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ASEAN working on COVID-19 recovery fund -ambassador

Southeast Asian nations are working on the mechanism for the establishment of a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) recovery fund, Ambassador Noel Servigon said Friday.

Servigon is the country’s permanent representative to the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN), whose leaders met in a rare virtual summit last month to discuss strategies to defeat the pandemic that has afflicted millions of people and crippled the global economy.

The 10-nation bloc also encouraged the development of a post-pandemic recovery plan to share lessons learned, restore ASEAN’s connectivity, tourism, normal business and social activities as well as prevent potential economic downturns.

“We have a proposal ng isang ASEAN Recovery Fund that will help us in our continuing mitigation program. Itong recovery plan, we are working on the mechanism, so that it will be adopted and announced, most probably, before the next ASEAN Summit,” Servigon said in a televised briefing.

The ambassador also said the countries in the region continue to coordinate in order to address the pandemic.

“We are always in coordination with each other, iyong mga ASEAN officials, despite na hindi na kami maka-meet physically,” he said. “And we have hastened our communication system among ourselves so that kapag may mga bagong improvements or development, we can easily share with one another.”

ASEAN groups the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. Vietnam is this year’s ASEAN chair. -MDM, GMA News