BY ROGER M. BALANZ
The Davao Region police is fielding nearly 2,000 personnel to ensure the safety of foreign and local delegates to the forthcoming meeting on trade by leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
About 1,800 security personnel will be deployed to secure the 120 foreign and local delegates, Police Regional Office spokesperson Andrea dela Cerna said Wednesday, January 25, at the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Philippine National Police (AFP-PNP) press conference at Ritz Hotel Garden Oases in Davao City.
The event – The 23rd Meeting of the Coordinating Committee on the Implementation of Asean Trade in Goods Agreement (Atiga) – from January 31 to February 4 would be the second major gathering in Davao City of ASEAN leaders since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took over the chairmanship of the 10-nation ASEAN.
Duterte was officially launched as Asean chairman on January 15 in an elaborate ceremony after being voted in the Laos Asean Summit to lead the ASEAN economic grouping.
With Duterte as chairman of the ASEAN in 2017, the Philippines will host year-long events and activities in different parts of the country to enhance trade exchanges and promote unity among ASEAN member countries, and position the group as an economic power in the world map.
Duterte, at the launch, said that the Philippines’ chairmanship will focus on improving the lives of each ASEAN citizen.
“Today in Davao City let us renew the solemn pledge to do all we can for the very core of our national and regional interests: our peoples. For an ASEAN citizen, the ASEAN Community must provide opportunities for a truly better life,” he said in his speech.