By Joseph Pilapil & Tonette Marticio
IN LINE with the hosting of the Philippines for this year’s ASEAN Summit, the Philippine Information Agency (PIA)
formally launched the ASEAN information kiosk in Ormoc City Hall on Thursday, April 6. Two other kiosks in the region were opened on the same day, one at the DZR Airport and Robinsons Place Tacloban.
The information kiosks aim to increase awareness among Filipino citizens all over the country about ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), and its relevance to the common people. PIA’s deputy director general,
Gregorio Angelo C. Villar said that the country’s hosting of the summit is concurrent with the 50th anniversary of the alliance of ten (10) member countries, namely: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. In his opening remarks, Villar cited a common misconception
about ASEAN, where people don’t understand fully who it refers to.
“Being a part of ASEAN, we have to change our mindset. When we refer to ASEAN kasi, akala natin, sila ‘yun. Pero ang ASEAN, actually, eh tayo. Apart from being Filipinos, we are also part of a bigger community, which is the ASEAN community,” Villar clarified.
He mentioned that ASEAN’s vision is “to have one community—a community of opportunities”.
Villar noted that this could be exemplified by the visa-free access to the other nine member states which could open doors for various opportunities like livelihood, tourism, and economy where local goods and services can have
a bigger market. The ASEAN kiosks which are already installed in other places throughout the country consists
of audio-visual presentations (AVP), and other IEC (information, communication, education) materials that will communicate what ASEAN is doing, as well as the various flagship programs of the Duterte administration.
Mayor Richard Gomez, together with some elective officials of the city,expressed gratitude to their group for bringing in the information kiosk in the city which could help their constituents to be more aware of what the alliance can offer.
Also present during the launching were PIA-8 Regional Director Alicia Nicart, Ninfa Quirante of PIASamar, who gave an overview of ASEAN; PDEA-8 Regional Director EdgarJubay who talked about the government’s campaign against illegal drugs; and Jam Colas of NEDA-8 who discussed the results of a national study called “Ambisyon Natin 2040”.