MANILA — The Philippines will host the 54th Meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Committee on Culture and Information (COCI) in 2019.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Undersecretary George Apacible announced this after a nine-member Philippines delegation attended the 53rd Meeting of ASEAN COCI on Wednesday in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar.
“After this meeting, we will also start preparing already for the Philippines’ hosting of the 54th COCI meeting in 2019. We are very much looking forward to welcoming all our counterparts from the ASEAN member states to the Philippines next year,” Apacible said.
Apacible said the Philippines is looking forward to the implementation next year of at least ten COCI projects endorsed during the 53rd Meeting, where the Philippines took the role as vice chair.
COCI is a special body that handles the implementation of ASEAN culture and information projects and the management of the ASEAN Cultural Fund (ACF) with the goal of raising ASEAN awareness and promoting the region’s culture and arts.
In his opening remarks, Myanmar Minister of Religious Affairs and Culture Thura U Aung Ko highlighted the COCI contributions in achieving the ASEAN Vision 2025.
“Myanmar supports cooperation in the areas of enhancing ASEAN awareness, promoting culture and arts exchanges and cooperation, strengthening culture and arts creativity and industry, protecting cultural heritage and diversity, and expanding opportunities for all as well as fostering human resource development in the cultural context,” he said.
A total of five information projects and five cultural projects have been endorsed for funding under the ACF and for implementation next year during the meeting.
Some of these are the ASEAN Quiz for high school students of the region and Best of ASEAN Performing Arts which showcase cultural diversity of the ASEAN member countries.
ASEAN’s cooperation in the fields of information and culture has also been discussed with dialogue partners from Japan, China, Republic of Korea, and India.
Also tackled were COCI’s initiatives for supporting the ASEAN Declaration on Culture of Prevention (CoP) which the ASEAN Leaders signed during the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila in November 2017.
Aside from Apacible, other members of the Philippine contingent include Richard Valdez and Elenita Directo of People’s Television Network; Rhea Kristine Cy of Philippine Information Agency; Lilian Barco, Rodolfo del Rosario and Elsie Santos of Cultural Center of the Philippines; Mary Anne Luis of National Commission for Culture and the Arts; and, Carlyn Monastrial of Department of Foreign Affairs. (PNA)