Hosting the 50th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meetings, Philippines Ambassador Marciano Paynor guaranteed that meetings will commence despite the lack of time.
“We had more time preparing for the APEC Summit as early as 2012 as the previous administration had already created the National Organizing Council at that time. So all through that time, preparations for the meetings which were held from December 2014 to November 2015, 36 meetings altogether.”
Paynor added that preparations for ASEAN started in 2014 but due to turnover of administration, they lost a bit of time. He also said that despite the long bidding process for the 137 meetings – two summits, 17 ministerial meetings, 42 senior senior official meetings and 76 technical working group meetings, they will push through no matter what.
The Office of the Director General for Operations is now busy with the 56th meeting – the 30th ASEAN Summit and Related meetings to be held on April 26-29 in Bohol despite the recent encounter between the government and Abu Sayyaf Group.
He also said that the ASEAN Summit will concur with the bilateral visits of His Majesty Sultan Bolkiah of Brunei and Indonesian President Joko Widodo on April 27 and 28 respectively that would focus on specific issues relating to both countries.
Robespierre Bolivar, Acting Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman said that the issue on South China Sea will be raised by other ASEAN leaders and are hoping a significant progress with the establishment of the Code of Conduct for the commitment of the ASEAN states and China.