LEGAZPI CITY: The mayor of the host city of the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit has decried the so-called “militarization” of preparations by the national organizers.
“As host city of the APEC Summit, we want to showcase the region’s cultural aspect, our heritage, the friendliness of the people and the economic milestones in the countryside and we don’t like the militarization of preparations because this is overacting,” Mayor Noel Rosal told The Manila Times.
The APEC is a forum of 21 member economies that include the Philippines, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, United States, and Vietnam.
In a meeting on Friday with the organizers at The Oriental Hotel led by Department of Foreign Affairs officials, Rosal asked military officials and other heads of national government agencies present not to resort to overacting in helping prepare for the event.
“We are all ready here. We ensure the safety of our guests from all over the world, but we don’t want a “militarized” way of meeting our guests. Because based on my observations, the organizers focus too much on military protocols, overlooking the cultural aspects which we want to showcase when they land at Legazpi City National Airport,” Rosal said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has chosen Legazpi City to host the opening salvo of the APEC Summit in December, slated on December 8 to 9.
Rosal said that he wants to showcase the tourism and economic developments in this city such as the Ligñon Hill Nature Park, ATV ride to Mayon, the 10-kilometer Legazpi City Boulevard, the P100 million mega highway link to Bicol International Airport, the P2.1 billion master flood control with pumping station and water gate, the P100 million sanitary landfill, among others.
The 21 Pacific Rim countries (member economies) that seek to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region was established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional trade blocs in other parts of the world.
The location of the meeting rotates annually among the member economies, and this time the Philippines plays host. The provincial government of Albay led by Governor Joey Salceda offered to host the opening salvo of the 2015 APEC summit.