Bohol is gearing up for hosting some of the major meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this coming April.
Gov. Edgar Chatto on Friday welcomed a high-level group from the ASEAN National Organizing Council (NOC) who already selected the venues of the meetings and arranged security details, among others.
The team was headed by Usec. Anthony Alcantara, deputy director general for Operations of the ASEAN national organizing councilÂ amdUsec. Araceli Villanueva, deputy director general forÂ tourism and special events services.
Meanwhile,Â Chatto joined in the launching of the Philippine Chairmanship of the ASEAN 2017 led by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City last Sunday.
The event carried the theme â€œPartnering for Change, Engaging the World,â€ with all the member countries of the ASEAN sending participants to the launching.
Invited to the gathering, Chatto assured also the National Organizing Committee of the ASEAN 50 Philippines 2017 of a red carpet reception for the delegates to the Bohol-hosted ministerial and senior official meetings.
The ASEAN 50 has been so coined as the ASEAN coincidentally celebrates this year the golden or 50thÂ anniversary of its founding in 1967.
Chatto met in Davao City with the ASEAN-NOC chairman himself, Exec. Sec. Salvador Medialdia.
Amb. Marciano Paynor, secretary-general of the ASEAN-NOC, is expected to visit Bohol for necessary coordination before Bohol will begin hosting some of the major ASEAN meetings in the third week of April.
Chatto was joined in Davao City by Panglao Mayor Leonila Montero and Liza Flores, the governorâ€™s executive assistant for special projects and designated ASEAN hosting focal person for Bohol.
All hosted by the Philippines, to include Bohol and few other select provincial hosts, there will be 118 ASEAN meetings this year, including 15 ministerial meetings, 30 senior officialsâ€™ meetings and 70 technical working group meetings.
These are all integral to the two-part ASEAN Summit in April and November, during which will be the Leadersâ€™ Meeting.
The ASEAN-NOC team sent here on Friday was led by Usec. Anthony Alcantara, deputy director general for operations, and Usec. Araceli Villanueva, deputy director general for tourism and special events services.
Before they discussed with Chatto many important preparation details, the group briefly joined the governor at his regular weekly forum with the Bohol media at the Governorâ€™s Mansion on Friday.
The ASEAN hosting is expected to magnify Bohol tourism while chancing the province to showcase its resources and potentials which can increase the interest of the investors not just from the Asia-Pacific region.
Chatto acknowledged Villanueva, both happy to have been reconnected since their partnership when the governor, then a congressman, principally authored in the Lower House the National Tourism Act of 2009.
The law has been regarded as the â€œbible of Philippine tourism.â€
Also on Friday, Bohol distinguished itself as the first province in the country to have launched 2017 as the International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development pursuant to the United Nations General Assembly declaration.
The launching highlighted the opening of the provinceâ€™s annual Ube Festival, which Department of Tourism Regâ€™l. Dir. Catalino Chan committed to mark red as one of the major events in the national tourism calendar.Â Â
Chatto said Boholâ€™s hosting participation augurs well for the provinceâ€™s localization of the ASEANâ€™s impact on six thematic priorities.
These core themes include people-oriented and â€“centered ASEAN; peace and stability in the region, maritime security and cooperation, inclusive and innovation-driven growth; ASEAN resiliency; and ASEAN as a model of regionalism, a global player.
Chatto said Bohol is obsessed to contribute to the success of the Philippine hosting of the ASEAN Summit.
The ASEAN is committed to intensifying community building through enhanced regional cooperation and integration.Â (VenreboArigo)