Raffy Alunan responds to ASEAN Summit critics: ‘The summit enhanced the President’s prestige, reaped a lot more benefits’

While the likes of Baguilat and Lagman said that the Duterte government wasted P15B for nothing, former DILG Secretary Rafael Alunan says otherwise.

Alunan remarked that it was “far from what the opposition is painting ASEAN 50 to be it was not a wasteful, giant party of handshakes and photo ops. The summit also enhanced the President’s prestige for his careful and balanced approach to diplomacy.”

“That’s what probably’s irritating the political opposition,” Alunan concluded.

You may read the full post below.

WE SPENT A REPORTED 15 BILLION TO HOST ASEAN 50’s STAFF AND MINISTERIAL MEETINGS, AND THE SUMMIT, IN 2017.
MORE IMPORTANTLY, WE REAPED A LOT MORE BENEFITS. LET’S SCAN THE SUMMARY:

1. We obtained P1.15 billion in grants from China to rebuild Marawi.
2. China also lent us P355 billion for infrastructure projects.
3. China and the Philippines signed agreements on those endeavors and in other areas: youth development, climate change, defense and intellectual property.
4. Japan provided P6.7 billion worth of assistance to strengthen our country’s maritime surveillance capability to enable us to combat radicalism and violent extremism more effectively.
5. Canada pledged over P715 million of investment over a period of five years that will improve access to reproductive health.
Non-monetary deals were also signed that would have substantial impacts on national wellbeing.
1. ASEAN and China signed the “Declaration for a Decade of Coastal and Marine Environmental Protection in the South China Sea.”
2. ASEAN and China agreed to begin formal multi-party negotiations for the finalization of a “Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.”
3. A Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was signed to reduce trade barriers between Hong Kong and the Philippines.
4. FTA proposals were raised for the Philippines and the US; and with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). a trade bloc comprising the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyztan.
5. The Philippines and New Zealand signed MOA’s for cooperation in the areas of education, joint airline marketing, geothermal energy experience sharing and improvement of weather intelligence.
6. Nine MOAs were signed with the Russian Federation with regard to energy cooperation, fighting terrorism, railway infrastructure exploration, transport education and interdepartmental governance partnerships.
Within ASEAN, significant agreements were also forged or adopted.
1. The “Focused and Strategic (FAST) Action Agenda on Investment” pursuant to the “ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA).”
2. The “ASEAN Inclusive Business Framework (AIBF).”
3. The “ASEAN Seamless Trade Facilitation Agreement Indicators (ASTFI)” signed by the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM).
4. The “ASEAN Program on Electronic Commerce (AWPEC)” and the “ASEAN Inclusive Business Framework (AIBF) for 2017-2025,” both approved in an earlier meeting in September 2017.
5. The “ASEAN Declaration on Innovation.”
6. “Action Agenda on Mainstreaming Women’s Economic Empowerment in ASEAN.”
7. The “ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers.”
7. A joint US-Philippine statement ensuring the mainstreaming of the human rights agenda in the national programs of both countries.
8. Despite the prevailing doctrine of non-interference among ASEAN member-states, a significant step was made when Myanmar committed to ensure the rights of Rohingya Muslims.

The only sore point pertained to the FTA bilateral proposal between the Philippines and the European Union (EU), which was being held up by the latter’s insistence on its definition of “human rights” and “rule of law.”

Far from what the opposition is painting ASEAN 50 to be it was not a wasteful, giant party of handshakes and photo ops. The summit also enhanced the President’s prestige for his careful and balanced approach to diplomacy.

That’s what probably’s irritating the political opposition.

What do you think?

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