The recently concluded Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), attended by experts and policy makers from 34 Asian nations, was successful and beneficial for the country and Bohol, according to Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto.
Chatto said the energy-centered conference, held in Panglao Island from August 7 to 10, was timely as the province is “working on reliable, cost efficient, and environmentally friendly power supply.”
Foreign ministers, experts, and policy makers from 34 countries in Asia arrived in the province of Bohol for the four-day conference where discussions were focused on energy security, sustainability, and resiliency.
The Department of Energy (DOE), the Philippine government’s hosting agency, chose Bohol as the venue for sharing some of the most brilliant ideas and best practices on energy security in the midst of threats posed by climate change.
The province has proven itself how to be resilient after its people were able to rebuild their lives since a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck here, the DOE said earlier in a statement.
In coming to Bohol, ACD delegates were afforded a better presentation of the energy issues that is anchored on the rich culture and experience of the Philippines and the resilience of the Filipinos, according to the DOE.
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“The hosting of ACD gives greater emphasis on the evolving global developments concerning energy and the environment and the energy-water-food nexus,” DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi said. “These topics are the key areas of cooperation where Asian nations can consolidate and expand efforts to ensure a secure, affordable, sustainable and resilient energy supplies in the region,” he said.
At the opening ceremony, Chatto said, “I did not expect that we would be hosting an event that is even bigger than the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meetings held in April (this year) here.”
Bohol hosted the ASEAN Summit meetings last April 2017, also in Panglao, a week after the province repulsed the infiltration by some Abu Sayyaf bandits from Sulu and Basilan, who were eventually killed by government security forces.
Formed in 2002, ACD aims to consolidate the strengths of Asian nations and promote interdependence among member states in all aspects of cooperation, one of which is sustainable energy.
Cusi noted that ACD was an opportunity to “expand trade and financial markets within Asia, and ultimately transform the Asian continent into One Asian Community.”
Since the first gathering of the original 18 member states, the Philippines included, in Cha-Am, Thailand 15 years ago, ACD has grown into a strong 34-nation group: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Turkey and Nepal. – (Michael Ortega Ligalig, The Freeman)