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Duterte recognizes role of ASEAN Plus Three in regional community building

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte affirmed the importance given by the Philippines on the strategic role of the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation in community-building efforts, underscoring the 65 mechanisms in place.

Duterte acknowledged the continued support of the countries comprising the Plus Three, namely China, Japan and Republic of Korea for the Master Plan for ASEAN Connectivity 2025.

In a statement released Monday afternoon, Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said the President welcomed China’s “strong commitment” to support the Brunei Darussalam – Indonesia – Malaysia – Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area.

He said this sub-regional cooperation framework jumpstarts development in the remotest and least developed areas in the region, such as Mindanao, added Panelo.

On Japan, Duterte noted its Expanded Partnership for Quality Infrastructure, which he said, helps build state-of-the-art infrastructure networks in the region, like the first subway system in the Philippines.

Moreover, the Chief Executive also agreed on the views of the Republic of Korea regarding innovation and smart city development, and lauded the ASEAN Smart Cities Network.

“The President of the Philippines also viewed the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangements as a measure that strengthens people-to-people connections,” said Panelo, adding that he urged governments to harmonize standards on nurses and other healthcare professionals.

Duterte likewise manifested that he looks forward to the conclusion of the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

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