PHL prepares to welcome 9 other ASEAN leaders in the 30th ASEAN Summit

MANILA, Philippines — The government is busy preparing for the 30th ASEAN Summit and related meetings in the Philippines from April 26 to 29.

The other nine leaders from member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will attend this event.

Chief of Presidential Protocol and Director General for operations ASEAN NOC Ambassador Marciano Paynor said, “On 29th April which is the actual summit, we will have all 10 leaders meeting up at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) and we’ll have a retreat at the Coconut Palace. They will return to PICC for the rest of the meetings. And this will be culminated by a gala dinner hosted by the President.”

Coinciding with the ASEAN Summit are the state visits of Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah to the country.

Ambassador Paynor said the government’s preparation for ASEAN Summit 2017 is much shorter than the APEC Summit in 2015.

Factors which may have affected this are the turnover of the administration and the complicated process under the procurement laws.

However, the official assures that they are beefing up the security measures.

Ambassador Paynor reasoned, “Because of this most recent incident, we are beefing up our security elements.”

President Duterte will be busy next week since he will be hosting for the first time an international engagement.

The event is significant since aside from the Philippines chairmanship, ASEAN will also be celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Amb. Paynor added, “Now that he is hosting, he did say, ‘Oh, hindi lang pala ganoon kadali.’ [ Oh, it’s was really that easy.] So, we are running him through what he needs to do from 10 — in fact, from 9:30 in the morning all the way up to the finish the following day in Davao.”

Meanwhile, Ambassador Paynor confirmed that United States President Donald Trump will be visiting the Philippines in November 2017 for the ASEAN meeting.

“When President Duterte called him up to congratulate him [Trump], had already indicated that he was coming in November. So, at least verbally, he said he is coming,” the official said. — Rosalie Coz, UNTV News & Rescue

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