Hosting three international gatherings of Asian countries–two particularly of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)–this year puts Bohol at vantage point in global economic connectivity.
Gov. Edgar Chatto said Bohol made an impression to Asian countries in hosting the first ASEAN gathering in April.
“It was a very successful hosting. This is the third international gathering that Bohol hosted this year. Bohol is very pleased that we have been chosen. We are getting ready for the ASEAN picture, because of the new international airport that will connect Bohol to more Asian countries,” according to Chatto.
He said Department of Transportation (DOTr) Sec. Arthur Tugade assured attention to the improvement of seaports and fishing ports in Bohol, and the completion of the New Bohol Airport in Panglao within the timetable.
“Sec. Tugade even gave a specific date- -that is June 2, 2018, the New Bohol Airport will be completed and ready to be operational. By August then, it will start with commercial operation,” Chatto said.
He added that the national government’s attention on the seaports in Bohol will “position Bohol in the shipping industry” in the international picture.
The around 200 delegates from 10 member countries of ASEAN are here for a series of meetings- -the three-day34th ASEAN Maritime Transport technical working group (TWG) meetings- -where they tackle the master plan and feasibility study on the establishment of an ASEAN Ro-Ro shipping network and short sea shipping, maritime or logistics education training landscape in ASEAN member states, roadmap towards an integrated and cooperative transport.
Bohol has continued to transform into a site of interest in terms of interconnectivity among Asian countries and a significant link in the global interconnectivity with the development of air and maritime transportation facilities.
Chatto mentioned the daily direct flights from South Korea to Bohol which the Philippine Airlines had just opened in June.
Chatto also assured Bohol’s active cooperation in Philippines’ commitment to the “three pillars of the ASEAN Community”.
“The three pillars serve as guide for the interdependent relations of the member nations- -political-security community, economic community, and socio-cultural community- -include the aim to give opportunities for the poorer sectors of society in the Southeast Asian nations,” Chatto explained.
Bohol had just hosted the four-day Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) on August 7-10 in Panglao attended by 34 countries from entire Asia continent.
Bohol was chosen as host for the ACD after impressing the National Organizing Council (NOC) for the ASEAN 2017 Summit in the hosting of the ASEAN meeting of the Intersessional Regional Economic Partnership Trade Negotiating Committee (ISSL-RCEP TNC) on April 19-21in Panglao.
NOC officials shared its impression on Bohol’s smooth hosting to links with ACD organizers, earning for the province the pride of hosting the Asian gathering.
Chatto narrated that after the first ASEAN hosting in April, the NOC officials conveyed to him on how the provincial government impressed them.
It was then that the NOC informed Chatto that an all-Asian-nation gathering would follow, and Bohol, indeed, hosted the ACD in August.
The ongoing 34th ASEAN Maritime Transport TWG meetings is the second ASEAN meeting that Bohol hosted this year.
Chatto had earlier stated that hosting two ASEAN meetings and one all-Asia conference is significant to Bohol as it placed the province at the vantage point to the global community.
This way, Bohol has contributed to the Philippines’ commitment to the three pillars of ASEAN Community.
ASEAN comprises member countries from southeast part of Asia continent that is batting to be equally or even stronger grouping of countries worldwide.
It is expected that when the New Bohol Airport opens next year, the ASEAN will be the direct connections of Bohol.
“The ASEAN economic community aims to establish a highly competitive region competitive region with equitable economic development and reduced poverty and socio-economic disparities.”
Among the aims and purposes of ASEAN is to “provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities in the educational, professional, technical and administrative spheres; and to collaborate more effectively for the greater utilisation of their agriculture and industries, the expansion of their trade, including the study of the problems of international commodity trade, the improvement of their transportation and communications facilities and the raising of the living standards of their peoples”.