Manila Hotel, One Rizal Park, Manila
April 28, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte reiterated in his speech at the 14th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Leadership Forum the significance of citizen engagement in shaping the nation and in thriving for its development.

“Citizen participation is a key in governance and is a bedrock in any strong nation. In the Philippines, we encourage our people to contribute in setting the national programs and directions. In my administration, citizen feedback is essential to ensure that the wills of the government work and work well for our people,” he stressed.

He also added that the diversity and the differences among the people are the greatest source of strength and firmer resolve for the government and people in transforming society — bringing reforms and promoting positive change. According to him, ASEAN member states should envision an inclusive community bound with a strong sense of togetherness and common destiny.

“Getting our people to know the ASEAN story as their story and to their future in ASEAN would be among the focus of our efforts. We need to cultivate their sense of ownership by putting ASEAN in their consciousness. Let them feel that they are part of efforts to achieve common aspirations. this way, we can truly turn ASEAN into an effective model for regional integration,” he added.

ASEAN Leadership Forum chair Tan Sri Dr. Michael Yeoh reported before the President the key discussions that transpired during the forum.

“We have deliberated many key issues facing ASEAN. We have felt the need for the 4Cs to accelerate the achievement of ASEAN – communication, commitment, connectivity and consciousness – to develop an ASEAN mindset. The forum also deliberated on 3Ps for ASEAN: peace, prosperity, and people. We also recognized during our discussion the different stages of development in ASEAN. And we also took note that ASEAN should not just be about government and business but should also be about our people of ASEAN,” he divulged.

ASEAN economic ministers, business leaders and other members from the business sector gathered for the leadership forum with the theme, “Advancing Partnerships, Prospering Together in a New World Economy.”

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