaders of veterans’ organizations, officials from various defense ministries, and defense attaches in the region.
Established in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1980, VECONAC endeavors to promote cooperation and enhance solidarity among veterans’ organizations in ASEAN countries towards advancing the socio-economic prosperity of their respective members.
“The hosting of VECONAC’s general assembly this year is an extension of the Philippine’s commitment to vibrantly engage with its Southeast Asian neighbors,” said retired Philippine Air Force Major General Romeo D. Alamillo, President of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) and Over-all Chairperson of the organizing committee that will be hosting VECONAC 2023.
VFP is a government-owned and controlled corporation created through Republic Act 2640. Under the supervision of the Department of National Defense and in close cooperation with the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), VFP helps promote mutual help among former comrades in arms; perpetuate their lessons and common experiences in war; undertake acts of charity and relief work; foster love of country; and inculcate civic consciousness. VFP’s original founders had rendered military service during World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and other military campaigns throughout history.
“Our organizing team is excited and ready,” Alamillo said. “We look forward to building on our shared successes and welcoming everyone during their five-day visit that will include a wreath-laying ceremony at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani and stops in landmark historical sites,” he added. The honor of hosting this year’s VECONAC kicked off last July when VFP invited its regional counterparts to a working committee meeting held at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga. Participants during the preparatory meeting reaffirmed their commitment to the future needs of veterans and discussed how they can make the VECONAC 2023 Philippines a resounding success.