By: VENUS MAY H. SARMIENTO
DAGUPAN CITY - In pursuit of informing more Pangasinenses about the goals and benefits of being a member of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) , the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), the information arm of the government, is embarking on a nation-wide forum for various sectors of the community.
In Pangasinan, a youth forum toke on July 21 at the Pangasinan State University for the university students and senior high school students of the Pangasinan National High School in Lingayen town.
On the other hand, a barangay forum for farmers, fisherfolks and barangay officials is scheduled on the same day at the Farmers Pavilion of the Provincial Nursery in Sta. Barbara town.
Undersecretary Harold E. Clavite, director-general of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) under the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), said the agency has been tapped to be one of the offices to help advocate the importance of the ASEAN.
“To cater to more people, PIA has embarked on the installation of information kiosks in various commercial areas and rolled -out multi-sectoral forums in the country. We want to inform the people about the importance of ASEAN and what this government is doing for them,” Clavite said.
Clavite said the primary objective of the ASEAN community is to pursue lasting peace and development in the entire region so as to provide a better quality of life for people in South East Asia.
To spice up the forums, models donning traditional costumes of ASEAN member-countries will take centre stage after the discussions.
Aside from the July 21 event, another barangay forum will be held in Mangaldan town and in Urdaneta City with irrigators as participants slated this August.
Meanwhile, two Pangasinan local government units, Dagupan City and Binalonan town, expressed their interest to join the simultaneous lantern lighting ceremony on August 8.
The ASEAN was established on August 8, 1967. The Philippines will be hosting this year’s events which coincided with ASEAN’s 50th founding anniversary. Aside from the Philippines, other member-countries of ASEAN are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. (VHS/PIA-Pangasinan)