The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and the Asia Society Philippines hosted on Friday the first of a three-part dialogue series that aims to educate on the three pillars of Association of Southeast Asian Nations – “Asean 2017 Dialogues: “One Asean, Safer Together” – at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in Makati City.
The dialogue was presented by Asean 2017’s Committee on Media Affairs and Strategic Communications (CMASC), which was represented in the event by PCOO Undersecretary and CMASC Chair Noel Puyat.
The dialogue was attended by academicians, officials, students, and members of the diplomatic corps. Discussions revolved around critical issues related to the political-security pillar of Asean.
These include regional security, cyber-security, non-traditional security in the context of Asean, as well as other benefits and challenges of being part of the regional organization.
The panelists include Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Asean Affairs Assistant Secretary Hellen De La Vega; Department of National Defense Assistant Secretary for Assessments and International Affairs Raymund Jose Quilop; Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Assistant Bureau Director Drusila Bayate; and National Privacy Commission Chairman Raymund Liboro.
Key questions addressed on the topics involved constraints and opportunities for security cooperation for Asean member-states, the plan of action for the Philippines and Asean to address overlapping exclusive zones, the South China Sea dispute, among other issues.
With the DFA being the lead agency for the Asean Political-Security Pillar, De La Vega opened the dialogue with a brief background on regional security cooperation. She also explained the impact of the South China Sea issue on peace and stability in the region. For his part, Quilop spoke on national defense capabilities against transnational security issues.
Liboro discussed data privacy and protection in the Philippines and Asean, including steps being taken by the government to improve local IT infrastructure and the readiness of the Philippines against cyber attacks and cyber crimes.
The Asean 2017 Dialogues will hold subsequent ones on topics relating to the economic and socio-cultural pillars of the regional bloc.