By Venus May H. Sarmiento
STA. BARBARA - As the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit on August 8 is nearing, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) intensified its advocacy campaign to help promote awareness on the ASEAN.
Farmers, fisherfolks, irrigators and women’s groups from the six districts of Pangasinan were the latest audience in a Barangay Forum explaining the economic and socio-cultural benefits of ASEAN.
Undersecretary Harold E. Clavite, director-general of the PIA under the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), underscored the importance of ASEAN integration especially the marketing of the produce of the farmers and fishermen.
Clavite said being a member country of ASEAN, peace will reign among the ten countries and there will be special treatment and connection for the residents. Selected products for export and import in ASEAN member-countries is also tariff-free and migrant workers will have protection because of the integration.
“Mag-uusap-usap ang mga bansang kasapi kung papaano mas lalo pang mapapaganda at mai-aangat ang buhay ng mga mamamayan. Mapayapa ang pag-uusap, kahit may issues, hindi mag-gi-giyera sa isat-isa ang mga bansang ASEAN,” Clavite told the barangay forum audience at the Farmers’ Pavilion of the Provincial Nursery in Sta. Barbara town.
The undersecretary also touched on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte which entered on prosperity, law and order and peace.
He said the President has allocated almost two billion pesos for the agriculture sector with priority on free irrigation. Some 556 Negosyo Centers have been established nationwide to help businessmen and entrepreneurs while a two-million peso across-the-board pension increase also awaits retirees.
“Nais ng ating Pangulo ang komportableng buhay para sa lahat. Naniniwala tayo na madadala ng ating Pangulo tungö sa magandang pagbabago ang bansa nating Pilipinas,” he added.
Meanwhile, Executive Assistant IV Ramon Morden, who represented Gov. Amado Espino IIII, along with OIC-Provincial Agriculturist Dalisay Moya, thanked Usec. Clavite for explaining the benefits of ASEAN to various sectors of the community.
PIA has laid out more multi-sectoral forums in various municipalities of Pangasinan to impart the ASEAN goal of one vision and one community. (VHS/PIA-Pangasinan)