President Benigno S. Aquino III made his first visit to the Department of Foreign Affairs since assuming office to lead celebrations marking the 43rd ASEAN Foundation Day. The event saw the launching of the ASEAN Charter in Filipino and the opening of a photo exhibit on ASEAN biodiversity initiatives.
Earlier that morning, a flag-raising ceremony was led by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo, ASEAN-Philippines Director-General and DFA Assistant Secretary for ASEAN Affairs Victoria S. Bataclan and the ASEAN Ambassadors.
In his speech, President Aquino declared that his administration "will do its part in the long process of creating a more binding commitment to our mutual economic and political interests."
Some of the concrete steps that the President cited include the country's commitment to abide by the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, support for the ASEAN Connectivity Project, and further cultural exchanges with its ASEAN neighbors.