Departure Speech of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for a working visit to Indonesia and Participation to the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits (Laos)
Davao International Airport, Davao City
05 September 2016
Hindi man kayo nakabarong.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, my co-workers in government, mga mahal kong kababayan.

I am leaving for Vientiane, Laos to join other ASEAN leaders at the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits and Related Summits. This will be my first meeting with other leaders of ASEAN member states; as well as the leaders of the ASEAN’s important dialogue partners including Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States. That I will take the opportunity to discuss with them the important regional and international issues that impact on the peace, security, stability and the prosperity of our region.

Recent events have shown that there are elements out there who seek to sow terror and wreak havoc in our society. We remain firm in our resolve to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We remained committed to our vow and duty to do our utmost to protect our citizens. I ask every Filipino to do this, to do his and her part for the sake of our country.

I will use the opportunity for meeting with other ASEAN leaders and ASEAN Dialogue Partners to seek better support to regional efforts to address terrorism and extreme violent extremism. Terrorism and violent extremism is a global concern, and the Philippines will do its part as a member of the international community and work with our partners to address this issue.

At the Summits, ASEAN leaders will discuss the way forward in realizing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 with rules-based people oriented, people centered ASEAN. The security of our region hinges at the cooperation of ASEAN member states as well as our dialogue partners. Consistent with the Philippines cornerstone programs, we will call for renewed cooperation for a drug-free ASEAN Community.

The Summits will also be an excellent opportunity to underscore the importance of the rule of law and peaceful settlement of disputes. The interests of our people are at the heart of the ASEAN community building. And we shall work with our neighbors in addressing transnational issues such as trafficking of persons and terrorism and violent extremism.

On the economic front, we shall discuss ways to make growth inclusive so that the benefits of economic growth are felt by every Filipino. These includes strengthening connectivity in the region, enhancing trade, underscoring the importance of micro and small and medium industries and conserving and sustaining the growth environment. And those socio-economic aspect, we shall advance, improve access to education that will open opportunities for all, including out-of-the-school youths to develop and realize their potentials to be productive and responsible members of society.

We will continue engaging our neighbors on promotion and protection of the rights of migrant workers. We will also push for the capacity building to improve emergency response and disaster management.

I have the honor to accept in behalf of the Philippines, the Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017 from Laos. This will formally mark an important leadership role for the Philippines in the region as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Association next year.

After ASEAN Summits, I will proceed with my working visit to Indonesia to discuss bilateral issues impacting our relationships.

Upon my return, I will report on the gains that the Philippines achieved during the visits.

Daghang salamat.