By Ben Rosario
The House of Representatives has recognized the significance of the 2019 ASEAN-Republic of Korea Commemorative Summit (ARCS) as lawmakers welcomed the scheduled bilateral summit between President Rodrigo Duterte and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in.
House members expressed optimism on the outcome of the November 25-26 summit in Busan after unanimously adopting on Wednesday House Resolution No. 386.
President Duterte is set to fly to Busan to attend ceremonies for the 30th anniversary of ARCS’ establishment.
Authored by Reps. Ann Hofer (PDP-Laban, Zamboanga Sibugay) , Ma. Laarni Cayetano (NP, Taguig City); Cyrille Abueg-Zaldivar (NUP, Palawan); Manuel Sagarbarria (NPC, Negros Occidental); and Samantha Louise Alfonso (NPC, Cagayan), HR 386 recognizes the importance of the summit that will be hosted by South Korea.
“The 2019 ARCS is an important venue for providing a milestone for the implementation of the ROK New Southern Policy initiated by President Moon Jae-in envisioning the future ASEAN-ROK relatiosn to achieve the goal of “People-centered Community of Peace and Prosperity” in the region,” the lawmakers said.
Hofer, chairperson of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said Duterte’s bilateral talks with Moon are expected to galvanize further the already strong diplomatic relationship between their countries.
Hofer said it will be Duterte’s second visit to South Korea. In 2018, Duterte was welcomed by South Korean officials for an official visit.
In filing HR 386, authors of the measure said they expect the second visit to further expand and strengthen the PH-ROK bilateral relations, “most specially since the two nations are celebrating the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic ties this year.”
“The PH-ROK relations has been unique and precious in that the Philippines was the first ASEAN nation to establish diplomatic relations with the ROK after her independence, and also one of the first nations to help the country during the Korean War by sending more than 7,000 soldiers,” the lawmakers noted.
They added: “The special bond between the two nations extends to the areas of security, economy, and most importantly people-to-people exchanges.”