KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato, Mar. 15  (PIA) -  In  a  bid to  familiarize the young people on the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Philippine Information Agency is holding  a series of forums   in different  areas in SOCCSKSARGEN Region

PIA 12-led  ASEAN Youth Forums will kick off on Thursday, March 16,  at the city gymnasium in Kidapawan City, Cotabato  Province where participants are students of public and private high schools and colleges in the city and neighboring municipalities.

A second forum will be held at the  Sultan Kudarat State  University (SKSU) in ACCESS, EJC Montilla in Tacurong City, Sultan  Kudarat  Province on Friday, March 17,  targeting students and student leaders of the government-run school.

"The series of information, education and communication campaigns aims to raise public awareness regarding the  Association of  Southeast  Asian Nations (ASEAN)," PIA 12  OIC Regional Director  Joey  Sem  Dalumpines said.

Besides explaining ASEAN to the young people, the events also intend to drum up support to Philippine's chairmanship of the ASEAN  this year as well as the summits and other activities in relation to the  ASEAN 50th anniversary, he added.

For the youth forums,  PIA 12  has partnered with the Department of Foreign  Affairs  (DFA),  the National  Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and the Mindanao  Development  Authority (MinDA).

In both gatherings,  Daniel Te, OIC Regional Director of DFA  Regional Consular Office  12  will discuss the ASEAN as an organization and its institutional partnerships.

Melissa Gabrielle Vargas, economic development specialist 1  of the Project Development, Investment Programming and Budget Division  of NEDA 12 will  talk on the ASEAN Economic  Community

Also,  Rosa Lemana, chief of the Development Research Division of NEDA will present the 25-year framework for planning of socio-economic programs and policies  AmBisyon Natin 2040  while Gerardo Reynaldo, chief to the Central Mindanao Office of the MinDA will expound on the  Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines-East Asian Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

PIA 12  has also scheduled another ASEAN  Youth  Forum on March 31  at the  Cotabato City State Polytechnic  College. (DEDoguiles-PIA 12)