Philippines accepts ASEAN chairmanship for 2017

Paterno Esmaquel II
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte formalizes this in handing over ceremonies at the National Convention Center in Vientiane, Laos

ASEAN CHAIR. The Philippines will chair  the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2017. File photo from King Rodriguez/PPD

VIENTIANE, Laos – The Philippines on Thursday, September 8, accepted the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for 2017.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte formalized this in handing over ceremonies at the National Convention Center in Vientiane, Laos, on Thursday.

In a speech, Duterte said, “The Philippines is ready and willing to steer and guide the association.”

Duterte also congratulated Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith for chairing ASEAN in 2016.

“I have benefited immensely from our discussions and exchanges, providing me with insights on how best to build upon Lao PDR’s efforts in community building,” Duterte said. 

Before Duterte’s speech, Sisoulith said:  “I trust that under the Philippines’ ASEAN chairmanship in 2017, in addition to the meaningful celebration of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN, the ASEAN Community will continue to gain new achievements in order to turn the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 into reality with concrete outcomes.”

“The Lao PDR will continue to extend its full support to the Philippines,” Sisoulith added.

He said: “Your Excellency, President Rodrigo Duterte, on this auspicious occasion, I have the honor to hand over the ASEAN chairmanship to the Philippines starting from the 1st of January 2017.” –

Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at