PH ready for ASEAN Summit on Monday

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 11) — The Philippines is ready to buckle down to work during the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Saturday.

"Definitely the Philippines is more than ready," DFA spokesperson Robespierre Bolivar told CNN Philippines' Newsroom Weekend.

"We are definitely ready in terms of substance, logistics, operations, security, and we wish to make this a very enjoyable but also a very productive experience for our visiting heads of state and their delegations."

The 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings, which runs from November 10 to 14, gathers heads of state and government from the ten member countries and its dialogue partners. The leaders are expected to discuss various issues, from tension in the Korean peninsula to South China Sea.

Bolivar also shared the status of outcome documents, which ASEAN leaders are expected to adopt, endorse, or sign by the end of the event.

"Many of them are almost ready for adoption... We don't expect any major changes," said Bolivar.

"Of course, I don't want to pre-judge what the ministers will say or discuss, but I don't think there's going to be any major changes to these documents."

These documents are expected to tackle extremism, innovation, cybercrime, malnutrition, ASEAN external relations, and other issues, a statement from the DFA said.

Among the documents is the ASEAN Consensus on the Protection and Promotion of Rights of Migrant Workers, which leaders are expected to sign on Monday.

Bolivar added that citizens can also expect "standalone statements on issues which are quite urgent," such as countering radicalization. Leaders are also expected to weigh in on the  Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a proposed free trade agreement between ASEAN and Australia, China, India, Japan, Republic of Korea and New Zealand.

President Rodrigo Duterte, as chair of the ASEAN Summit this year, is also expected to issue Chairman's statements for different meetings.

The Philippines is chairing the ten-member regional organization in time for its 50th anniversary.

The ASEAN leaders expected to attend are Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Laos Prime MInister Thongloun Sisoulith, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Myanmar State Counselor Aung Sun Suu Kyi; Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, and Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The dialogue partners include Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia, and the United States. Among  those expected to attend the related meetings are Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Chinese Premier Le Keqiang, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, U.S. President Donald Trump, and United Nations Secretary General António Guterres.