BACOLOD CITY-- Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Ismael Sueno vowed Wednesday to support initiatives that will raise awareness on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Community among local government units (LGUs).
"I pledge my full support to cascade a deeper level of knowledge for ASEAN among the LGUs and among the Filipinos, one of our goals with the coming of ASEAN at 50," Sueno said in his message at the opening rites of the 15th Meeting of the ASEAN Senior Officials/Ministers Responsible for Information (SOMRI) at the SMX Convention Center Bacolod.
The SOMRI meeting is chaired by Undersecretary Noel Puyat of the Philippines' Presidential Communications Operations Office, who said the main objective of the ASEAN 2017 meetings is to find ways to effectively communicate and promote ASEAN's meaning and identity.
Sueno further said he will challenge those in DILG-attached agencies, including the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Philippine Public Safety College, and the Local Government Academy, to be active in the communication network, and think creatively about their role in the success of the region and the country as well.
"We will stay tuned in the implementation of ASEAN's future programs and activities, including the ASEAN Strategic Plan for Information and Media 2016-2025. You have our word that the regional cooperation for these plans will trickle down to the lowest levels," he said.
Sueno also said the DILG has utilized tools for public information from the national agency level to the regions and down to the barangays, the smallest unit of Philippine society.
"We are harnessing all means for the local governments to reach all Filipino demographics, from interpersonal means of communication, community fora, barangay assemblies to the more sophisticated mass media of print, broadcast, electronic, and social media," he added.
The interior chief further said public information has been the anchor for communicating the efforts of the DILG's plans and programs, and issuing ordinances from the LGUs, adding that it has also served the purpose of rallying the constituents to be part of the governance process, to be active, and reap the benefits of change for themselves.
The theme of ASEAN 2017 is "Partnering for Change, Engaging the World", which reflects the Philippine government's advocacy to promote unity with and among ASEAN member-states and its global partners.
Source: Philippines News Agency