Martin SESSION SPEAKER-Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez delivers his message during the plenary session of the 44th AIPA (ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly) General Assembly at Fairmont Hotel in Jakarta Indonesia Monday. Romualdez stressed that regional solidarity and cooperation are vital in building back a more resilient and sustainable ASEAN community. He added that AIPA presents an effective platform for dialogue on Inter-Parliamentary concerns and diplomacy based on equal partnership, mutual respect and mutual benefit. Photo by Ver Noveno

Romualdez to ASEAN: Sustain post-COVID recovery, end poverty

August 7, 2023 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 174 views

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Monday called for broader solidarity and cooperation among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states to sustain the momentum of the region’s post-pandemic economic recovery and reduce poverty amid global headwinds.

In his statement at the plenary session of the 44th AIPA (ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly) General Assembly in Jakarta as head of the Philippine delegation, Romualdez noted that high inflation and global economic slowdown pose a threat to the region’s growth trajectory prospects.

“High food and oil prices in particular have impacted households’ ability to afford other discretionary items.

These points raise the urgency for ASEAN Member States to take action to build resilient, sustainable, and inclusive long- term growth,” Romualdez said.

“AIPA must recognize that the path to greater prosperity in the region is by greater regional cooperation and interdependence,” he added.

The AIPA General Assembly, according to Romualdez, presents a relevant platform for dialogue and exchange of best practices of member parliaments.

Likewise, he said the region’s parliaments play a unique and crucial role in broadening progress in regional cooperation and sub-regional integration as legislative actions can facilitate access to markets, and improve resource allocation and regional productivity.

“Our parliamentarians are key to enhancing economic growth, financial stability, and social inclusion, and in addressing poverty and promoting institutional stability,” Romualdez said.

Along this line, he expressed support for increased focus of the BIMP-EAGA Vision 2025 on broad strategies to align sub-regional pandemic recovery and transformation efforts, particularly in areas of food security, creative industries, tourism and green recovery.

Established in 1994, the Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area, or BIMP-EAGA, is meant to spur development in remote and less developed areas in the four participating Southeast Asian countries.

BIMP EAGA’s Vision 2025 is to be a resilient, inclusive, sustainable, and economically competitive sub-region of ASEAN to narrow development gaps.

To better achieve this, Speaker Romualdez pushed for the holding of the first BIMP-EAGA Parliamentary Forum in 2024 in Davao City, in order to incorporate policy-making in BIMP-EAGA affairs.

Romualdez also shared with fellow ASEAN lawmakers the Philippine roadmap toward a stronger and more resilient economy.

He noted that marching in lockstep with the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., the Philippine Congress has adopted a Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy that aims to support economic recovery while ensuring fiscal sustainability.

In closing, he extended his appreciation to his counterpart, Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia Dr. Puan Maharani, for the excellent preparation for this year’s AIPA General Assembly.