‘Asean+3 nations must adopt sustainable economic model’


PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. called on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), China, Japan and South Korea to expand their food security mechanisms and transition towards a sustainable economic model.

The Chief Executive made the proposal during his intervention at the 26th ASEAN-Plus Three (APT) Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia last Wednesday.

He recommended increasing the amount of the emergency rice supply under the APT Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) to help countries that need additional food supplies.

The country, which was recently hit by several typhoons, was among the recent beneficiaries of the APTERR after it received 400 metric tons of rice from the facility through the donation of South Korea.

Marcos also reiterated his proposal for the APTERR to also include other commodities and staple food other than rice “to strengthen food security, poverty alleviation, and the eradication of hunger and malnutrition” in the APT.

He first made the recommendation during the ASEAN Summit last year.

The President said the APT should also face climate change “head on” through sustainable agricultural and food production systems as well as transitioning towards circular economy, wherein existing materials and products are reused, repaired, refurbished and recycled.

“Our collaboration must give rise to paradigm-shifting innovation towards a more sustainable economic model where progress and prosperity do not come at the cost of the health of our planet,” Marcos said.

To help integration among APT members, he urged the bloc to institutionalize sectoral cooperation on the Creative Economy to help foster “innovation and digitalization.”

Through such joint initiatives, the President said the APT can “cope with the rapidly changing pace of regional and global challenges.”

“As we have seen time and again in our APT’s history, we can find opportunities in every crisis, strength in our very differences in order to move quickly to take advantage of those opportunities,” Marcos said.