By Rjhay E. Laurea
PASIG CITY, METRO MANILA — Vice President Sara Z. Duterte encouraged all the 10 countries comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to invest more in the younger generation.
In her speech during the 55th Founding Anniversary of the ASEAN on Monday, August 8 at the Department of Education Central Office, the Vice President and Education secretary pointed out the important role of the youth in the realization of the ASEAN goals.
“I believe that for ASEAN to be able to successfully pursue its regional agenda, the ASEAN to be able to maintain its strong presence in the world, we should seriously invest in our youth,” Duterte said.
The vice president pointed out that ASEAN is home to more than 600 million people, a larger population than the European Union or North America.
“We make up the third-largest labor force in the world, just behind China and India. And the majority of our population is composed of young people,” she further said.
“As we endeavor to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, our challenge is to figure out how to ensure that all of ASEAN will reach its potential by 2030. Your excellencies, I believe that we should focus on the ASEAN youth,” Duterte emphasized.
She disclosed that the Philippines is now aggressively pursuing a future alongside a youth sector aware and conscious of its essential role in nation-building.
An important role, as this is something that should not be dismissed or something that should be lost in the noise brought by the complexity of our current time.
“Filipino youth should realize that standing for their country’s interest is ingrained in their being Filipinos,” Duterte added.
This year’s ASEAN theme: “Addressing Challenges Together or ASEAN: ACT,” set by the current ASEAN chairman from Cambodia, under the leadership of His Excellency Prime Minister Hun Sen, underscores the spirit of togetherness and unity as one community. (ai/mtvn)