Press Release
September 8, 2006


Senate President Manny Villar, President of the Nacionalista Party, will attend the 27th General Assembly of ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Organization (AIPO) on Monday (September 11) in Cebu , where around 240 parliamentarians from 21 countries will convene.

On his speech during the inaugural ceremony, Villar will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of globalization. "High on the list of issues on our agenda is the threat of global terrorism, the challenge of a globalized economic order and the creation of an ASEAN economic community. We are deeply disturbed to know that terrorism today has become transnational and trans-regional. What can we in the ASEAN community do to minimize the threat?" cites Villar, who was AIPO President in 1999 during his term as Speaker of the House of Representatives

AIPO is consist of eight member-countries namely Cambodia, Indonesia , Laos , Malaysia , the Philippines , Singapore , Thailand and Vietnam and countries with special observer status comprised of Brunei Darussalam and Myanmar. Observer Countries to AIPO are Australia , Canada , China , European Parliament, Japan , New Zealand , Papua New Guinea , Russian Federation and Republic of Korea .

"An ASEAN economic community can pave the way for the flow of intra-regional investments with its sphere. There are already some of these activities on the ground. We have Filipino companies have established a presence in ASEAN countries or the so-called Overseas Filipino Corporation or OFCs," further cites Villar.

According to Villar, the creation of an ASEAN economic community was reiterated during the 38th ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting in Malaysia in August, the timetable of which was moved from 2020 to 2015. "Is the launching schedule realistic? How prepared are the ASEAN countries for the implication of a single economic community?" asks Villar.

The AIPO was initiated by the Indonesian House of Representatives in 1974 and was officially established in 1977 by the parliaments of Indonesia , Malaysia , Philippines , Singapore and Thailand . The 27th General Assembly of AIPO will be held from September 10 to 15. The keynote speaker for the said event is President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

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