Duterte seeks creation of Asean center for public health emergencies ASAP
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte called for the creation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Center on Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases to be expedited.
In a video aired Wednesday, Duterte, during his intervention at the 38th Asean Summit on Tuesday, stressed the need for the center as Asean “must be able to stand” on its own.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his intervention at the Opening Ceremony of the 38th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit chaired by Brunei Darussalam via virtual convention on October 26, 2021.The President urges his fellow Southeast Asian Leaders that the ASEAN Community must be able to stand on its own despite the support of external partners, stressing that “the road to comprehensive and economic recovery will be long and difficult.”He calls on the ASEAN Secretariat to expedite vaccine procurement through the COVID-19 Response Fund and emphasizes the importance of having a regional vaccine research and production facilities in order to be ready for future public health emergencies.Moreover, President Duterte cites the need to establish the ASEAN Centre on Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases as it has been almost a year since the ASEAN Leaders conceptualized the project.On the aspect of economic recovery, the Philippine Chief Executive says that an “open multilateral trading system and a clear roadmap” are vital towards achieving this and adds that the operationalization of the ASEAN Travel Corridor Arrangement Framework can help in revitalizing the ASEAN countries’ economies soonest. He also commits that the Philippines will do its share in upholding multilateralism by ratifying the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) within the year.The President stresses the needs of vulnerable groups during this time of pandemic, particularly women, children, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and migrant workers, and calls for the enhanced implementation of the ASEAN Consensus on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers, the ASEAN Comprehensive Framework on Care Economy, the Declaration on the Importance of the Family for Community Development and Nation Building, and the Declaration on the Elimination of Bullying of Children in ASEAN.He also addresses the issue of climate change and urges his fellow ASEAN Leaders to support the ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change and the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity.#HealAsOne#DuterteLegacy#ComfortableLifeForAll#PartnerForChange
Posted by Office of the Presidential Spokesperson on Wednesday, October 27, 2021
“We also need to immediately establish the Asean Centre on Public Health Emergencies and Emerging Diseases. It has been almost a year since we conceptualized the Centre,” Duterte, speaking in Malacañang Palace, told Asean leaders virtually.
“Our generous donors and partners are still waiting for us to choose the host country,” he added.
Aside from the center, Duterte pointed out that Asean must have its own vaccine research production facilities “to be ready for the future public health emergencies.”
If funds are available, the Philippine president also urged the Asean secretariat to purchase more COVID-19 vaccines and ensure “phased and comprehensive implementation of broad strategies under the Asean Comprehensive Recovery Framework.”
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