Social welfare chief calls for deeper understanding of ASEAN’s significance

ANGELES, Pampanga-- Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo on Tuesday called on the nation to develop a clear understanding of the ASEAN by knowing and embracing it as an important tool in achieving development, progress and peace.

"We hope that the launch of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) will mark the beginning of a deeper understanding and knowledge of the essence of ASEAN," Taguiwalo said, asking attendees to spread the message of the ASEAN.

She also called on the Department of Education (DepEd) and other stakeholders to do their share and be a part of it.

"Iminumungkahi namin sa DepEd (through Education Secretary Leonor Briones) na kung maaari ay gayahin natin ang ginawa sa Thailand na ang ASEAN flags ay present sa lahat ng eskwelahan (We are suggesting to DepEd to follow Thailand in having the ASEAN flags in all schools)," Taguiwalo said in her speech.

She added that the flags of ASEAN member states are flown in the embassies of the country as part of its hosting of the ASEAN during the grouping's 50th Founding Anniversary.

She also urged cinemas nationwide to present videos that would make people understand why the ASEAN is being held and its significance in the lives of all sectors, even to the vulnerable sectors.

Meanwhile, the social welfare chief promised to fully support other ASEAN member states in pursuing common aspirations for promoting the welfare and rights of women, older people, children, PWDs, and indigenous peoples.

As chair of the ASCC, the social welfare department will lead the tackling of issues and concerns of the vulnerable sectors, including migrant workers.

Taguiwalo expressed hope that the ASCC would serve as a platform to have these sectors' voices heard.

She further asked the cooperation of all sectors, including civil servants, to work together in achieving the goals set under the ASEAN, especially those pertaining to creating collaborative response to issues and concerns affecting the member states, such as climate change, disaster mitigation and related activities.

"When we work together, we know we can overcome challenges," she said. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency