Legarda Stresses APEC and ASEAN Priorities on MSME Development and Disaster Resiliency

November 30, 2011

Senator Loren Legarda today said that the government should pursue its development initiatives in relation to the priorities set forth by state participants during the recent Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Bali, Indonesia, and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said that in both meetings, the need for greater cooperation among nations on disaster resiliency and the development of micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises (MSME) was emphasized.

“As reported to us by resource persons from the Department of Foreign Affairs, the need to enhance disaster resiliency efforts and to boost MSME development was discussed during these two important events. We take note that APEC Leaders declared to undertake concrete actions in addressing the needs of the MSME sector to increase their capacity to contribute to economic progress,” she stressed.

It was also emphasized in the APEC Leaders’ Declaration that the private sector and civil society be active participants in building more resilient economies and communities.

Meanwhile, in the ASEAN Summit, disaster management was also discussed and was one of the key elements in the Joint Declaration for Enhancing ASEAN-Japan Strategic Partnership and its Plan of Action (2011-2015).

“We have long been advocating for these two issues-making our communities disaster-resilient and developing the MSME industry. We already have the laws in place and now these concerns were discussed in the recent APEC and ASEAN meetings. We have more than enough reason and motivation to make these matters our priorities too,” the Senator pointed out.

“As participants of these meetings, we have committed to the objectives and initiatives agreed upon by the state participants. It is therefore our responsibility, especially to the Filipino citizens, to translate these commitments into local action,” Legarda concluded.