Marcos role vital in EU-ASEAN Summit in Brussels, says DFA

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. is set to play an important role in the upcoming European Union-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (EU-ASEAN) Business Summit in Brussels, Belgium, next week as the Philippines is the country coordinator between the two blocs, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. (Noel Pabalate)

DFA-Office of ASEAN Affairs Assistant Secretary Daniel Espiritu said this days ahead of Marcos' European trip from December 12 to 14.

In a pre-departure briefing on Friday, December 9, Espiritu said the role of the President in the summit on December 14 is "very important."

"This is very important for the Philippines and for the president because the Philippines is currently the country coordinator of ASEAN in its relations with the EU," he said.

"For two more years, we will be the country coordinator. We were instrumental in cooperation with the EU and other members of ASEAN in preparing for this summit," he added.

According to Espiritu, President Marcos will speak on several occasions during the plenary of the summit proper.

"He is one of the officials, the leaders of ASEAN and EU, who will deliver the opening remarks. After that, he will be giving an omnibus intervention as a country head of the delegate of the republic of the Philippines; then, after that, at the closing ceremony, he is also expected to be one of the officials who will give the closing remarks," he said.

"In fact, right after that, even at the press conference, he will be one of the ASEAN-EU officials to participate in the press conference. Apat lang sila dun sa (There will only be four of them at the) press conference, but the President will be one of them," he added.

Aside from this, Marcos will meet members of the Filipino community upon his arrival in Brussels on December 12. According to the DFA, there are 5,647 Filipinos in Belgium.

The President will also hold several business meetings and bilateral talks with foreign leaders during his trip to Europe.

"So this will be a very busy trip for the president, and we hope that this will redound to a lot of benefits for the Filipino people, not only for ASEAN," Espiritu said.