PH to assume chairmanship of ASEAN in 2026

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 5) —  The Philippines will take the lead in the rotating chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2026, said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Tuesday.

During the 43rd ASEAN Summit in Indonesia, Marcos said the country is "ready to take the helm and chair ASEAN in 2026."

"We will fortify the foundations of our community-building and navigate ASEAN as it embarks on a new chapter," he said.

"We will count on the support of fellow Member States and continue to work with our partners to strengthen ASEAN Centrality, and to promote peace, security, stability, and prosperity in the region," the president added.

The country last hosted and chaired the ASEAN summit during its 30th meeting in Manila in April 2017.

Based on news reports in August, Myanmar decided to give up its chairmanship in 2026 amid its domestic situation.

During his speech, Marcos urged his counterparts to boost mutual trade among the ASEAN network, and back small enterprises in the digital economy.

He also highlighted the need to empower the marginalized and vulnerable sectors with the right skills as the region pushes for digital transformation.

"Improving access to safe and secure digital learning opportunities, fostering digital literacy, and developing transferable skills in ASEAN will therefore remain our priority," he said.

He added that the Philippines remains committed to building international cooperation in relation to equipping the region against climate change.

Marcos is in Indonesia until Sept. 7 for the summit.

READ: Marcos to advance PH priorities during ASEAN trip

ASEAN chairmanship is rotated yearly in an alphabetical order among its 10 members -- Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam. The chair also serves as host of various meetings and summits throughout the year.