The University of the Philippines Asian Center and CIFAL Philippines, in partnership with the King Prajadhipok’s Institute of Thailand, held a forum, “Roles and Positions of the Philippines in the ASEAN and the Global Community”, on February 8, 2018 at the UP Asian Center Seminar Room, GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center, UP Diliman, Quezon City.
Ambassador Elizabeth P. Buensuceso, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), served as keynote speaker. Buensuceso discussed ASEAN’s processes and mechanisms, and the Philippines’ and the ASEAN members’ national and regional positions in international multilateral forums. As a leader of the country’s delegations in many conferences and negotiations, she advocates the rights of Filipino migrant workers and the country’s positions on maritime security and cooperation, women empowerment, climate change, biodiversity, and other important issues.
The forum also featured discussions and presentations by: Ms. Myrene Sabina C. Bedaño, Chief of the Regional Relations and Arrangements Division of the Bureau of International Trade Relations under the Department of Trade and Industry; Dean Joefe B. Santarita of the UP Asian Center; Dr. Suthipand Chirathivat, Representative of the King Prajadhipok’s Institute and Executive Director of the ASEAN Studies Center at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok; and, Director Edna E.A. Co, of UP CIFAL Philippines and a professor at the UP National College of Public Administration and Governance (UP NCPAG). Bedaño presented information on Philippine economic activities and relations with major trade partners. Santarita’s discussion focused on Philippine migration policies, experiences, and roles in the ASEAN. Chirathivat and Co provided additional insights and a recap of the forum’s highlights. Co added that the mechanisms and processes for reaching agreements, in spite of the diversity among ASEAN nations’ interests and culture, can promote cooperation for members of the association to serve as generators or centers of growth in both regional and the global economic arenas. (Fred Dabu, UP MPRO)