Duterte lauds resumption of training for Asean epidemiologists

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MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has commended the resumption of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) training program for epidemiologists in Russia’s eastern city of Vladivostok.

On Oct. 28, he noted via video conference at the 4th Asean-Russia Summit that the program is anticipated to “boost Asean countries’ capacity to address and prevent future outbreaks”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had planned to organize a new series of field-specific advanced training courses for representatives of the region’s countries in November and December.

Duterte also expressed gratitude to Russia for donating Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines to the Philippines.

Sputnik V, named after the world’s first satellite and was launched in August 2020, has received approval from more than 70 countries.

He affirmed the Philippines’ full support for the Asean-Russia Plan of Action 2021-2025, which aims to improve collaboration in disaster management, cybersecurity, research and development, and innovation.

“We must ensure its effective implementation to bolster post-pandemic recovery and enhance our resilience against pandemics,” he said.

Meanwhile, he praised Asean and Russia’s 30-years of dialogue relationship, which was elevated to a strategic alliance in 2018.

“I am very much encouraged by our growing cooperation across the three pillars of Asean,” he said.

He also welcomed Russia’s renewed commitment to collaborate with Asean in combating illegal drugs, promoting peace and prosperity for the peoples of the Asia-Pacific, Indian Ocean region, and Greater Eurasia, as well as its efforts to strengthen defense engagement through the Asean Defense Ministers Meeting-Plus (ADMM-Plus).

For the cycle 2021-2024, the Philippines supports Russia’s co-chairmanship of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on Counter-Terrorism.

“All these important initiatives add greater value to our strategic partnership,” Duterte said.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.