PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte formally accepted yesterday the chairmanship of the summits of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for 2017.
The President formalized it in turn over ceremonies in Vientiane, Laos, yesterday.
“The Philippines is ready and willing to steer and guide the association,” said Duterte as he also congratulated Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith for chairing the ASEAN this year.
“I have benefited immensely from our discussions and exchanges, providing me with insights on how best to build upon Lao PDR’s (People’s Democratic Republic) efforts in community building,” the President added.
Before Duterte’s speech, Sisoulith said: “I trust that under the Philippines’ ASEAN chairmanship in 2017, in addition to the meaningful celebration of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, the ASEAN Community will continue to gain new achievements in order to turn the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 into reality with concrete outcomes.”
“The Lao PDR will continue to extend its full support to the Philippines. Your Excellency, President Rodrigo Duterte, on this auspicious occasion, I have the honor to hand over the ASEAN chairmanship to the Philippines starting from the 1st of January 2017,” Sisoulith added.