Philippines is all set to host the weeklong 2015 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Manila in November, a high-ranking official said Wednesday.
“The Philippines is all set to welcome the APEC leaders,” said Marciano Paynor Jr., director-general of the APEC 2015 National Organizing Council, in a breakfast forum in Luneta Hotel near Manila Bay. “We are just awaiting specific details from other member countries.”
Paynor said 10 leaders from the 21 APEC member economies have officially confirmed their attendance for the top-gun summit from November 16-20, when the topic of inclusive growth in the Asia-Pacific region will be tackled extensively.
Paynor, a former Philippine ambassador, also served as protocol chief to former Presidents Fidel Ramos and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The main man in charge of the event’s activities in the Philippines urged the public to plan ahead for that particular week, since many roads in Metro Manila would be closed for the event.
“If you have business in the area, kindly do it before or after the event,” Paynor said. “For the neighboring provinces, please avoid Metro Manila. For travelers, who are arriving on those dates, please expect serious delays, if not cancellation by particular airlines.”
Meanwhile, Police Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan, APEC 2015 security taskforce chief, said traffic would be rerouted starting at midnight of November 16 up to November 20 in several major roads in Metro Manila.
The inner lanes of Edsa will only be for exclusive use of APEC vehicles, while the other road sections will be for public and private vehicles, according to him.
On Roxas Boulevard, APEC-accredited vehicles would be using the southbound lanes, while the northbound lanes would be for public and private vehicles, said Gaerlan.
He said around 20,000 personnel from various government agencies, including the Bureau of Fire, ambulances, and medical teams, would be deployed in Manila at that time.
“APEC is very important for the Philippines,” opined Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo. “The most important thing there is the impression we make to our visitors, because we are having the highest level of government visitors, with the leaders of economic partners and leaders of businesses and many global CEOs coming to the country that week.”
Domingo said the country has to make a positive impression, as this would make the difference in the decision-making process “at the highest level of governments and the corporate world.”
He said APEC is one of the few opportunities for the Philippines to interact with the biggest economies of the world like US, China, Japan, Korea, and Russia.
During the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, the Philippines is expected to endorse the Cebu Action Plan (CAP), which is expected to protect the region against future financial crises, and the Boracay Action Agenda (BAA), which aims to put micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) at the front and center of global and regional trade, where priority areas for cooperation and action are trade facilitation, e-commerce, financing, and institutional support.