PBBM creates Organizing Council for PH hosting of ASEAN 2026

President Ferdinand “BongBong” Marcos  (PBBM) has ordered the creation of a national organizing council (NOC) for the country’s hosting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit meetings in 2026.

In his Administrative Order (AO) 17, Marcos said,

“It is imperative to constitute a National Organizing Council to organize, manage, and supervise all major and ancillary programs, activities, and projects related to the hosting of ASEAN 2026 in the country,” PBBM said in his Administrative Order (AO) No. 17 signed last March 22.

The NOC will be chaired by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo as Vice-Chair for ASEAN Political Community, Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual as Vice-Chair for ASEAN Economic Community, and Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rex Gatchalian as Vice-Chair for ASEAN Socio-cultural community.

Members of the ASEAN NOC include the Secretaries of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of National Defense (DND), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Transportation (DOTr), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), and the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).

Local chief executives of localities selected to serve as sites for the ASEAN 2026 hosting may also be invited as special members of the ASEAN NOC, it was learned. .

The ASEAN NOC is mandated to formulate and submit to the President a master plan to ensure the orderly and seamless hosting of the ASEAN 2026.

AO 17 also mandated the creation of the Office of the Director-General for Operations under the Office of the President which will serve as the implementing arm of the ASEAN NOC and head of the NOC Executive Committee.

The ASEAN NOC will have seven committees: the Security, Peace and Order, and Emergency Preparedness and Response Committee to be led by the DILG; the Infrastructure Committee to be led by the DPWH; Transport and Telecommunications Committee to be led by DOTr and Department of Information and Communications Technology; Tourism Hospitality, Tours, Social Events and Site Enhancement Committee to be led by DOT; Finance, Budget and Procurement Committee to be led by DBM; Business and Investment Promotion to be led by DTI; and Media Affairs and Strategic Communications to be led by the PCO.

During the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Jakarta last year, the President accepted the regional bloc’s request to be the ASEAN chair in 2026, a year earlier than scheduled.

The ASEAN chair is responsible not just for the leaders-level summits but all the other gatherings for the bloc. (With PNA)