Bacolod Mayor EvelioLeonardiayesterday appealed to the people of Bacolod City to receive the delegates of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and their families warmly, and extend them courtesy.
He also asked the public to bearwith the inconvenience of having to host a high level gathering like this.
The 15 th meeting of the ASEAN Senior Officials Responsible Information (SOMRI) will be held at the SMX Convention Center in Bacolod City from March 22 to 23.
Leonardia said about 80 delegates are expected to arrive today since the opening ceremony will betomorrow. They will be given a guided cultural tour on Thursday afternoon.
There are tangible and intangible benefits that Bacolod will derive from the hosting of the event, he said.
“This is going to be an invaluable experience that should help us prepare for future similar gatherings. And if we can prove ourselves here, that will put us on the line,” Leonardia said.
The mere fact that Bacolod has been chosen among the not so many local governments, since there are about 10 to 12 venues all over the Philippines, is already enough reason to be happy, he said.
Leonardia said “We had been categorized among the kind of cities or areas that the country feels are presentable to the rest of the world.”
If the delegates will be happy while they are in Bacolod, they can become ambassadors of goodwill and help promote the cityto the rest of the ASEAN nations, he said.
Meanwhile, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and Philippine Information Agency regional director Janet Mesa led the launching of the ASEAN Information Kiosk at the SM City Bacolod Atrium yesterday.
Mesa said this is the first kiosk that PIA has set up in Bacolod to inform the people about what ASEAN is all about.
They had also set up two kiosks in Aklan and another two in Iloilo City where the ASEAN meetings were held, she said.
Mesa said the kiosk contains information about the ASEAN, which is an organization of countries in southeast Asia set up to promote cultural, economic and political development in the region, and about plans, programs and activities of the different agencies of government.
Bacolod City is the venue for the Senior Ministers Meeting for Information. This year ASEAN is celebrating its 50 th year since its founding in 1967, she said.
Familiaran said the Philippines takes pride in hosting the 50 th ASEAN Summit this year. He also thanked the PIA for providing the people information of projects and programs of the government under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte.*CGS
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