Dec 162014

For 2015, the Department of Foreign Affairs is renewing its commitment to push the rule of law in the territorial row in the West Philippine Sea, while promoting Philippine interests on other issues like extremism and climate change.

DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario said this in his Christmas message, where he added the agency will also continue to  “constructively address” other international issues.

“And true to DFA’s reputation as the ‘Department that never sleeps,’ we continue to constructively address many issues and concerns, challenges and opportunities: from extremism, climate change and pandemics, to our rule of law advocacy in the West Philippine Sea and strengthening our bilateral relations with allies, neighbors and partners,” he said in his message, which was posted on the Philippine embassy in London’s website early Wednesday.

“In all these developments, what is constant and consistent is the DFA’s strong resolve to be smarter, leaner and more innovative in navigating the turbulent waters of 21st century international diplomacy,” del Rosario added.

The Philippines has been pushing for a peaceful solution to a territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea, including with Asian neighbor China.

Both countries have been involved in disputes in the West Philippine Sea in past years.

2015: An even better year

Meanwhile, del Rosario said 2015 promises to be an even better year as the Philippine economy continues to grow and is considered one of the most dynamic growth engines in the region.

He also said the Philippines is likely to hit the so-called demographic sweet spot in 2015, with more working people supporting the population.

Also in 2015, he said the Philippines will host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2015, the second time it has done so since 1996.

“The Philippine chairmanship will help continue to collectively shape the future of the Asia-Pacific region by deepening economic cooperation and building on the achievements of the past 25 years,” he said.

Del Rosario also said that in 2015, the Philippines will commence the Association of Southeast Asian Nations economic integration, with the goal of building a “politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible and rules-based regional bloc that will benefit all the citizens of ASEAN.” Joel Locsin/KG, GMA News

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