by Christine Godinez Ortega

The 46th MSU-IIT Charter Day speaker, former Philippine Ambassador to Cuba and the Caribbean countries, Mac Arthur F. Corsino believes that ASEAN integration is basic to internationalization.

Mac Arthur F. Corsino

But in order to achieve ASEAN integration and internationalization, the country needs to prepare to collaborate with its nine other ASEAN neighbors, improve its physical infrastructures such as airports and piers, improve the quality of education and skills training, and eliminate corruption in import-export activities.

Delivering his speech with much confidence, and in deliberate tones having had a 30-year experience as a career diplomat, and as a scholar, professor of Political Science and as a writer, he outlined the requirements for Iligan City and the role of MSU-IIT in the quest towards internationalization that will pose challenges as the borders of ASEAN open in December 2015.

Corsino’s message to the MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) community on July 12, 2014 was in keeping with the Charter Day theme, “Greater Heights through Internationalization”. It educated many who do not realize what impact ASEAN integration will have on the Philippines by the end of 2015.

If Corsino outlined three pillars in ASEAN integration, i.e. (1) the ASEAN political-security community; (2) the ASEAN Economic community; and, (3) the ASEAN Socio-Cultural community he also outlined the challenges and benefits to achieve, first of all, economic integration for the 10 ASEAN countries that could result in a large, single market and production base; a highly competitive region with equal economic development; and, a region fully integrated into the global economy quoting President Benigno S. Aquino III as having said “East Asia is a key driver of the global economy and a critical player in international affairs.”

Tanggol, Corsino and Lagare

Corsino defined “internationalization” as developing linkages with other political systems, economies, businesses, cultures and peoples of the world”. Simply put, internationalization is to be “outward looking” rather than to be “inward-looking” or to be zealous over nationalist positions but, certainly, not forgetting to protect national interests like trade secrets and intellectual property rights to achieve greater benefits and to “empower” the people.

He pointed out that roughly, for the 630 M people of ASEAN that includes 100 M Filipinos, there is high potential in increasing ASEAN’s present GDP of $2.4 Trillion per capital GDP of $3,800, and a total trade of about $2.5 Trillion.

Other benefits include free import duties of ASEAN products and services; marketing of products around the region; levelling the playing field on imports in investment countries hence, free inflows of skilled labor and services and free flow of capital.

In order to achieve these benefits, Corsino said we have to improve our competitiveness in an open market, improve infrastructure such as airports and piers to meet global standards as well as pursue high quality education and skills training, language skills, quality tourism packages, export–import procedures and, most important, to minimize or eliminate corruption.

In other words, “the total human development as measured by United Nation indices can be achieved “not in isolation”. Through cooperation and by working together between nations, our country can achieve greater heights.

As Corsino pointed out, “the door to greater knowledge of other cultures, polities, science and technology can be opened through internationalization.” (See the full text of Corsino’s speech) – Christine Godinez Ortega for OC-OPI

Topics : charter day