Sat. May 8th, 2021
PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar. (File photo)

MANILA – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) will never be daunted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar said on Saturday.

In his message for the Asean’s 53rd founding anniversary, Andanar said the regional bloc would continue to show dedication to address the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Even with the present threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, Asean has never wavered in its determination and commitment of community-building for every Asean citizen,” he said.

On Aug. 8, 1967, five leaders from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand signed a document establishing the Asean.

Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia later joined the grouping, bringing the total number of Asean member-states to 10.

The Asean celebrates its 53rd founding anniversary as the region and other parts of the world grapple with Covid-19.

Andanar expressed optimism that the present Asean leaders would continue to imbibe their forefathers’ collective vision of “shared socio-economic development, mutual assistance, and regional peace and stability.”

He expressed confidence that the 10-man regional organization would continue to achieve milestones and successes, both regionally and globally.

Andanar made the statement as he noted that the Asean is moving closer to its vision of a “politically-, economically-, and socially-united community.”

“Through Asean’s continued achievements as an effective mechanism and institution, we are confident that we will all overcome all difficulties that come our way, especially the threat of Covid-19, as we embrace mutual assistance and regional collective partnership,” he said.

In a separate statement, President Rodrigo Duterte said the Asean’s fight against Covid-19 would be successful through their continued cooperation and collective effort to stop the further transmission of the disease in the region.

The highest number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the Asean is recorded in the Philippines, which is currently at 122,754.

It is followed by Indonesia (121,226), Singapore (54,797), Malaysia (9,063), Thailand (3,345), Vietnam (750), Myanmar (359), Cambodia (243), Brunei Darussalam (142), and Laos (20). (PNA)

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